I haven't done a playground review in a while,but now that it nice and warm, I'm on the hunt for new places to hang out with the kids.
This week took me to Riverfront Park in Rensselaer. If you take the Dunn Memorial Bridge over to the East Greenbush Target (which I do often) you will see this park as you are spit out onto Broadway in Rensselaer.
There are a couple sections of this playground, and some are better than others, so let me explain.
Our first stop was the 'playground' playground. This section had a large selection of slides, ladders, climbing things and it kept my kids busy for an hour. We hit this place after school, so it was quite busy with kids and their parents. I personally was not feeling it because every time the wind blew it would kick up a huge cloud of dust from the neighboring construction yard, but I was apparently the only one who seemed to notice. However, this was my kids favorite place in the park. If it were up to me, we'd avoid it altogether.
Next, we moved on to the swings. You have to walk under the bride to get there, which is kind of cool by itself because it looks so massive. Underneath the bridge are a couple of tennis and basketball courts as well as a little playground set up for younger kids, old fashioned see-saws, teeter-totters (whatever you call them), and those springy animal things you can ride on. (Now if they only had the 15 ft metal slide that burned you on the way down, just like in the olden days, we'd really be in business.)
This part of the park was really beautiful and unexpected. The sun was setting on the Hudson, and it was novel to see Albany from the other side of the river. We took a walk down on the pier (we didn't stay long because my son, who has no fear, was getting way too close to the edge), and enjoyed the views.
On our way back, we walked on a pathway along the river which circles back under the bridge, and found ourselves in another big field where we stopped to watch some baseball practice, kite flying, and did some lady bug observing.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. It never looked like much when I was driving above it, but after wandering around, I'd like to go back. There are plenty of picnic tables and they have free music performances in the summer. You can also check out the murals on the concrete columnswhich were part of a park beautification project in 1995 by the Rensselaer Artists' Movement Society. (The sentiment is there, but let's just say you can tell they are from 1995.)
Purple Dinosaur Rating: None. But the river is a nice touch.