by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent
Chances are, if you live on the South Shore, your town has an excellent playground. If you’re the parent, grandparent, or caretaker of a young child, you probably spend a lot of time there already. Ready to explore some different scenery? The aim of Explore South Shore is to suggest outdoor activities for everyone, not just hikers and paddlers. This month we’ve compiled a list of great playgrounds up and down the South Shore! On your next playdate, consider branching out and seeing what other towns have to offer.
The Get Outdoors section of NSRWA’s website features 66 different properties with playgrounds, skate parks or athletic fields, and each month we continue to add more! Make our website your #1 resource for discovering places to hike, play, fish, paddle, take photographs, … or just sit!
And don’t miss our 2023 Explore South Shore Challenge, Know Your Local Waters. Each week we feature a river, stream, pond or other waterway, and highlight public places you can visit to experience it first-hand. Watch for daily posts on Facebook and Instagram. The program also includes a weekly trivia question, with a chance to win a custom NSRWA prize package.
The wooded Gaffield Park, in the watershed of Second Herring Brook features multi-activity playground structures for younger and older children, with rubber underfoot. Also, short trails, a sledding hill, and access to the Norwell Pathway, a paved bike and walking path. ADA access. Limited on-site parking at 68 River Street.
The Seaside Fun Playground features several modern play structures, swings, slides, a zip line, and a sloping hill. Fenced-in, with a rubber surface, it has sections for older and younger children. Located at 15 Henry Turner Bailey Road, in the Bound Brook watershed, next to the North Scituate MBTA. ADA access. Ample on-site parking.
Located behind the Paul Pratt Memorial Library, in the James Brook watershed, the Cohasset Library Playground features a large climbing structure for older children, a smaller climbing structure for younger children, plus a rock wall, slides, swings, a rope ladder, and a sandbox — fully fenced-in, with wood chips underfoot. Ample on-site parking at 35 Ripley Road.
The Hingham Community Playground, located in the Tower Brook watershed, is fenced-in, and contains a variety of play structures for toddlers and elementary-age children, such as swings, a sandbox, and slides, with sand and wood chips underfoot, and some shade trees. On-site parking at 10 Playground Road.
The grassy, fenced-in Kenberma Playground features swings and play structures for toddlers and elementary-age children, with wood chips underfoot. Located in the Boston Harbor watershed, with limited perimeter parking at 435 Nantasket Ave.
The tree-lined Weston Park, located behind Tufts Library, features two playgrounds, a picnic area, a butterfly garden, a nature observation platform, walking paths and athletic fields. ADA access. Ample on-site parking at 46 Broad Street. Part of the Smelt Brook watershed.
The 22-acre Watson Park, on the Monatiquot River, features athletic fields, a playground, and a seasonal splash pad, plus access to the (1-mile) Monqtiquot River Walk. Ample on-site parking at 2 Gordon Road.
The recently-renovated Beaver Brook Playground on the Shumatuscacant River features swings, slides, climbing structures and sections for younger and older children, with rubber and wood chips underfoot. There is also a woodland trail and a small fishing pond. Limited on-site parking on Ralph Hamlin Jr. Blvd.
The sprawling Hartsuff Park Recreation Area, in the Cushing Brook watershed, features a playground, a 9-hole disc golf course, and a mile of nature trails, plus a swimming pond. Ample on-site parking at the 146 Hingham Street entrance.
The grassy, 14-acre Whitman Town Park, in the Shumatuscacant River watershed features a pond with a water fountain, broad walking paths, numerous benches and memorials, plus athletic fields and a playground. ADA access. Ample perimeter parking at 141 Whitman Avenue.
The Hanover Playground features areas for younger and older children, with swings, slides, climbing structures, plus wood chips underfoot. Trees around the fenced perimeter provide some shade. Located in the Indian Head River watershed. Ample on-site parking at 495 Hanover Street.
A fun and fenced-in Kids at Play Park, in the South River watershed, features swings, slides, tunnels, ladders, ramps, and numerous interconnected play structures, plus a climbing rock and a shade structure. ADA access. Ample on-site parking in Library Plaza.
The Birch Street Playground, in the Pine Brook watershed, features play structures for both younger and older children, fenced-in, with wood chips underfoot. There are swings, slides, a climbing web, a seesaw, as well as a 0.5-mile trail into the woods. ADA access. Large on-site parking lot at 160 Birch Street.
The spacious, fenced-in playground at the Duxbury Library features areas for younger and older children, with swings, slides, tunnels, climbing structures, and bouncing equipment, plus wood chips and rubber mats underfoot. Ample on-site parking at 77 Alden Street, in the Bluefish River watershed.
Right Field Playground, designed for preschool and elementary age children with swings, slides and monkey bars, is fenced-in and has wood chips underfoot. Located directly behind the Reed Community House and Bailey Memorial Playfields, in the watershed of Halls Brook, with its own parking area and driveway on Landing Road.
The HOPS Playground, also known as the Halifax Open Play Space, is located next to the Holmes Library in the watershed of Stump Brook. Fenced-in, and designed for preschool and elementary aged children, it features swings, slides, climbing structures, and fun features such as a biplane, a seesaw, a tunnel, and a “treehouse.” The surface is wood chips and rubber. Ample on-site parking at 499 Plymouth Street.
The sprawling, contemporary Carver Community Playground is located behind the Town Hall, in the watershed of South Meadow Brook. It features play areas for older and younger children, both with rubber surfaces. Highlights include swings, slides, climbing structures, and a sandbox. ADA access. Ample on-site parking at 110 Main Street.
Forges Field, Plymouth’s largest athletic playing field complex, also features a large playground and a 1.5-mile paved walking trail. Located at 83 Jordan Road, in the Eel River watershed, with ADA access and ample on-site parking.
Kezia Bacon’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. You will also find 26+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2023 Challenge, visit https://www.nsrwa.org/get-outdoors/2023-explore-south-shore-challenge