Monday, September 2, 2013

Best and Worst Parks in Dublin

Drumroll, please, for the moment you've all been waiting for: Bikes and Playgrounds First (and maybe last) Annual Best and Worst Parks awards. Let's jump right in:

Best Community Park: Amberleigh:

This is about the only park that Henry has been asking me to go back to: "can we go back to that firetruck park?" (the twins mostly want to go to ANY playground). Between the village play area and the musical instruments, it has a lot of unique features. I would like to see more shade trees, though, and it's quite a haul to get there from our place.

Runners Up: Coffman:

 and Avery parks.

We hit these two parks a lot either because it's close (Avery) or it's on the way to downtown Dublin (Coffman). Sentimentally I probably would have picked Coffman as #1, but Henry lobbied hard for Amberleigh.

I shouldn't have so many runner ups, but Ballantrae is great too:

It's hard to beat spraying water on a hot day. In fact, the only mediocre community park is:

Worst Community Park: Darree Fields.

OK, it's actually not bad by any means, but the playgrounds clearly play second fiddle to the sports fields here. They're more of something you'd see in a neighborhood park. The public art is neat, though.

Best Neighborhood Parks (tie): Hawk's Nest

Hawk's Next has lots of fun toys to spin on, in additional to the usual climbing structures. As a bonus, it's pretty close to our house.

Aside from Ballantrae, this was the only park we found with a water feature. What a pleasant surprise on a hot day!

Worst Neighborhood Parks: Llewellyn Farms South

I actually don't even have a picture of this one. Imagine a grassy field with no interesting features. It's also really hard to spell "Llewellyn."

and Bryson Cove Open Space:

which, as far as I can tell without looking suspicious and traipsing around people's yards, is just a small wooded lot sans trails or anything fun to do.

I also want to give a big raspberry to Martin Commons Park.

It's located up near Sawmill Road, in kind of a cut off area (no bike paths to get there), with several apartments nearby but no other playgrounds, and all those unfortunate kids get to play on is two fake rocks with a net between them.

That's a wrap for this season's playgrounds!


  1. Very fun, Eric! I enjoyed reading about the good and the bad. You and the kids had a great time.

  2. What a great blog post, Eric. I've just moved to Dublin and would like to make use of the bike trails with my kids. I'm inspired by and in awe of how you and your family visited so many parks by bike this summer.

    1. Hi Carey,

      Thanks for your kind words! It's pretty amazing what there is to do in Dublin--I've lived here 14 years now, and keep finding new things (having kids to explore with helps this)


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