If you interact with children at all, odds are you've run into more than one that loves the park. From swings to slides and everything in between, there is something about a trip to the park that brings pure joy into a child’s eyes.
With a nearly five-year-old hopping around my house, I've spent my fair share of time pushing swings and chasing kids around the park. So, here’s a list of my five favorite things about Butterfly Meadows Park in Valparaiso.
I’ve noticed that parks with few slides tend to get a cluster of children arguing, pushing, and generally being impatient over waiting their turn. At Butterfly Meadows that's never been an issue, though, because there are multiple slides of varying heights and craziness for the kids to choose from. If one slide has someone waiting, the kids seem to run to a different one without any prompting.
The playground at Butterfly Meadows is covered in recycled tire bits, or rubber mulch. I’m all for recycling, which makes this great for those reasons anyway, but other than that, the ground is soft and less abrasive than traditional playgrounds. Falls are a breeze and generally don't need much more than brushing off the kneecaps and a quick hug. It leads to fewer scrapes, less fuss, and a whole lot more fun!
Butterfly Meadows has a ton of places on the playground for the kids to climb. If you have a clumsy child like I do, the climbing is a great feature as it allows her to work on her coordination. There are ladders, ropes, walls, and steps all over the place here, which means there is plenty to share and many different surfaces for the kids to climb on.
One of my favorite features of this playground is actually the open field to the north. There you can find tall grasses, flowers, and trees, but if you look more closely, there are trails cut through it. We like to trek over into the grasses and look for bunnies and butterflies, plus, it's a pretty visible space that allows my daughter to run, jump, and yes, even shout as we chase each other along the path. There are also painted, wooden butterflies placed along the path, so if you don't see any real butterflies, you can still have fun spotting some critters!
The small size may not seem like a big benefit at first, but I love it! Some playgrounds make it difficult to see your child, but not Butterfly Meadows. No matter where she wanders off to, it's easy to find her, eliminating that momentary panic I’m sure every parent has felt at the playground. It's also nice because there aren’t an overwhelming number of activities for her to choose from. She gets to play on everything in a short period of time, making it my go-to choice when we’re limited on time.
Butterfly Meadows Park is located at 3210 N Campbell St, Valparaiso, IN and is open from 6am - 11pm.