(A Small Part of) Antioch Park

Location:  6501 Antioch Road; Merriam, KS

Cost:  Free!!

Web site:  http://jcprd.com/parks_facilities/antioch_park.cfm

If you enter Antioch Park at the entrance closest to Shawnee Mission Parkway and follow the road straight back, you’ll arrive at a big shelter with an A-shaped roof that’s in front of an enormous play area.  When you walk through the shelter, you’ll find the first playground–this is the playground I’m going to write about here.  If you follow the ramp up to the left, you’ll arrive at a child-sized Dodge City, complete with jail, general store, and train station.  Keep going, and there’s another playground.  Further on, there are more swings.  There are tons and tons of things to play with in this part of Antioch Park.

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We had a good-sized group of kids with us when we visited this playground, including one who uses an adaptive walker to get across large areas and several with varying degrees of visual impairment.  Everybody was able to play on the equipment and have fun with friends.  There were areas where either adults or peers would help kids navigate the equipment; sometimes, kids just needed encouragement or ideas on how to navigate surfaces (this was Peanut on the cargo net), other times, they needed more hands-on help (Peanut on monkey bars), or rescue (we’ve been stuck on cargo nets before).

It was definitely a hands-on experience for parents:  the play equipment is fairly easy to see and navigate, but it’s a popular, crowded playground, and it’s open, so kids can run off fairly easily.  You’ll need to be vigilant, but I’m confident you, and your kids, will have a great time.

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