Every day on our way to daycare, I drive my daughter by two parks on Des Epinettes in Orleans: Cardinal Farms Park and Barnabe Park. She can see the play structures from the car, and asks the same question: "when can we go THERE, mama?"
I finally had some time the other morning to drive over that way (walking to the parks from our house would be too long for both of my girls!)
Both parks are within walking distance from each other, which makes it an extra special outing for the little ones. We started at Cardinal Farms Park, which is super shaded, and includes a small soccer field and track. The park borders on our local ravine, so you could also explore the "woods" if you had time. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of this park, but there is a bigger structure for the older kids, and then a fenced structure and swings for the younger kids.
Once they'd had enough of Cardinal Farms, it was a quick 5 minute walk down the street to Barnabe Park. Barnabe stretches long and wide between des Epinettes and Jeanne D'Arc.
There were two awesome things about this park:
1) It's a short walk across Jeanne D'Arc until you reach Bridgehead at the corner of Jeanne D'Arc and Innes. This is a major bonus for tired parents.
2) There is an old-fashioned water pump at this park! I have never seen anything like it - the kids get to pump water up and down through some plastic tubs. Although this is not the same as cooling off in a splash pad, the kiddos spent lots of time splashing around in there (and "watering" the pavement)
So if you're looking for a different park to check out, try these two in combination one morning. And make sure not to miss your coffee ;)