Thomas M. Menino Park

Last Saturday our team set off on the Orange Line for the momentous annual Super Survey Day. We began our morning at Mayor Thomas M. Menino Park in Charlestown. The park was a product amidst the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, and sits directly across from Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. The playground is accessible by bus from North Station, or is approximately a 30 minute walk. The playground allows for inclusive play with many accessible elements, including embankment slides, wheelchair swings, and poured rubber surfaces. Spaulding Playground holds a place very close to our hearts, and serves as an excellent example of the bold and bright potential of inclusive play.

Spaulding Playground

After surveying the playground near Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, we ventured off to get a quick bite together at a local Charlestown restaurant, then split into groups of 3 to survey smaller playgrounds in the neighborhood. This let us see more of Charlestown than we otherwise would, and we came across some very pleasant neighborhoods as a result.

Marcella Playground

Location: Jamaica Plain
Age Groups: All ages
Inclusivity/Inclusive Elements: water play, garden, telescope, playhouse, alphabet/numbers game, hammock, disc swing, merry-go-round
Features:
-Fence divides older and younger play
-Large rope climbing structure
-Rubber surfaces
-Bathrooms, water fountains, and trash
Great if you’re looking for:
-A playground with options for all ages
Keep looking if:
-You really need shade
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Titus Sparrow Playground

  • Location: South End
  • Age Groups: All Ages
  • Inclusivity/Inclusive Elements: Xylophone, car wheel + gear, sandbox and scoopers, bar
  • Features:
    • Bench features a solar panel in the middle where you can charge your phone
    • Sand diggers
    • Church in background is very scenic
    • Basketball court provides good functionality
  • Great if you’re looking for:
    • An inclusive, constructive play setup
    • The sandbox and the wheel accessible sand scoopers are excellent inclusive features to this playground
  • Keep looking if:
    • You really need shade

Brewer Burroughs Playground

Today we are presenting one of the “hidden jewels” of Jamaica Plain: Brewer Burroughs Playground, otherwise known as the “Tot Lot”. Check it out if you’re ever in the area!

The "Tot Lot" has a variety of equipment that will certainly entertain the little ones
The “Tot Lot” has a variety of equipment that will certainly entertain the little ones
  • Location: Brewer St, between Burroughs St and Eliot St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Jamaica Plain
  • Age Groups: mainly toddlers and young children
  • Inclusivity/Inclusive Elements:
    • Disc swing
    • Drums
    • Rubber flooring
  •  Favorite element in playgrounds:
    • Solar system play panel
    • Sandbox
    • Playhouse
  •  Features:
    • This playground has several varieties of toys for toddlers and children to play with
    • It is in close proximity to stores and restaurants where you can stop by for a snack
    • Accessible parking behind the playground
  • Great if you’re looking for:
    • A quiet playground with an easy to navigate layout
    • Well-maintained structural equipment
    • A playground with a clear barrier that separates toddler play from hazardous areas
    • Seating with a backrest that is shaded and has open space on either side for a wheelchair
  • Keep looking if:
    • You’re looking for motion-based equipment (such as a group disc swing, merry go round) that is wheelchair accessible
    • You’re looking for physically-challenging equipment for older children

Mothers Rest Playground

From time to time we will be featuring some of our favorite playgrounds in the Boston area for you to visit. For our first feature, we will be focusing on the Mothers Rest Playground, located in the Back Bay Fens area.

Mothers Rest is very busy on beautiful days
Mothers Rest is very busy on beautiful days

Tucked away in the Back Bay Fens, Mothers Rest sits in a very pretty spot in Boston
Tucked away in the Back Bay Fens, Mothers Rest sits in a very pretty spot in Boston
  • Location: Back Bay Fens, 853 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
    • This playground is accessible by foot to the surrounding community, as well as public transportation
  • Age Groups: mostly toddlers and young children (around ages 2-8)
  • Inclusivity/inclusive elements: 
    • disc swing
    • audible play/musical features like xylophone and drums
    • imaginative play like a storefront countertop
  • Favorite element in playground: disc swing
    • It’s fun for all ages and inclusive to virtually all abilities!
  • Features:
    • great layout with varied equipment and safe surfaces
    • safe for children: there are barriers and guardrails free of defects, the structural equipment is well maintained, and there is a protecting fence separating play from hazardous areas
  • Great if you’re looking for: 
    • high visibility of playground areas
    • varied playground equipment apt for small children
  • Keep looking if: 
    • you’re looking for more challenging play equipment
    • you want a playground with a water fountain and bathroom close by