museum district, outdoor, park, park of the week, playground

Park of the Week: Hermann Park Playground

After a long, weather-induced hiatus (aka, July and August were too darn hot for playgrounds), I am happy to bring back regular park-of-the-week posts! If you’ve been reading the Houston New Moms blog for a while, you might remember the good old days earlier in 2016 when I’d post a new baby-friendly park idea almost every week. Well, Lana and I are finally venturing outside again, so, without further ado, here is one of my current favorites: the Hermann Park playground.
Almost every Houstonian has heard of / been to some part of Hermann Park, whether it be the Centennial Gardens, the zoo, or the lake. But surprisingly, many families haven’t checked out the huge, 3-part playground nestled in a corner of the park. Let me assure you, it is most definitely worth a visit, with someting to do for all ages, itty-bitty babies and fearless “big kids” included. In fact, this is one of just a handful of playgrounds I’ve found that cater specifically to the crawler set.
Let’s start with the tiniest tots. This playground has a little area just for them, pictured below. Everything’s right on the ground and super-safe, so it works well for crawlers and new walkers. It’s enclosed, too, (though an older toddler will easily be able to escape!)
Climbers, walkers and runners have a “little kid” playground of their own just a few steps away. This play structure features slides, stairs, a bridge, ride-ons, a steering wheel to play with, and more.

Between the two play structures is a little baby swing set:

About a 60-second walk away is the big-kid play structure. The distance is perfect – if you want to keep your little one away from the big kids, you can easily avoid it. However, if your toddler is ready for a bigger challenge and it doesn’t look too crowded, it’s very easy to venture over and play there for a bit. The big-kid playground is handicapped-accessible, which means lots of ramps and wide walkways, which makes it very doable for a crawler or new walker when it’s not busy.

Oh, and if your babe simply wants to run around, there is a huge grassy area perfect for doing just that! AND, there’s a splash pad as well (though it’s not always on).

You may have noticed the prodigious amounts of shade in all of my photos. These were taken around 9AM, which was a perfect time to visit. I’ve also gone in the afternoons, and the itty-bitty playground and swings are only partially shaded by then.

The one downside of this playground in my book is that the equipment is a little bit faded and old – not broken, just some peeling paint and that sort of thing.

Also, since some of you are currently thinking, “Hermann Park? Is that safe? Isn’t that where the homeless people are?” I’m going to briefly address safety. This is the closest playground to our home so we are here very often. We’ve visited morning, afternoon and early evening. Yes, we see homeless people. They usually hang out in the covered shelter that you can see in the background of the last photo. But no one has ever bothered us and I’ve never felt unsafe even for a second. That said, everyone has a different level of comfort so you can decide what works for you and your littles 🙂

If you go:

  • Address: 1503 Fannin St Houston, TX 77030
  • Parking: Houston Zoo parking lots or Centennial Gardens parking lot. The zoo lots are closer, but get more crowded. From Centennial Gardens, the playground is a 5-7 minute walk through the park

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