Brookside Park

After picking some apples at Johnny Appleseed’s, on our drive home, we decided to finally check out this playground that I have been talking about. It’s located in Brookside Park in Ellington on Rte. 140. 

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The park itself is pretty large and has several soccer fields and baseball diamonds, football fields and volleyball and tennis courts. It also has a huge covered pavilion. 1

We entered right by the playground. There is a large paved parking lot, which on a Sunday afternoon was pretty empty. I’d imagine during the games, it fills up fast. 

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The park is open from dawn until 10 p.m. It has your standard rules which I’ve posted below. But it also does not allow dogs. 

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The walkway to the playground is directly accessible from the parking lot. This is really the easiest way to access the playground. Don’t try to jump the fence like my husband, since it really doesn’t save any time or effort! The pavilion is located right next to the playground. It has a number of picnic tables and what looks to be like a snack shop. There are also bathrooms, however these were locked on the Sunday we visited. 

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On to the playground. This was a pretty impressive little playground! It had three separate play structures, as well as swings, a sand box, climbing structures and riding toys. There was something for everyone! The ground cover was mulch, which can be tricky with strollers. We chose to let our boy walk into this one so I didn’t try to maneuver around with a stroller. It is pretty close to the car so you can forego the stroller if you choose. 

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Towards the left was the section geared towards smaller children, ages 2 to 5.  There were actually two separate play structures, one made of metal and the other of plastic. 

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The metal structure had an easy to climb set of stairs, a double slide and a fireman’s pole. There was also a chain ladder but it didn’t really lead to anything… 

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We were learning sign language while we played! I was amazed at how much I remembered from 7th grade summer camp! 

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The other structure in this section was plastic based. 

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It had two different ways to enter, a challenging rock like staircase and an easier to climb set of stairs. 

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And there were two slides off of it. We loved the twirling slide!

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On the right side was the more challenging play structure designed for ages 5 to 12

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This one had a double slide and a more curvy tube like slide. It also had a zip line and lots of challenging climbing features.

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My two-year old wasn’t as interested in this one, but he did have to at least try the slide once! 

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Also on this side of the playground was a very elaborate assortment of climbing walls, parallel bars, monkey bars, tires and other balancing type structures. This was definitely not for my toddler! 

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There were two swing sets, one with all toddler swings and the other with an accessible swing as well as standard swings. 

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I caught sight of a sand pit, but we were successful in keeping my child from discovering it. Ugh, sand. 

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There were also a few toddler type climbing and riding toys: the famous hippo and the tractor. 

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We spent a good amount of time here. This was a great playground. I really enjoy playgrounds that have play structures geared to toddlers and my child really had a fun time on the ones specifically meant for his age- he actually had little interest in the bigger sets. 

This playground is in the sun, so plan to bring sunblock and hats on a hot day. The pavilion can offer some reprieve from the sun and also allows you to sit for a snack or a break. I did not see any other benches around the playground otherwise. 

If you do check this playground, make sure you pack either a snack or lunch and spend a while. Or, come visit the playground after doing some apple picking at Johnny Appleseed’s, and then bring your cider donuts to snack on, like we did! 

This about sums it up…

CT-140/Sadds Mill Road – Ellington, CT

Town Website

Hours: Open Daily  – Dawn to 10 p.m.

Features:

  • FREE!
  • Stroller and wheelchair accessible
  • Open design including three play structures for the smaller crowd and the older crowd
  • Swings- including baby swings and accessible swing
  • Mulch ground cover
  • Sand pit
  • Sunny play area
  • Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
  • Pavilion available for use (also available for rent) 
  • Bathroom facilities (Changing table unconfirmed) 

A few additional tips:

  • Bring sunscreen, the playground was pretty sunny
  • The playground is well set back from the road and parking lot – so it should not be a concern if you have a runner

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