Location: 91st Street & Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kansas. There are tons of signs to get to the park itself. Once you enter the park, turn left (you’ll have a choice of left or right), and the Kiddie Park is on your left. It’s easier to enter the park from the parking area by the ranger station (before the park); there’s also parking on the far side of the Kiddie Park.
When we have time and energy and the weather’s agreeable, we take Peanut to the Kiddie Park at Wyandotte County Lake Park. It’s got swings and a variety of play equipment, and it’s usually not too terribly busy–there’s plenty of playground to go around, and there’s usually not so many kids that Peanut gets overwhelmed (of course, we haven’t been there on a weekend yet, so it might just be the times and days that we’re going).
The Kiddie Park is restricted to ages 14 and under on all play equipment, although parents can often be found on or near the equipment keeping an eye on their kids. The two large pieces of play equipment are separated by age-appropriateness: older kids on the tall piece, younger kids on the small one.
The tall piece of equipment frankly scares me; this is probably because I’m a) paranoid and b) the parent of a 22-month-old who thinks he’s a monkey. It’s very tall and has some fabulous slides for older children. The staircase is open, as in there’s nothing between the risers to keep said monkey from slipping between them in a moment of clumsiness. The bars on the safety railing are also farther apart. I’m inclined to say it’s an older piece of equipment, although it’s in good condition–it’s all metal and reminds me of stuff that was around when I was a kid.
The smaller piece of playground equipment is newer and more toddler-appropriate.
There are slides in a variety of sizes, some very short and not-too-steep for beginning sliders.
There’s a ramp up to the lowest level in case your little one’s not up to walking it yet or needs to wheel up to some of the manual toys. As you can see in the photo to the left, there’s a tic-tac-toe game and another matching game set into the bars; there are steering wheels and a noise-making wheel for turning; echo tubes (as best Efrit and I can figure out) for hearing your voice change; a ‘bounce bar’ to stand and gyrate on; a balance beam and monkey bars.
The steps here do have grates between the risers and the bars are closer together, so it’s safer for little guys to try out their climbing muscles.
The best part of the Kiddie Park is not the park itself but rather the area directly across the street: it is a waterfowl hangout.
I have never been to the park and not seen birds in this area–usually lots of them. There are Canada Geese at the moment, but there are often several species of ducks joining them in warmer months. The ground is uneven in places, given the imprints of a variety of feet, and there’s water, so it’s a good idea to be careful with unsteady or very visually-impaired walkers. There are benches to sit on and enjoy the birds, although you are not supposed to feed them.
Canada Geese are large, noisy birds, and at the lake, they tend to be in large groups. This means that they’re reasonably easy to see–my vision-impaired toddler happily said “Duck!” and sped to the edge of the lake–and definitely easy to hear. It’s a fun trip to visit the park and see the wildlife, then walk over and explore the Kiddie Park that’s conveniently located across the street.