Playground at Two Trails Park

Location: 100 N. Ridgeview Road, Olathe, KS.  (It’s at the intersection of Ridgeview Road and Layton Drive.)

Cost: Free

Web site: http://www.olatheks.org/parksrec/programs/trails/parklocations/twotrails

While out and about as a family on a fine January day, we stumbled across Two Trails Park and decided to take a look.  Peanut was getting restless in the car, and we saw a bright red playset conveniently located by the parking lot as we drove by.  We decided to head back to the park and check it out.

The playground equipment is made by Little Tykes, and it includes both plastic and metal pieces.  Some of the ladders on the equipment are tricky, but you can get close enough to the equipment to help your little guy or gal navigate it. There are also some drop-offs and wide bridges that smaller people could stumble off of; this didn’t happen while we were there, but I can see it as a definite possibility.  The flooring underneath the equipment is a blue and green checkerboard of rubberized matting.  It’s a fairly soft surface to land on, but some of it is uneven or has split with wear, so it can be tricky in places.  There’s a tic-tac-toe board and a letter board that kids can play with, too, although they’re not very tactile (if your kiddo can’t see well enough to see the letters, it becomes just a manipulative where s/he can spin the tumblers around and around).

When we were there, there were lots of little people (i.e. toddlers probably ages 4 and under), and most navigated the play area really well.  There are lots of slides, which were a hit with the kids, and the equipment seemed to be pretty well maintained, which was a plus for me.  Peanut liked jumping on the bridge with the other kids, but he did slip, slide and fall on the bridge a few times because of the steep inclines at the edges.  There are a few benches located at the edges of the play area for parents to perch on, but I never felt comfortable enough to leave Peanut’s side and have a seat while he played—I needed to be there to be sure he didn’t fall off edges of the equipment, etc.  This is something that may be alleviated by him aging or being better oriented to the equipment, but I’m not sure.

There’s a public restroom located right next to the play area, which is a plus for any parent.  I didn’t check it out, so I can’t vouch to its cleanliness, but I was pretty tickled that it was there.  The parking was convenient enough that we could get Sprout to and from the play area without having to deploy the stroller, which was nice, too.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this as a “destination playground” for b/vi kids.  It’s predominantly red, which is nice contrast-wise, but there are still a lot of hazards (drop-offs, etc.) and not enough accessible elements (such as sound toys, like those at the playground by the Deanna Rose Farmstead or the Prairie Park Nature Center; or smell toys like those in the Tot Lot at Science City) to make a trip worthwhile.

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