A couple of weeks ago we decided to go down to Portland to visit my grandmother. We decided to stay at a hotel downtown near OMSI1. I was delight to discover that our Pacific Science Center membership included a reciprocal agreement with OMSI, along with other science center/museums, for free general admission. We all went our first day. However, on our second day Calvin wanted to go back but Julian wanted to go to a playground instead. Several years ago my mom sent me an article about a trend toward natural playgrounds in Portland. I had been wanting to visit one for years but the timing was never convenient. However, Julian’s wish to go to a playground seemed like a good time to try one out.
Julian and I hopped into the car and, trusting Google maps, successfully found the Westmoreland park. There didn’t seem to be a parking lot but street parking was adequate, at least for a drizzly day2. The first thing we saw was a grassy area with a bunch of picnic tables.
From the picnic area we crossed a bridge to get to the play area.
Julian immediately headed for a group of logs installed horizontal to the ground.
He was so proud when he was able to stand up and walk on them.
These logs led to a tower of rocks for kids to climb.
There were a variety of other wood climbing options but they were too big for Julian. I think Calvin would have enjoyed them if he had been there.
They also had some logs propped against a small hill. Julian seemed to enjoy climbing them but they didn’t keep his attention as much as the horizontal logs did.
Overall, it was a fun playground and a lovely park to visit. However, I’m not convinced the “natural” play area has any innate advantage over the more traditional playground.
|Features||Many climbing opportunities on logs, stumps, and stone, small slide, sand area, water area (I think) in summer.|
|Surface Material||Wood chips|
|Shade||Lovely mature trees that look like they might provide a nice amount of shade.|
|Picnic area||Yes, though main picnic area isn’t within site of the play area.|
View Random Parks and Playgrounds in a larger map
- Still my favorite science museum. ↩
- Contrary to what the pictures show, the park had a lot of people in it. I was just trying to avoid taking pictures of other people. This is one reason I haven’t done a post about Gas Works Playground yet. It’s always mobbed and impossible to avoid pictures of other children. ↩