Today, we visited a playground that transported me back to the Netherlands, where I had playground every with every new place to play we discovered. The best part? It was tucked away, here in our own backyard, at one of the places we day trip to frequently, Red Deer.
Located in Waskasoo Park, beside the the Kerry Wood Nature Centre; Imagination Grove Playground looks small at first – but there are four defined sections for kids to play, from a table and chalk area, to a musical area, to a climbing structure and slide, and a natural play area where they can experiment with sand and water, with a hand pump!
Tucked away in the playgrounds are hidden gems like small tables and chairs created from trees, climbing structures created from natural slabs of cement, xylophones tucked up and made from wood, and plenty of wildlife and squirrels, running through. Shade, natural shade, as it’s created in a small wooded area, is one of the reasons that I loved it – and the grass starting to grow in the Harmony Garden was soft, and perfect for sitting while the children explored.
We played for ninety minutes, as the kids ran around, from one storyline to another, playing a game where they pretended to be muscial fairies, and quickly jumping off to living in a treehouse in the woods because their parents had abandoned them there (clearly they watch too many Disney movies). It was one of the best playgrounds we’ve visited in Alberta and something that I hope to see more of in Edmonton.
Imagination Grove is a fantastic place to play and discover, and there are trails for biking, or walking (there’s a 1km, kid-friendly-length loop to explore) and trails that are stroller friendly in the area and day-use picnic tables, with fire pits. There’s an interpretive centre with incredibly creative mobiles hanging from the ceiling and plenty to explore inside, and is one of the best natural areas that we’ve explored in Alberta to keep the kids entertained.
Find Imagination Grove Playground at 6300 45 Ave, in Red Deer. Stop there on your way home from the beach at Sylvan Lake, or before heading to Discovery Canyon – it’s worth a side trip!