What’s black and red and fun all over?
Give up? It’s Kitchener Park and Playground in Edmonton Oliver neighbourhood!
I first discovered this central Edmonton gem a couple years ago, when I took my daughters to their first K-Days parade. They were 18 months old and intrigued by the crowd and music and colour, but on a very hot day, their patience for standing around lasted all of about 15 minutes. I plopped them back in our wagon and headed due west from the parade route. It wasn’t long before we stumbled upon Kitchener Park.
At that time, my girls raced to the bouncy bugs. At our most recent visit, some three years later, the giant ladybug and bumblebee built for two were still enormously popular playground features.
Set between the bugs is one of the most unique climbing structures we’ve encountered at an Edmonton Park. It’s a spider web angling away from an arch. Each side of the arch holds stacked red, yellow and black geometric shapes. (They remind me of jacks) They are big, bright and perfectly staggered for climbing.
The playground’s central feature is a train-themed structure that pays homage to the rail history of the Oliver neighbourhood. There are 5 unique ways to climb up – stairs, staggered hexagonal platforms, a climbing wall, a twisted ladder and a climbing pole.
There are two great slides, a smaller one definitely designed for the younger set, and a bigger one for the bigger kids. Piano bars and steering wheels add nice touches to the upper portion of the train, while the space below offers an ideal spot for imaginative play, right down to the barred ticket window.
Kitchener Park also offers a spacious spray park area. The equipment is limited, with a couple of directional sprayers, a bucket setup and a few other water sources. The equipment is bright and colourful, based on cement and perfect for a hot day!
A beautiful mural decorates the small bathroom and change room building. Spray park visitors should know the facilities aren’t open at all times – a sign on the door says they will only be unlocked during the park’s Green Shack programs.
The entire playground at Kitchener Park is based in rubber park flooring. There is no sand, but there is plenty of grass and trees on either side of the playground. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables surrounding the play area, and lots of space for picnic blankets too! The parkland was set aside by community groups in 1923 and the trees were provided by the Oliver Community League. The entire space is a lovely refuge in the heart of this busy Edmonton neighbourhood.