Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Whole World is our Playground: Allan Gardens Playground and Greenhouse

We are continuing to enjoy a wildly mild winter, which means we've had to mix up some of our traditional winter activities, like greenhouses, alongside playgrounds, since we haven't been able to wear off any excess energy on the toboggan hills.  When Molly mentioned she wanted to visit a greenhouse last weekend, Allan Gardens immediately came to mind as a great option with both an indoor floral wonderland with a playground steps away.

My park review disclaimer: If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds ideally some in Toronto proper (indoor or out or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me:


Playground Name:
Allan Gardens

Location:
19 Horticultural Avenue, Toronto ON (Carlton Street and Jarvis Street)



Parking:
There is metered parking in the area, and on weekend you can find some limited side street parking for free.    The playground/ greenhouse is also less than a 10 minute walk from College Subway Station.

Theme of Park:
Modern Urban Playground meets tranquil nature based retreat.

Cost:
You can visit daily from 10AM-5PM at no cost.  Donations can be made online to their annual giving campaign here.



Variety of Equipment for different ages:
Both indoor and out there is so much for adult and kids alike.  Inside there are plenty of plants and flowers, a koi pond, turtles, and a toy train.  Outside is a variety of play structures, one main area designed for smaller, pre-school kids, and the other, more challenging structure, for older kids.




Best Part(s) of the Park:
This playground is great to visit on a cool crisp day, because you can go inside to warm up.  The outdoor playground embraces a touch of nature with the incorporation of Bienenstock type (nature) based play alongside more traditional playground equipment.  Molly and I spent quite some time using the logs as balance beams together, and both kids enjoyed the park's four seater see-saw.  Added bonus: with a location close to the Loblaws flagship at Maple Leaf Gardens you can take your little hockey fans to centre ice (still marked on the floor of the supermarket) while you purchase snacks for your outing.





Downfalls:
While some kids who are afraid of dogs might get a little timid around the dog park at the front of Allan Gardens, there is no need to worry.  Both the dog park and the playground are fenced in to keep the puppies and kiddies separated.

Overall Rating:
I give this playground five stars,/a near perfect 5/5 score. So many options, and a central location, what could be better?  As an aside, there are washrooms in the greenhouse (they are located in the "Palm Room" which is valuable information to have when your four year old announces they need to pee NOW!!!).


To see our photos from our trip to Centennial Park Conservatory click here.

To see the pictures from our trip to Allan Gardens last winter click here.

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