Nestled towards the back of Upper Gwynedd Township’s popular Parkside Place Park (also home to the Nor-Gwyn Pool and the Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department) is one of the best playgrounds in Montgomery County: Park-Sci Playground. Since it’s construction in 1995, Park-Sci Playground has won multiple awards for being one of the best-of-the-best. It’s a playground that highly engages children’s bodies and minds. Its development as a community-driven project is inspiring. And plus, well, it’s straight-up awesome. 😊 Keep reading to learn more!
Park-Sci Playground is incredibly easy to find once you pull into Parkside Place Park. Just look for the castle! The easiest parking place is the lot adjacent to the police department’s lot.
What To Do at Park-Sci Playground
Here, multiple, large, wooden turrets reach towards the sky – each holding climbing apparatuses, balconies, games, and activities for the kids to enjoy. The largest tower has a twisty, tunnel slide. The “smaller” tower (it’s still pretty large!) holds several more slides. There are several “secret” areas for kids to explore inside too. Find a jail, a store, and a music area!
Connecting two castle areas is a seating area with tons of benches. It’s a great place for parents to sit or for the kids to take a little break.
Around the castles, find several balance beams and bridges that test kids’ abilities to maintain balance. As a parent, I love seeing their bodies challenged in multiple ways that they don’t even realize. This playground allows them to do that.
There’s an area behind the large tower that I jokingly call “the gym.” That’s because this area reminds me of an outdoor workout area. There are monkey bars of multiple heights. This is GREAT when you have kids who aren’t tall or strong enough to do the real thing. There are bars to hang on, spinners to wind around in, and a rock structure that a proficient climber can reach the top.
There’s no absence of swings here. Find several regular, toddler, and accessible swings. My kids are BIG fans of this cool one that allows a toddler to sit with their sibling 😉 .
Find the sandbox on this playground too! Usually there are a few toys lying around. In the right time of day, this area can get shady – which is nice on hot days.
And so, so many slides. Of all sorts of heights.
Towards the back, there’s a separate play structure for children ages 2-5. This one is a more traditional metal/plastic structure as opposed to the wood. It’s also a little closer to the ground.
The sheer environment here just BEGS for kids to jump into an imaginative journey. But as you explore here, you’ll find details all around that get them to think. There are displays about the stars. You can play tic-tac-toe. You can play pretend in those areas with the store, jail, and music. The sandbox lets you build. And naturally, the playground has so much to do that it’s easy for kids to interact and socialize with one another.
Bathrooms can be found in the building between the playground and Nor-Gwyn pool.
Park-Sci Playground is a great spot for a lunch meet-up too! Ample picnic benches can be found outside the main entrance.
The playground has a mix of sun and shade. Though it’s built in what was originally a grove of trees, many spots are completely open to the sun. However, playing in the castle structures allows kids to get time in the shade. Depending on the time of day, though, shade will be available in certain areas.
How The Playground Came To Be
According to the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Park-Sci Playground was constructed in just six days back in June of 1995. How does one complete such a massive, remarkable endeavor? With a whole lot of help! In fact, 3400 volunteers from the community contributed to build this amazing resource that children (and adults) of all abilities can enjoy. After the township identified a need for a playground in Parkside Place Park, community members rallied together to make it happen. The community was able to raise all funds necessary to build, and the playground required no tax-dollars as a result. It’s a pretty great story!
The design of this awesome play-place came with a lot of input too. The architect, Robert Leathers Associates, met with 300 elementary students to integrate their ideas. The combination of professional talent, ingenuity, and imagination definitely shows here.