If you’re looking for a super cute playground with some nature trails and a duck pond, then this is the place for you!
Heritage Park is located in East Longmeadow, just over the border of Enfield. I like to visit this park and then sneak across the road to Home Goods for a little shopping!
Unfortunately, the most direct route to this playground is through the deathtrap known as the East Longmeadow Rotary. Seriously, this is the worst intersection in existence- I don’t even know how many streets converge with no stop lights and too many yield signs. Every time I drive through it I find myself screaming out loud in terror! It’s awful, awful, awful. If your GPS can avoid it, find a different route!
But honestly, I still love this playground enough to visit and include it here, despite the terrible drive.
Heritage Park has many things going on: playgrounds, a pond, ducks, a dog park, pavilions, ball fields, hiking trails.
There are two ways to enter the park. The main entrance is directly off Route 83 (across from the shopping plaza) and has a small parking lot. From there you can access the dog park, the pavilions and pond.
At this entrance, you’ll find the park rules and park hours, which are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The pavilions have a ton of picnic tables and trash receptacles. It appears these are free of us, as I could not find anything regarding renting the space.
You can also access the pond from this side, as well as walk around to the other side, but if you are just looking for the playground, this is quite a walk.
The other access to the park, or specifically to the playground, is just down the road, at the intersection of Route 83 and Dearborn Street.
This side of the park also has ample parking either in front of the pond or the playground.
The pond is famous for their ducks and geese. Many people come here to feed the birds, despite the signs not to… I will say this, if you feed them, do so at your own risk since some of those geese are aggressive!
They look sweet and trusting…
until you show them the bread…
Run for your life!
Right near the pond, there is a small port a potty. Otherwise, this park has no bathroom facilities. But as I mentioned, it’s located near a lot of stores and restaurants if you need to use a bathroom.
Just before the playground, there is a small trail that leads to the pond. This was a fun nature walk. We explored the grass and dirt, some bugs and leaves.
There are a few benches and picnic tables around the pond.
After a little exploration, we finally made it to the playground! The sign at the entrance explains that the smaller equipment is for ages 2 to 5 and the larger play areas for ages 5 to 12.
One of the reasons I like this playground is the shade cover. There is some sun while playing but overall, it’s a pretty shady playground.
This playground has three playscapes, each with different things to do. They are all very visible from most corners of the playground, so if you have multiple children, it’s easy to see them all.
The first area is for children ages 2 to 5. The small playscape is easy to climb, has slides and a rock wall.
Also in this area they have a fire truck to climb on and a small blue car to ride.
The middle playscape gets a little more complex and is definitely geared for older kids. Normally, I let my child venture into these types of playscapes but this one was a little too advanced for him, with harder to climb stairs and rock walls, and a pretty big slide.
The third playscape was similar in skill as the second one, but it had a more interesting rock wall, a tunnel and some monkey bars. The stairs were a little easier to climb for my child, but I only let him go to the tunnel then I had him turn around. That slide was a little bit much for me!
There are additional monkey bars and a free-standing slide at this playground.
The swings are centrally located so if you are pushing a smaller child, you can still watch your older kids while they play. There are quite a few infant swings! However, there is no accessible swing.
The playground also has benches and picnic tables so you can have a snack or lunch while you visit.
As you can see, the ground cover at the playground is entirely mulch. This makes it a little difficult to maneuver a stroller; however, with parking so close, you can honestly leave the stroller in the car.
The playground is also pretty well protected from the parking lot since there is a short fence surrounding most of the area, but again, with a runner, you always know to stay on your toes!
This playground has a reputation of being dirty or unkempt, and also unsafe. But honestly, when I visited, it was very clean. I didn’t see much trash on the ground. I also think the safety issue has more to do with nighttime activities, and really, what mom is taking their child to a playground at 3 a.m.? Any playground would be unsafe at that time.
I wouldn’t call this a destination playground, but if you live in Northern Connecticut or southwestern Massachusetts, this is a great park to check out. You can spend a good couple hours checking out the playground and exploring the pond area. For us, this is a great alternative when we get bored with all our other local playgrounds!
This about sums it up…
3 Dearborn St– East Longmeadow, MA
Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Daily
- Strollers can be difficult to maneuver in some areas
- Open playground area – including three play areas for the smaller crowd and the older crowd
- Swings- including baby swings
- Wood Mulch Ground Cover in the Playground area
- Shady play area
- Many benches and picnic tables throughout the playground
- Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
- Duck Pond
- Dog Park Nearby
- No bathroom facilities (except for a port a potty)
- Hiking Paths/Explore Nature!