Sunday, April 28, 2013

Temple Terrace Parks

Yesterday we spent the day in North Tampa, also know as Temple Terrace, with the Grandparents Gaurkee. We went to 2 different parks that had very different things to offer. The first was a small gated park off of 56th Street on Whiteway Drive, officially called the Omar K. Lightfoot Park.

There were several odd elements to this park. There is a pond at the center that is fenced off and sadly a couple of punk kids broke in to try to hit ducks with metal pipes. Luckily we were watching them very closely but admittedly it clouded our experience a bit. There is a portion of the park that is in direct sunlight which caused some of the play elements to be to hot to play on. There weren't any traditional elements like slides and monkey bars, even the swings were different. Not necessarily bad swings because both Gram and I loved them because they were comfy. Vivian really liked swinging as you can see by the close up pic of me holding her.
The  best thing that this park had to offer was the musical elements. They had giant xylophone and drums which of course my daughter adored because she likes playing band all the time! I also likes that they had a couple elements that required imaginative play, like this picture below. Lydia decided it was a ticket booth and would sell us tickets.

Later on in the evening after dinner we headed to Riverhills Park and Preserve which is nestled behind Riverhills Elementary along side of the Hillsborough River. I thought it was beautiful. Being a St. Pete girl I haven't spent too much time by the river since we are on a peninsula that is within a peninsula, so tons of water and not much need to look for more.

This playground was wide open and had so many fun and different elements to it. Again a focus on the musical instruments which was fun, but also an old school merry-go-round made safe with seats that have backs. There were sensory areas that were tiled with different textures including stones and fake grass.

There were twisty and turny things, but I have to say there is something about the swings, slides and monkey bars that my kid likes. She eagerly checked this out  but it took her a little bit to figure out how things worked.

We stopped and bought bread on the way, so we could feed the ducks. It was a nice change from other of our duck feeding experiences since we weren't bullied by seagulls. Even the squirrels got into the fun. It was pretty fun to see a squirrel with an entire slice of bread happily sitting in a tree.

The boardwalk along the river is filled with pieces that have been dedicated by families mostly to lost loved ones. There is something about a community putting something together that is a beautiful testament to the human spirit. Some of the pieces where old and some quite new.

It is a very shady park. It was perfect last night last because there was a soft refreshing breeze and the shade made it even more comfortable for a hot summer night I would totally recommend this park. In the past we have also gone to this park for their annual art festival more on these types of events can be found at the Temple Terrace city site.

Some of you may be thinking, Temple Terrace a city? I know how you may feel. It's like saying Pinellas Park is a city. However it turns out that both are, whether I believe it or not. My favorite Temple Terrace event has been the 4th of July. They had their own fireworks and the whole community gathered on the golf course and clubhouse parking lot to watch them. Since they are a small city, it was a perfect family event, to enjoy the fire works without too much of a crowd. We actually walked there.
   All in all a lovely day of park exploration. Temple Terrace has many other recreation areas and is very close to  Lettuce Park.

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