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  • Writer's picturePeter

Carpenter Park - Cary/Morrisville, NC

Park Points Location: Two entrances, but we entered from 4420 Louis Stephens Drive, Cary, NC. The park is also accessible from Carpenter Town Lane. What we explored: Paved path around the lake and kids playground. Stroller friendly? Yes, there is a completely paved path around the pond and sidewalks to and from the kids play areas and covered pavilion. Toddler friendly? Generally yes. One of the jungle gyms is specifically for little tykes, so that is great, and there are swing options for them. We would recommend exercising caution around the pond, though. A small child could easily fall in. Bathrooms? Yes. Nice sized with 2 stalls. Easy to get a stroller in and out. Very clean, well stocked. Air conditioning and a light came on when I opened the door. There was an electrical outlet up on the wall by the sink, so presumably if you needed to charge something like your phone, that would be possible. Changing table? Yes, in the women's bathroom. Water fountain? A very nice one by the bathrooms. Multiple levels to drink from, and one that even looked like it was for pets. Not spotless, but pretty clean. Also a separate area to fill up a water bottle. Benches/tables? Yes, there are a good amount around the pond, as well as a nice covered pavilion with picnic tables. Covered areas? Yes, there is a covered pavilion by the kids play areas. The toddler play area has a cover, but to be 100% honest, it doesn’t help much. Larger kids play area and the swings are directly in the sun with no cover. Parking? A moderate amount. It might get full on a nice weekend, day, though. Greenway access? Not at the park, but a little ways away on Louis Stephens we saw a greenway entrance. Jungle gyms? Yes, 2 - one for older kids and one for littler toddlers. Plus a group of swings for all ages. Detailed Dive

Carpenter Park isn't particularly large, but it offers quite a bit. For kids looking to get their ya-yas out, there are 2 playground structures. One is for toddlers and has a small covering overhead. However, to be realistic about the overhead covering, it doesn't do much to block out the sun. A neat thing about the toddler area is that one piece of the installation has drums and chimes, so the kids can make music.

The play area for bigger kids is fantastic and unique as well. Rather than having traditional steps where you'd climb up to the slide, it is all ropes.

Besides for the playground installations, there is also a small grouping of swings. The grouping has 2 regular swings, one baby swing, and an interesting swing where it looks like multiple people can sit in it.

While the play areas don't have much protection from the sun, right next to the play areas is a covered pavilion with picnic tables, which is a great relief for kids and parents alike.

Across the parking lot from the play areas are tennis and basketball courts, which looked like they are in good condition and there were even some people playing tennis during our visit.

Then, on the other side of the park is the Carpenter Park Community Garden and a pond with a walking path around it. There didn't seem to be a lot of information available about the community garden, but after checking it out online, it appears they are done for the season. (They have events from April through September and we just missed the last September one. We'll have to file this one away to check out next yet.) We did happen to spy something that looked like a squash or gourd through the fence.

The pond is not large at all and the walking path around it is easily doable for most people. There are multiple benches around the path and a few art installations in the shape of swans around the pond. The swans are dedicated to the Cary Debutante Ball Society. There is also a large grassy area by and around the pond, which would be great for kids to run around. Parents should still be careful, though, especially with little kids because they could easily fall in the pond if they were not paying attention. There are also some beautiful plants at the edge of the pond that are home to wildlife - we accidentally scared a frog when we were checking out the plants. This might also attract kids close to the edge of the pond, where care should be taken.

And last, but not least, the thing I think we enjoy the most about this park is that it is right in the Raleigh-Durham International Airport flight path, so planes are flying over - and pretty low at that! - fairly frequently. If you have a kid (or if you are just a big kid) who is crazy about planes, this is a park you must check out!

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