Evelyn Greer Park
8200 S.W. 124th St.
Pinecrest, FL 33156
With the playground equipment under shade cover, this 10-acre park is ideal for all ages. There are separate areas with age-appropriate equipment including a climbing wall, several slides and a fire fighter pole. You’ll also find swings, a huge field that is used for organized sports like soccer and football and a nice sidewalk. In the front of the park, there is a recreation center and an open gazebo with picnic tables. Want to work out while you’re watching the kids? There is outdoor exercise equipment practically overlooking the playground.
Betti Stradling Memorial Park
10301 Wiles Road
Coral Springs, FL 33076
Home of the famous “Slide & Glide playground,” this 21-acre community park is sure to become a family favorite. There are lots of open areas for just playing and running, three athletic fields, two basketball and volleyball courts, picnic pavilions and exercise stations. If you’re not familiar with the Slide & Glide area, there is a big structure with wooden bridges, swings, slides and climbing areas. Fencing keeps the younger crowd corralled.
Coral Reef Park
7895 S.W. 152 St.
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
There is nothing like this playground and park tucked in the midst of a residential neighborhood. The park itself is 50 acres in size and there are three distinct, age-appropriate areas: ages five to 12, two to five and the newly unveiled six- to 23-month toddler play space. The toddler area teaches skills like balance and coordination with a Tot’s Stock Car, Tot’s Rocker, Conifer Mazes and so much more. The playgrounds are shaded with colorful outdoor material, there are walking/strolling paths, a Rec Room for rentals and an LEED-certified concession stand. Don’t park illegally or you will get a ticket.
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Dante Fascell Park
8700 S.W. 57th Ave.
Miami, FL 33143
Shade is the name of the game in South Florida, especially if you plan on spending a good amount of time outdoors, and Dante Fascell delivers. There are separate areas for older and younger kids, new playground equipment (that stays cool since it’s in the shade), colorful see-saws, lots of benches and a large statue of a reclining woman, affectionately known to local residents as the Naked Lady, that kids can climb on. You’ll find restrooms nearby and pavilions that you can rent for birthdays. Bring bread to feed the ducks and be cautious of your little one as there is a canal on the far side.
South Dade Park
28151 S.W. 164th Ave.
Homestead, FL 33030
Surrounded by shady trees, this sandy playground has a rope bridge, dinosaur see-saws, swings for big and little kids, suspended monkey bars and plenty of benches. But instead of just plopping on a bench, hop on the new outdoor fitness equipment overlooking the playground. Another bonus: bathrooms are right there so you don’t have to walk but a few steps. Adjacent to the playground is a quarter-mile walking course that’s ideal for strolling, a huge field that anyone can use (soccer is played here all the time), an air-conditioned recreation room available for parties, two tennis and basketball courts, a skateboard park and even a new Splash Park at the Helen Sand Community Pool across the field.
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Jill Martin is a family travel expert, appearing on numerous television and radio shows. She spent five years as the VISIT FLORIDA Family Insider, has penned children’s books, and is the creator of Sunshine Brain Games – trivia cards about Florida. A Miami native, Jill resides in Redland. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.