We are savoring this warm weather and decided to make our first report from a Raleigh Park on Friday. We saw on the Raleigh Parks Instagram account that Kiwanis Park was recently renovated and had a rededication, so we thought this would be the perfect time to go visit! Check out the Highlights on Peter’s Instagram account for videos of the park so you can check it out before you go!
PARK POINTS Location: 2525 Noble Road, Raleigh, NC 27608 Stroller friendly? Yes, there are paved paths to the playground, most of the fields, and an accessibility ramp to get to the community center. Toddler friendly? Definitely. We like this playground because it is not mulch, but rather the sort of squishy ground we’ve seen at other parks that is forgiving for new walkers. We REALLY loved the toddler playground - lots of easy and low-to-the-ground things to climb on. Bathrooms? Yes, attached to the community center; however, when we visited they were locked. We are assuming there is at least one changing table in the restroom. Water fountain? One by the bathrooms. We can’t give many details, though, because the Chief of Staff had to go to the bathroom and we got distracted by the bathrooms being locked and trying to find an alternative bathroom. Benches/tables? Yes, a few benches throughout. There are also some elevated planters by the playgrounds with bushes where it is easy and comfy to sit on the ledge. Covered areas? One medium-sized pavilion. No seating under this, though. Parking? A small lot. We could see this easily filling up considering there are multiple sports fields and the community center in addition to the playgrounds. Greenway access? We did not see any. Jungle gyms? Two - one for ages 2-5, another for 5 and above. A swing set with 2 baby swings and 2 regular swings. Other cool information: The Kiwanis community center is there; however, no one was there and we were not able to enter, so we can’t say much about what that offers. • Home to a dog park. • Multiple sports fields and courts - basketball, football/soccer, and baseball. • Wegman's is right down the block, so you can stop in for some delicious food or grocery shopping (like we did!) after your park visit.
Kiwanis Park is a delightful little park that we loved exploring. The first thing that stood out to us about this park was the bright, vibrant colors, which we absolutely loved. The Kiwanis Community Center is an eye-catching lime green, and the kids playgrounds incorporate that green, along with bright blues, teals, and reds. Peter was immediately drawn to the playgrounds and touch off in a flash when he got out of the car.
We've been to quite a few playgrounds now, but this toddler playground is probably one of the best we've been to. Everything is low to the ground, but still adventurous for little tykes. Peter could not get enough of crawling back and forth over the bridge and through the little tunnel.
After playing around, we decided to check out the community center and the bathrooms, but unfortunately, we struck out on both fronts. The center was not open and the bathrooms were locked. Peter's Chief of Staff had just finished a large tea and needed to use the bathroom, so this could not have come at a worse time. We ended up having to get back in the car and drive to a small plaza up the road to find a fast food restaurant to use the bathroom. (Thank you, Jersey Mike's!) After we made it back to the park, we did see someone from Raleigh Parks show up and it looked like they may have been investigating opening the bathroom (we had tagged them in Peter's Instagram stories to let them know we were having issues getting into the bathroom). However, we didn't end up going back up there to check it out and the parks worker did not come over to talk to anyone at the park to let them know it was open, so it is unclear if that was resolved.
Also once we had made it back from our bathroom run, more kids and parents started showing up at the park. Everyone was friendly and had kids within 2-3 years of each other, which was nice because Peter got to make some friends. With all the chatting and playing, this is also why we didn't get the full scoop on what the Raleigh Parks worker was doing because we did not notice her until she was pretty much leaving.
As we noted above, the parking lot for Kiwanis is a bit small and it was starting to fill up just on a regular afternoon. The park is on a small dead-end road, so we imagine people could also park along the road there, as well, but that still doesn't provide much more parking. So if you are planning a visit to this park, just keep in mind parking may be a little challenge.
After playing a bit, we walked around the rest of the park to explore the multiple sports fields and the dog park that is toward the back of the park.
The last thing of note about this park, which is not necessarily a complaint, but just a comment on something we think is a strange choice - the pavilion has no seating under it. It's not a small pavilion, and of course you could always sit on the ground, but it just seems like it would be ideal for 2 or 3 picnic tables under it. Maybe that is something planned for the future.
We have been loving the new Wegman's in Raleigh - Peter's Chief Operating Officer is a big fan - so we can definitely see stopping by this park to let Peter have some time to run around before grabbing lunch and going grocery shopping.