Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sedgeley Park, Alderley/Newmarket (AKA New Park)

There is a small park to the very side of Sedgeley Park - it's run down, broken in parts and I thought was on the verge of becoming dangerous. Not so long ago caution tape was put around many of its features and the playground was officially off limits. Within weeks, the foundations of a brand new park - over the other side of the area - began to take shape. A brand new park! Exciting. We drove past ever day wondering what it would feature, what would be the main structure, how would the formation take place. Finally last week it was done. We hit it hard the next day. Map is here. You'll know it as the park behind the dog off leash park and right next to Newmarket Pool.

This new park has the best and the worst of modern park features. My family think that it perhaps has one of the best attractions ever at a park - high praise! The spinning climbing cone combines everything that we love - climbing, spinning and the thrill of possible danger (although there really is none unless you make it go at super duper speeds - which of course we did). Cody climbed inside and held on for dear life. Adam did a few rotations spinning it around and then jumped inside, shifting the center of the weight and making it spin at alarmingly fast speeds. I was surprised the day didn't end in vomiting actually. It was super fun and I think they spent 90% of the time at this park doing that. Would it have been as fun if Cody didn't have her dad with her making it go outrageously fast? Perhaps not as she had some trouble making the weight of the cone shift to move it around. But it was fun to climb around and inside of too.

The worst feature would be the rocking boat. I really hope this does not become the standard of "wow" for new parks. It's pointless for small parks like this. You can't shift it without a parent and only doing it with one kid is really not all that enjoyable for anyone. There is one at New Farm Park but given the volume of kids there its slightly more enjoyable (I think this is an attraction which requires sharing of joy - doing it by yourself is not really great but having a gaggle of kids to share the experience with makes it infinitely more enjoyable). I'm just not a fan of this feature.

The main tower feature is built for bigger kids - 4 and over I'd say. You have to climb to get up to the slide - and its quite a tall slide too. There is a chain wall, a shaped pole and a climbing wall to help you get up and even our spectacular climber Cody had some troubles the first go.

On the high side of the playground is the more traditional aspects, although the flash new design is anything but traditional. I was really impressed with the see-saw design and think it's a really good looking piece for the park. And of course the mega climbing frame - which seems to come standard with most new parks to attract the older kids - and the swings (the swing seat was a different design to what we are used to also - its more of a firmer material which holds you in better).

We stopped at the local store on the way and bought sandwich fixings to make up a picnic lunch and had a nice time completely undisturbed. I stated at the time that no matter how many times we visit this park I don't think we are ever going to see another person playing there - it just feels really isolated in a way!

If this is the new park design then I think we are in for some great parks in the future. A rating of 8.


Age Groups: Suits the older crowd. Cody (at 4) is very happy here but I don't think there will be much for Mika when she starts walking.
Kid Friendliness: no one else around
Parent Friendliness: as above
Shadiness: i was worried about this - we went at noon and it was pretty hot - but within half an hour the shade of the nearby pine trees started to cover the park
Tricked Out: nah, not at all really (the spinning cone was amazing though)
Picnic/BBQ: there is one BBQ and one undercover table
Shabbiness: the park was one day old so it was clean
Toilets: there is a toilet block nearby. I was expecting the worst but it was surprisingly okay.
Hovering Required: No, the park is small
Bring Yr Bike: No
Crowded: no
Wow: no wow just a solid park

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