If you’re anything like me, when you heard about the renovations of Valplayso in 2014, your heart sank a bit. The playground had an awesome castle theme with ropes, tires, slides, and a maze of pathways up and down the larger structures. Sure, it was getting a bit worn out at 20 years old, but the creativity and care of the whole place was so unique.
Then I saw the new one.
I’ve heard mostly positive, with a few negative reviews about it, but I love the new Valplayso playground. From the improved parking lot to the pavilion nearby, the playground is well thought out, spacious, and a great example of community teamwork. There are now rocket ships, a fire truck, improved slides, and even a trampoline! So, without further ado, here are my five favorite things about Valplayso.
Little Viking Tot Lot
I love that there is a separate toddler area at the playground. Older kids are a lot more mobile, and when they’re mixed in with the tiny ones, it tends to create some issues. With a separate tot area full of age appropriate obstacles and interactive items, it makes the younger kids happier and safer.
There are various balance oriented obstacles on the playground, which I love. My daughter feels so accomplished when she crosses the mushrooms in the toddler area (because yeah, she still likes to start there before running to the swings), and on the other half of the playground, there are more advanced balancing obstacles for older kids to enjoy.
I remember zip lines from elementary school and they were always so much fun! Valplayso features two, one of which has a fully strapped seat, making it accessible for special needs and wheelchair bound children (turns out, the poured rubber ground and select swings make it more accessible too!) It’s a short ride across the zip line, but I’ve seen lines stretching off the platform of kids waiting for their turn.
The largest structure on the playground is a big wooden walkway that leads up to some slides, monkey bars, and poles. While it’s fun for the kids to walk up this and gradually find their way to whatever it is they want to play on, it’s also possible for them to play underneath and explore a whole other world of hidden nooks and crannies. I’ve heard kids playing princesses, pirates, cops and robbers, and all manner of other imagination games underneath the main walkway.
Valplayso is almost completely enclosed, which is fantastic. There is an entrance on each side, making it harder for the kids to sneak out on you. I’m lucky enough that mine follows the rules very well, but for those with a rogue child that likes to run off into open fields, having only couple points of exit lets you breath easier when they duck out of sight.