South Hills Mom

a mom's guide to kid-friendly resources in the South Hills

Mt. Lebanon Main Park

on August 6, 2013

Today’s playground is part of the Mt. Lebanon Main Park, which also includes numerous ball fields, tennis courts, the community center, a swimming pool, and many other amenities.  The park is beautiful and spacious, and the playground is nestled in among rolling hills.  I met a couple friends there this morning; two wonderful women I met through the MOMS Club of South Hills.  Between the three of us we have five children (and one on the way!) ranging in ages from seven months to 2 1/2 years old.  This park had something for everyone today, and I think the moms enjoyed it as much as the kids did!

Mt. Lebanon Main Park, Morgan Drive, Mt. Lebanon

Toddler/Preschooler area

This playground has a few different sections; a toddler/preschooler playground, an area with climbing structures, and two different swing sets.  We spent two hours at this playground and we all had to drag our kids away because it was time for lunch.  They could have easily kept playing for another hour!

This playground features:

  • a toddler/preschooler-friendly climbing apparatus with two slides, a rock wall, a rope lattice, low climbing platforms, and two slides (one slightly curved, one double).
  • a toddler/preschooler-friendly see saw
  • a four-seated springy bouncer
  • spinning “bowls” for kids to sit in and spin
  • a “sailboat” climbing feature
  • a rope climbing feature
  • a metal jungle gym
  • a spinning circle
  • two swing sets; one with 4 regular swings, one with 2 infant swings and 4 regular swings
  • full restroom facilities (in the lower parking lot)
  • picnic pavilions

I know I didn’t include everything.  This playground has one surprise after another.  And I also realize my descriptions are a little vague, and they really don’t do the features justice!  The “spinning circle,” for example, is a large, plastic, tilted circle that spins.  Our kids played on this thing for no less than 30 minutes, first standing in the middle of the circle trying to figure out what it did, then climbing on the circle, then eventually persuading the moms (and other kids) to push them as they rode it like a train!  I wasn’t able to get a picture of the spinning circle, as the kids wouldn’t leave it alone long enough for me to snap a pic!

My thoughts on this playground:

  • My seven month old thought it was a great place to take a nap.  It was partially shaded, so he was nice and cool.  I mostly wore him in a baby carrier because my toddler was all over the place, but I was able to bring the stroller up, too, so he spent some time watching the “big kids” play from the front seat of the double stroller.  Had he been awake and wanting to play he could have gone in one of the two infant swings.  He would give this playground 5 out of 5 stars.
  • The toddlers LOVED this playground!  All four toddlers had fun bouncing on the springy bouncers and the seesaw, spinning in the bowls, and climbing and sliding down the slides.  They LOVED the spinning circle, as I mentioned before.  There are also spinning poles with seats at the bottom that they all enjoyed spinning on.  The rope climber and metal jungle gym were a little too advanced for them, but they checked them out anyway.  They also enjoyed running around the premises; there is an open grassy area to run through and a winding mulch path that leads to a picnic pavilion that each toddler had to check out, too.  They would give this playground 5 out of 5 stars.  I heard the 2 1/2 year old talking to her mom on the way out about how much fun she had, and the displeasure on my daughter’s face when I put her in the car told me she felt the same way!
  • I LOVE this playground!  I LOVE how many of the features aren’t typical, straightforward playground features; our kids had to explore them to figure out what they did.  They tried different things and played on them in different ways than other kids played on them.  An older child told us that he likes to run on the spinning circle to make it move.  That is obviously well above the skill level of our little ones, but it just shows one more way to play with this simple feature.  The moms talked about the creativity in the design of this playground, as well as how difficult it would be to master the twisting monkey bars on the metal jungle gym!  I would give this beautiful, unique playground 5 out of 5 stars.  It appeals to kids of all ages, and is a picturesque setting for a playdate.  This will be a playground we return to regularly!

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