Making a Pittsburgh Park Visit Memorable for Your Family

September 10, 2019 by Ben Tejes

The U.S boasts of an incredible park system. According to an NRPA Agency Performance Report, the ratio of parks to residents is around 1 park per 2181 people. Besides, there are approximately 10 acres of park for every 1,000 people.

Even with this amazing array of Pittsburgh parks at your disposal, it is understandable that pulling off the ultimate park visit to Riverview or Highland or Frick park with little kids in tow can be pretty challenging. Let's face it; planning a near-flawless visit to the park with very active children accompanying you can seem like an impossibility, right? Continue reading for tips on how you can pull it off successfully.

Find the Right Pittsburgh Park

If you don't go to the right park, then forget about having a visit of a lifetime. With all the Pittsburgh parks at your disposal, you have to apply certain criteria to ensure that you choose well. Check out this list of factors to consider:

  • What ages are most suitable at certain parks? Are there playgrounds or spray parks more suitable for children?
  • Does the park have unique events, like free concerts?
  • Don't forget to check the park's reviews and ratings online.
  • Check the size and location of the park.
  • If you have been to the park previously, consider how that experience went.
  • Find out if the park has areas with shades, especially if the weather is very hot, or if there are public pools or spray parks nearby.

Make Prior Plans

With small children involved in a park visit, the aspect of advance planning becomes even more crucial. Make sure that you have packed necessary items such as hand sanitizers, wipes, sunscreen... just to mention a few.

Remember also to include the correct footwear and clothing for your park visit. If you're going to a park with a pool or water feature, swimsuits and an extra outfit per child is a necessity. Ensure that you have planned well for all activities, including food and refreshments, as well as napping schedules.

Planning well in advance may seem unimportant, but planning prevents you from forgetting crucial items at home.

Maximize Your Time at the Park

After deciding which park you'll visit and making prior plans, it is time to hit the road. The first activity after you arrive at the park is to arrange a central spot for all the things you have brought. It is in your best interests to choose a spot with enough shade to avoid items getting spoiled by the heat.

After you have settled in, now comes the fun!

With a variety of structures and slides in the park, there is no limit to the amount of fun that you can have with your kids. You can also chase your kids around the park to get those extra steps in. For more ideas on how to make the most out of your next park visit, check out the Parks Rx program.

Pack Up and Discuss Your Experience

As the park visit winds up, try to leave the park in the same tidy condition that you found it in, if not better. Also, ensure that your kids expect another park visit soon. The best time to start packing is around 10-20 minutes before leaving the park for a smooth, stress-free end to a beautiful day.

The main objective of a park visit is to have fun; therefore, after the visit, it is important to talk about the experience, including what stood out about the park, and what was disappointing. From this conversation, your family will be able to better plan for your next park adventure. With these tips, the next Pittsburgh park visit is bound to be memorable and exciting for your family.

Ben Tejes pictureBen Tejes is a writer for Ascend and Saved by the Cents, through which he provides resources to help people achieve financial freedom.

 

Interested in submitting writing or art to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy blog? Send submissions, with a short bio and image of yourself, to kteslik@pittsburghparks.org. The PPC blog currently reaches 2k+ direct subscribers. Blogs are also shared on PPC social media sites, which have 45k+ followers and in monthly PPC e-newsletters, which are received by 27k+ subscribers. Blogs can consist of creative or informational writing, photo essays, or illustrations. Content must be suitable for all ages.