South Hills Mom

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

Hays Park, Upper St. Clair

on August 15, 2013

Having visited many playgrounds in many different places, I can confidently say that Upper St. Clair playgrounds never disappoint.  Some may have different features than others, some are more toddler-friendly than others, some are more innovative than others…but they are always clean, well-maintained, and thoughtfully designed.  Today’s playground, Hays Park, is no exception.

Hays Park, Hays Road, Upper St. Clair

Hays Park, Upper St. Clair

Hays Park is in a neighborhood where you aren’t quite sure if you’re in Upper St. Clair, Peters Township, or Bethel Park.  But once you arrive and see the spray pad shooting water in the distance you know for sure it’s an Upper St. Clair park!

(In case anyone else is curious, I did contact Upper St. Clair to inquire about the source of the water they use at their playgrounds.  A representative from the parks and rec department confirmed that “the water is treated and is like water that would come into your home.”)

This playground features:

  • a large playground structure with two slides (one twisting, one double), low climbing platforms, a curved ladder, fireman’s pole, and spiral pole
  • monkey bars
  • a zip slide
  • a toddler playground structure with low climbing platforms, a bubble window, and a short double slide
  • a spray pad
  • a swing set with two regular swings and two infant swings
  • covered picnic pavilion
  • tennis court
  • basketball court
  • limited on-street parking

My thoughts on this playground:

  • My seven month got to swing…5 out of 5 stars for this easy-to-please little guy!
  • Even though it was a chilly morning, my toddler had to immediately go check out the spray pad, getting soaking wet within the first couple of minutes.  She then enjoyed climbing up the designed-for-much-older-kids curved ladder and scooting her soaking wet bottom down the twisting slide.  She also enjoyed swinging with her brother.  We visited this park with a friend who has two little girls, ages 2 1/2 and 1, and all three of our girls went up the toddler playground steps and down the toddler slide exactly ONE time before abandoning it for the much more exciting bigger playground.  My daughter would probably give this 5 out of 5 stars.
  • I didn’t know that this park had a spray pad, so that could be a bonus or a negative depending on how you look at it.  My friend and I tried and failed to find a way to turn the water off.  (Does anyone out there know the secret??)  I wish the toddler area was more exciting to entice the toddlers to play on it a little more.  Ultimately this is a great park for preschoolers and older, since our toddlers were often more interested in climbing the steps to the basketball court than they were in the features of this park.  Since it was only semi-toddler friendly I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, but will visit again on a warmer day to take advantage of that spray feature!

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