Manor Park, tucked behind North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, is one of those parks that flies under the radar, but has a lot to offer kids of all ages, and makes for a fun afternoon.
There are three main park areas: the big kids park, the little kids park, and the splash pad.
The big kids park is your basic M-class (or McPark) of molded safety plastic, on a soft, wood chip surface. It’s a bit of a climbers park, as there are a lot of things to ascend, which is good if you’ve got mountain goat kids, but there are parts that are virtually inaccessible to tag-a-long toddlers, so if your son or daughter has a shorty shadow, it might not be the best choice. There are plenty of different kinds of slides, but like most plastic slides I’ve seen, they haven’t got a lot of action to them. Some slides are just more fun going up than going down.
The tot park is more interesting than a lot of them, built around a small play house, it’s good for kids with more imagination than physicality, which attracts big kids too.
The splash pad isn’t epic by any means, but is really fun for the kids, with ample seating for adults, and a great place to have a mid-day picnic if you can score a table.
The park is actually pretty sunny, without much tree cover for the playgrounds, so sunscreen is a must if you’re going in the middle of the day, but it’s relatively cool and shaded in the mornings or late afternoons, with shaded picnic table seating by the playgrounds and splash pad.
Rounding out the park is a tennis court, and a ball field, all well maintained, encompassed by a nice walking path for anyone looking to get a little exercise.
The locals are mainly nice, but there can be some older kids milling about too. The city took out the basketball court last year, which has made the park less popular among teens.
The biggest drawback of the park is the splash pad is a couple hundred feet from the playgrounds, so if you’re going to the park with multiple kids, you have to keep good tabs on them to keep them from splitting up too much. It’s almost impossible to keep an eye on the splash pad from the playground, and vice versa.
Bring either bathing suits, or a change of clothes, because your kids WILL go to the splash pad whether you want them to or not, and you don’t want to drive home with wet carseats. I say just go for it and be prepared, which includes bringing buckets for the splash pad, which I always kick myself for forgetting.
Manor Park is a great park for all ages, and is ideal for active parents who like to stay on their feet, keeping up with their kids. And play as rough as you want, because the hospital’s right across the street :D
Nora: Get wet and run into the tennis courts!
Ratings (out of 5 stars)
Big kids – ****
Little Kids – ***1/2
Parents – **1/2