Planning a playdate is a great way to help your children socialize and exercise. It also gives caregivers a chance to meet new friends or catch up with old ones. Playgrounds are often a go to location for outdoor playdates, especially when the weather cooperates. Across Connecticut children will fall in love with the variety of playscapes, splash pads, nature centers, barnyards, feeding of ducks and picnic areas. There are also wheelchair accessible playgrounds with special accommodations so that everyone can have fun outdoors.

Kennedy Park
160 Oakwood Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06119
(860) 236-1884
westhartford.ct.gov/publicparks

A centralized place to meet in our small state is Kennedy Memorial Park in West Hartford. The park amenities has a little bit for everyone of all age groups. The playscape has two sections; one for big kids age 5 and older and one for younger kids ages 2-5. The playscape is partially gated in for added safety so your little one has less ability to wander off. Picnic tables are located at the park. A unique find at Kennedy Park is their splash pad, which is perfect for a hot summer day. A swimming pool, wading pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, and other fields are also on site.

Hubbard Park
999 W. Main St.
Meriden, CT 06037
(203) 630-4123
cityofmeriden.org

Hubbard Park provides different forms of entertainment all in one location. A selling point upon entry is Mirror Lake. Its a large size lake that won’t make you feel cramped with other visitors. Pack bread to feed to the ducks. Circling around the lake you will find picnic areas, playgrounds, and a jungle gym. Cool off in the summer months at their public swimming pool. Entry to the pool requires a tag which can be purchased at their Liberty Street office. Yearly tag fees are $10 per adult and $3 per child under age 18.

Brooksvale Park
524 Brookvale Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518
(203) 287-2669
brooksvalepark.com

Planning a play date doesn’t mean you have to stick to the typical playscape or jungle gyms. At Brookvale, children will love visiting the animals at the barnyard. The best part is that it’s free. For nature lover kids roam through the wildlife garden, nature center, or friendship garden. There is even space for flying a kite or enjoying lunch on the grounds.

Related: Top Parks In Connecticut

The Sky’s The Limit Playground
195 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877
(203) 431-2755
ridgefieldparksandrec.org

It can pose a challenge to find a safe playground that’s designed to fit the needs of children with physical limitations or special needs. The Sky’s the Limit Playground was funded by the town’s Rotary Club so that every child has the opportunity to enjoy time outside at the playground. This playground has made accommodations for children in wheelchairs, leg braces, or walkers. Expect to find lower monkey bars, ramps, transfer stations, rubber flooring, and high backed swings. Everyone can have fun at The Sky’s the Limit.

Bartlem Recreation Area
50 S. Main St.
Cheshire, CT 06410
(203) 272-2743
cheshirect.org

A main attraction in the Cheshire area is the large Bartlem Recreation Area. It is conveniently located near the ball parks and high school, creating opportunities to keep the kids busy and safe while the older kids are participating in their practices or games. This park has a kids-in-motion playscape with a gate surrounding it. Older kids can also enjoy the skate park. Pack snacks or a lunch to take a cool down break at the pavilion or picnic areas. Bartlem also features a community pool.

Related: Top Playgrounds In Connecticut

Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.