South Hills Mom

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

The Playground Awards!

on September 6, 2013

To celebrate the end of my playground-a-day series in the month of August, I present you with The Playground Awards!  These awards were given based on my own subjective opinion, with the exception of the “Readers’ Choice Award,” which was voted on by readers.  Enjoy!

Best Playgrounds for Toddlers:

FIRST PLACE:  Baker Park (Upper St. Clair)


Baker Park is designed for toddlers, so it’s a clear front-runner for this award!  Everything is low to the ground and easy to climb on, and the equipment encourages toddlers to try new things (like climb a short rope ladder, or bounce on the bikes).  Add in swings, a shaded sandbox, and a port-a-potty for potty emergencies, and you have a very toddler-centered playground!

SECOND PLACE: Mt. Lebanon Main Park – With it’s architectural approach to play, toddlers can explore and play in their own way!

THIRD PLACE:  North Strabane Municipal Park – I haven’t met a toddler who doesn’t like trains, so the train play area makes this a top pick!


Best Playgrounds for Climbers

FIRST PLACE:  Evans Park (South Park)

rock wall

In addition to this really awesome rock wall, the entire structure is pretty much ONLY accessible by climbing like a monkey up some wall, ladder, or pole.  With monkey bars galore, this is the perfect park for big kids who seek to conquer the world!

SECOND PLACE:  Upper St. Clair Municipal Park – Multiple rock walls (including ones for toddlers), monkey bars, and other climbing features make this park a good one for climbers, too!

THIRD PLACE:  Canonsburg Town Park – Another awesome rock wall at this park!


Best Playgrounds for Multiple Ages

FIRST PLACE:  Hamilton Park, Castle Shannon

toddler area

With three distinct play areas, there’s something for everyone at this park.  The toddler play area is also impressive enough to engage toddlers and attract them away from the big kid area, too!  There’s even a family swing for adults to enjoy.

SECOND PLACE:  Peterswood Park, Peters Township – This park also features multiple play areas, with each area having more than enough to occupy the targeted age group.

THIRD PLACE:  Gill Hall Park, Jefferson Hills – This is a large playground with many options for all ages!  The sandbox in the toddler area gives the little ones some extra fun!


Most Unique Playgrounds:

FIRST PLACE:  Colewood Park, Bridgeville

Colewood, entrance

I think a wooden playground designed like a castle is pretty unique!  There are tons of features of this playground to appreciate.  Everywhere you look is some imaginative design (a tunnel through tires, a wooden platform that sways when you stand on it, etc.).

SECOND PLACE:  Mt. Lebanon Main Park – The architectural features make this playground a special one!

THIRD PLACE:  Wiltshire Park – Though pretty traditional, it does feature a water-spewing seal, which makes it stand out from other playgrounds.


Community with All-Around Best Playgrounds:

Upper St. Clair – HANDS DOWN the nicest playgrounds, with the most features, and most thoughtful designs.  They are the best maintained playgrounds that we visited.  With many of them offering extras like spray pads, athletic courts, and sandboxes, Upper St. Clair parks set the bar for all other parks to live up to!


Readers’ Choice:

Mt. Lebanon Main Park – My favorite park, too, this playground is interesting for kids and adults alike.


Do you agree with my awards?  Did I overlook your favorite play area?  Let me know in the comments below!


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