I don’t know about you, but I love a good park playdate. The kids get to run wild and free with their friends, we all get a little fresh air and vitamin D, and I get to chat with another mama. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for parks in and near Boston that have everything I need for the perfect park playdate.
My perfect playdate park has some type of walking trails to fit in a little exercise and time for the moms to talk before heading to the playground. The playground is preferably toddler-friendly and fully fenced in (#twintoddlermomproblems). I love to have a spot in the shade for a picnic lunch. And there are bonus points for restrooms or water features!
Here are six perfect playdate parks to try in and near Boston:
Cushing Memorial Park, Framingham
Cushing Memorial Park is a bit of a drive for me, but it’s well worth it. There’s a wonderful paved path around the perimeter, so my mama friends and I squeeze in a pretty decent stroller walk whenever we meet up here. It’s 1.4 miles around, and if you go counterclockwise you’ll hit the playground about three-fourths of the way around. The playground is amazing and allows for a lot of imaginative play with toadstools, musical structures, and small rock caves. There are also picnic tables, shady trees, port-a-potties, and huge green spaces for running around.
Newton Centre Playground, Newton Center
Newton Centre Playground is a great place to meet up with other mamas. While there aren’t really walking trails, it is very close to Newton Center, and a walk into town to grab coffee is a refreshing way to start or end a playdate. The fully fenced-in toddler playground is accessible for all little ones with its rubber surface, ramps, and sensory-pleasing features like chimes. There are also bathrooms, tennis and basketball courts, fields, and a big-kid structure if you have older children.
Larz Anderson, Brookline
Larz Anderson is one of my favorite parks to visit with and without kids. It’s beautiful, with views of the city from the top of the hill, walking paths around a pond with a fountain, fields for running, a playground, restrooms, and picnic tables. You can also use this park for playdates year round because there’s sledding and ice skating in the winter!
Hunnewell Park, Wellesley
Hunnewell almost has it all. While the playground is still a little big for my littles, all the running around they can do at the tennis courts and fields makes up for it. My favorite aspect of this park, though, is that the walking path is directly connected to Whole Foods. You can grab coffee and a snack or a whole picnic lunch for your playdate!
The Esplanade offers a beautiful place for mamas to walk and kids to watch boats, bikers, and birds. There are three playgrounds on the Esplanade, but the Charlesbank Playground at the east end is my favorite. It is fully fenced in, with toddler-friendly structures and a spray deck. The Stoneman Playground near Mass. Ave. also has a fenced toddler area, and the Esplanade Playground near the Hatch Shell is very cool and imaginative but geared toward older kids.
Beaver Brook Reservation, Belmont
Beaver Brook is probably the best spot on this list for nature lovers. There are fields, woodlands, a waterfall, ponds, and marshes to explore on the north side of the park. On the south side, there is a spray park and small playground. You will also find restrooms and covered picnic areas near the spray park, making this a great spot for a park playdate!
I would love to find more perfect playdate parks to check out. Let me hear your favorites!