The Meadowview neighbourhood in Leduc is like any of the dozens of new developments popping up in the sprawling capital region – lovely, just-built houses mixed with basement pilings; bulldozers and minivans sharing the streets – but it has one tiny but important difference. Somewhere in this sea of construction crews and young families is one of our area’s newest and most unique parks – Meadowview Dinosaur Playground.
The playground opened in 2015. It was build to commemorate an historic find – In 2013, a construction crew working in the neighbourhood uncovered a complete hadrosaur skeleton. The city contributed $100,000 toward the new playground, and the designer worked with representatives from the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller to bring the prehistoric theme to life.
My google map plopped me in the middle of the neighbourhood with not a park in site. I rolled down my window and flagged down a couple of young mothers with babes in arms. They pointed me toward a nondescript street on the edge of the development. Sure enough, as we turned the corner, a rather impressive red and grey playground appeared before our eyes.
Meadowview Dinosaur Playground is a beautiful harmony of classic design and intricate detail. The dinosaur theme is apparent in every feature, starting with the impressive dinosaur tree slide that anchors the largest part of the main playground. Wind your way up the (small) spiral staircase in the centre of the trunk to the treehouse-like platforms linking you to slides and bridges. No detail is spared in the park – climbing walls and tunnels look like boulders, dinosaurs adorn the tops of posts. The toddler park is a similar, scaled-down version of the main structure. Arguably the coolest feature (and it’s hard to pick one coolest feature in a park like this!) is the kid-sized zipline – a tethered platform kids can stand or sit on and slide across a rope course that runs the length of the park. The zipline was the first of its kind to be installed in the province.
My kids gravitated to some of the amazing dinosaur extras featured at the park. Our two favourites were the giant, bouncing dino egg you can sit in, and the skeleton structure that can serve as a fort, climbing wall AND photo opportunity! (sit inside the impressive jaw, if you dare!) They also loved practicing parkour on petrified platforms, and channeling their inner paleontologists on the very realistic fossil table.
Meadowview Dinosaur Playground is a well thought out, and genuinely fun park. It made our list of 12 Playgrounds Worth the Drive in and around Edmonton, and while it features a porta-potty and picnic tables, it’s likely not the venue that will hold your attention for a full day. If you’re not a Leduc resident, and you’re going to make the drive, you may want to combine your trip with another local activity. (May we suggest an ice-cream stop at Happy Chappy, where you can choose from 50 flavours; or, if you’re up for a full day of fun, check out the new Premium Outlet Collection at the Edmonton International Airport.)
Meadowview Dinosaur Playground:
Where: Just off Meadowview Blvd., West of C.W. Gaetz Road, Leduc (map)