A few weeks ago, when the weather started to get really beautiful (and before we started having mood-swing mother nature raining on us every other day), I took a trip to New Hartford, Connecticut. My intention was to check out a wonderful new chocolate shop. However, I needed a more valid excuse to drive over two hours round-trip to Litchfield County with my toddler besides candy (although, I think that’s a perfect reason).
During some of my scouring through town websites a few months, I had added to my list a playground in New Hartford, at Brodie Park. I found a few pictures of it online and it sounded like a great additional reason to take my little road trip!
So off we went to New Hartford!
(From Google Maps)
The drive to Brodie Park is long, and winding, and there is a lot of this:
We followed the GPS though, and as always, she steered me WRONG. Because when you put in the address of Brodie Park as found on Google, you end up at the wrong park entrance. It brings you the West Hill Road entrance. This is NOT where you want to end up.
So, to avoid doing what I did, when you reach the intersection of West Hill and Niles, you’ll want to head down Niles Road. From there, you’ll easily spot the correct entrance to Brodie Park.
There are two ways to enter the playground and two different parking areas. One entrance is towards the left when you come down the road, and there is a small parking lot.
This is where you’ll also find the port-a-potty!
The other entrance is down the road, towards the right, and has a larger parking lot.
Once you have parked, at either entrance, you’ll be able to easily enter the playground. And what you’ll quickly notice upon entrance is that the whole playground is enclosed by a fence. FULLY FENCED. With gates. How awesome is that? Fully fenced playgrounds are not a common occurrence (which I don’t understand why not, do these playground designers not realize how crazy a two year old can be??).
The playground is pretty huge too, and there is a lot to do within these gated little walls!
First off, they have a great picnic area so you can pack your lunch and stay for a while! This is located towards the back entrance (by the port-a-potty). We brought our little lunch, and I managed to get this child to sit down for all of 5 minutes. It is in the shade too, so while the kids play, the parents can stay parked in this nice little area!
For the little ones, they have a great big sand pit (oh how I loathe you sand). We spent a long time here. This area is NOT shaded, so if you have a little one like I do who is obsessed with the sand box, you’ll want to pack sunscreen and a hat!
All of the toys you see are part of the playground, and they were definitely fun to have in this sand pit!
There are a number of free standing climbing structures and riding toys, including this merry go round type bouncy thing.
They also had this awesome bus for climbing in and on, as well as a small playhouse with a tunnel!
There were two play structures. The first was designed for ages 2 to 5. It featured two slides, a tunnel, several things to climb, and a musical instrument area.
Surprisingly this did not draw his attention much. He was much more interested in the bigger playscape. So, we only did one quick trip down the slide before he was off!
The larger playscape was much higher from the ground. Technically it is designed for ages 5 to 12, but a lot of smaller kids were playing on it. It was pretty fun! I had a hard time keeping him off this playscape, and momma bear in me was definitely hovering a lot, but he did really well on this one. Overall, there are not too many areas of concern, except when he stood close to the edge near the ladders and stairs. I try not to be a helicopter, I really try!
There were a lot more slides on this one!
And a really great tunnel!
He had no issue with the more challenging climbing aspects of this one!
He was having a great time way up high on the playscape!
There were a few more challenging rock walls and jungle gyms, and those were popular with the much older kids!
Of course, no playground is complete without a swing set! They had two in fact. One with the traditional swings, and then a set of infant swings.
Once he gets into the swing, there is no removing him!
Brodie Park also is home to Brodie Beach, which is open during the summer months. Passes are required for use of the beach, and are available to residents and non-residents. More information can be found here.
This was a really great playground. While it was a bit of a drive to New Hartford for us, local parents are really lucky to have this in their neighborhood! Of course, if you pair this with a trip to Six Spoons Chocolatier, or even make it a stop along the way to KidsPlay in Torrington, this is a great playground to spend an hour or even half the day! Pack some lunch, and you’ll be all set! I love that it was fully fenced in. And despite it being school vacation, this playground was not super busy. If you’re up for the roadtrip, or if you live close by, this is a spectacular playground that your kids will definitely enjoy!
This about sums it up…
West Hill and Niles Roads – New Hartford, Connecticut
Hours: Open Daily – Dawn to Dusk
- Mulch ground cover
- Strollers can be difficult to maneuver through mulch
- Open design including two play structures for the smaller crowd and the older crowd as well as free standing play structures
- Sand Play Area
- Benches and picnic area
- Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
- Sunny Playground (not much shade in the play area)
- Port a potty
- Fully fenced in playground