South Hills Mom

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

Hamilton Park, Castle Shannon

on August 10, 2013

Hamilton Park is located just off of Route 88 in Castle Shannon.  It’s a pretty large park with a tennis court, baseball field, basketball court, picnic pavilions and two play areas.  We visited the playground by the upper parking lot, from which you can access the lower playground by following an exercise trail that winds through the park.

Hamilton Park, Terrace Drive, Castle Shannon

Hamilton Park, main play area

The upper level playground at Hamilton Park was very spacious and well kept.  There were three separate play areas; one for toddlers, one for preschoolers and school-aged kids, and one for school-aged kids and up.  Having no fear, my toddler visited all three areas, and she thoroughly enjoyed herself at this park!

This playground features:

  • a toddler play area with a climbing structure accessible by low platforms or a rock wall.  The structure has a large landing with two slides.
  • a larger play area with a climbing structure accessibly by stairs, a curving ladder, or a rock wall.  It features a bridge and a tunnel, which lead to two slides (one double, one curved).
  • a climbing play area, with many different kinds of monkey bars.
  • a swing set with one infant swing and one regular swing.
  • a family swing
  • picnic pavilion
  • full restroom facilities

Though we didn’t visit the lower playground, I did drive by it.  It has a typical play structure with slides and a “truck” designed from wood and poles.  I know my daughter would love playing on that truck, but it started to rain so our fun had to end.  It also has a blacktop area with a four square box painted in.  Four square was one of my favorite recess games when I was growing up, so I was happy to see it at this park!

My thoughts on this playground:

  • My seven month old enjoyed swinging and hanging out in the shade.  5 out of 5 stars from him!
  • My toddler checked out all three play areas.  She attempted to climb a pole in the climbing area, with no success.  She enjoyed climbing the curved ladder (with my help) in the larger play area.  She was disappointed that the bridge wasn’t bouncy, though!  The best part of this playground was that the toddler area was actually her favorite part!  The rock wall in the toddler area is perfect for little kids – it’s sort of like a slide with knobs in it for them to climb up.  She thought it was the BEST thing ever, and must have climbed up it 20 times.  The toddler area also has a tunnel slide, which usually my daughter just likes to yell in to, but since it was a short slide she wasn’t too intimidated to slide down.  Hopefully this will help her get over her apprehension toward tunnel slides (though with this girl, I’m kind of glad SOMETHING gives her a little trepidation!).  She was laughing and grinning ear to ear the whole time she was playing in the toddler area, so I think she would give this 5 out of 5 stars.
  • I LOVE that the toddler area was so enticing to my toddler!  I like that it featured some of the favorite parts of bigger playgrounds (rock walls and tunnel slides), and make them toddler-friendly.  I like that even right in the middle of the day there was a lot of shade, and that there was a paved trail leading from the parking lot for our stroller.  I particularly enjoyed the family swing; since both of my kids love to swing it was fun to do it all together.  We will definitely return to this playground, and I would also give it 5 out of 5 stars for it’s range of activities for different ages.
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