South Hills Mom

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

Pine Tree Park, Bethel Park

on August 29, 2013

Pine Tree Park is a neighborhood playground that’s tucked quietly among the houses in a Bethel Park neighborhood off of Horning Road.  It has several different play areas and was nicely maintained.  Also, true to its name, it’s surrounded by pine trees, so my little girl had fun collecting pine cones (this was the first time she discovered them)!

Pine Tree Park, N Street, Bethel Park

Pine Tree Park, Bethel Park

This playground features:

  • a small play structure with steps, a ladder, a net-style ladder, and two slides (one slightly bumpy, one double)
  • a larger play structure with steps, a ladder, a curved ladder, and two slides (one tall, one curved)
  • a swing set with three regular swings and one infant swing (but the infant swing has a chain instead of the regular front part of the swing)
  • a spring bouncer area, with two horses that bounce opposite of each other, a frog bouncer, and an airplane bouncer
  • a covered picnic pavilion
  • a basketball hoop

My thoughts on this playground:

  • The “infant swing” really can’t be used by infants because there is no front support other than a chain.  I was at the park once with a friend and her son, who was almost two at the time, fell through of it and the chain caught him in the neck.  He was okay, other than being very upset, but it terrified my friend (and me).  I’m not sure what age this swing would be appropriate for, but I didn’t put my 8 month old in it!  0 out of 5 stars from him.
  • Almost everything at this playground was perfect for my toddler (the swings being the only exception).  Even the larger play structure was appropriate for her to use, so she had free reign of this park.  I liked the location of it – how it was back from the road and she could explore the area safely.  The area with the bouncers was a hit, since there were a few different options for her.  She really enjoyed herself, and particularly enjoyed finding pine cones, so she would probably give this park 4 out of 5 stars.
  • I thought this was a nice park.  It might be our favorite so far in Bethel Park because it was nicely maintained, had (mostly) appropriate play structures, and was in a kid-friendly location.  I just can’t get over that swing with the chain, though – I’ve ONLY seen them in BP, and I don’t know why they would choose to have that style of swing.  The parking is a bit ambiguous, too.  The park has a single lane driveway and it appears as though you can park on the side in the grass.  This is what I did (a kid in the neighborhood told me it was ok), but the whole time I felt like I parked my car in someone’s yard (which I don’t really think I did, because the home had a fence that was several feet away from where I parked).  If we go back I would probably just park on the street and walk up the driveway – it’s not that far.  I would give this park 3 out of 5 stars, because it’s geared for smaller kids and because of the swing situation.
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