South Hills Mom

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

Gill Hall Park, Jefferson Hills

on August 7, 2013

Gill Hall Park is located off of Gill Hall Road at the location of the Gill Hall Community Center.  The premises also house basketball courts, volleyball courts, and a walking trail that surrounds the playground.  There are also picnic pavilions which may be reserved for a special occasion.

Gill Hall Park, 1255 Gill Hall Road, Jefferson Hills

big kid play area

I’ve driven by this park a few times when visiting friends in the Jefferson Hills area.  When we embarked on our “under-discovered treasure hunt” to find the playgrounds hidden in our community this one immediately popped in my mind.  We’ve driven past it, I’ve noticed it, yet we’ve never actually gotten out and played there!  Now that we’ve been there, we will definitely be visiting again soon.

This playground features:

  • a play area for older children that includes a large climbing structure with three slides (one tunnel, one twisting, one short and straight), several entry points (low climbing platforms, an arched ladder, access from monkey bars), a couple different monkey bars, a stand-on bouncer, and a megaphone
  • a play area that consists exclusively of different kinds of monkey bars and climbing structures
  • a play area for younger children that includes a smaller climbing structure with two slides (one straight, one curved), multiple entry points (low climbing platforms, twisting pole, poles with ledges to climb up), a tic-tac-toe spinning board, and a steering wheel
  • two spring bouncy animals
  • a sandbox
  • a swing set with two regular swings and two infant swings
  • a tire swing
  • two picnic pavilions

My thoughts on this playground:

  • My seven month old enjoyed swinging.  5 out of 5 stars for him.  (If you can’t tell by now, he’s pretty easy to please!)
  • My toddler was in an adventurous mood and therefore wanted nothing to do with the toddler area, other than a brief ride on the springy duck.  She wanted to play in the sand, but I wasn’t up for that today.  I liked that I was able to redirect her away from the sand area; the toddler play area is right by the sandbox but the other parts of the playground are further away.  Once it was out of sight, it was out of her mind.  She liked climbing up on the older kid playground, which was much too high for my liking.  However, it was easy for me to climb up there with her, so she was able to explore the big kid slides.  She enjoyed being pushed on the tire swing, and liked that she could swing by her brother.  She would probably give this playground 4 out of 5 stars.  It was fun, there was a lot she could do, but there was a lot she couldn’t do, too, which frustrated her.  There wasn’t any one thing that stuck out as her favorite thing to do at this playground.  She kind of just did everything a little bit and moved on.
  • I liked that this playground had parking and a mulched trail that led from the parking lot to the playground.  The trail is bordered by black tubing, which kind of reigned my toddler in, which helped since she wanted nothing to do with the stroller.  I wish my daughter wanted to play on the much more age appropriate toddler playground, but she wanted to go on the anxiety-inducing “big kid” playground instead.  I didn’t feel comfortable with her walking around up there without me.  But that’s to be expected when your 20 month old child thinks she’s full grown!  It was a nice, clean playground, and was very well maintained.  I would give this playground 4 out of 5 stars.  It was fun for many ages, and we will definitely go back!  I think that preschoolers and school-aged kids would enjoy it more than toddlers.  I would like if there was more shade, since the only shade was under the picnic pavilions.
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