Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dunedin Parks

Spring Break is a time to skip in fields, climb trees and play in playgrounds. Since we had sometime off we decided to take advantage and head a little further north than we normally do to a part of Pinellas. Since I have been on the park quest I wanted to go to these two parks in Dunedin that appeared to be huge and pretty impressive. Hammock Park has 90 acres of land, a plethora of walking trails, playground area and even a butterfly garden. Highlander Park only a street away has the largest Splash Park in the county and 70 acres of land, my imagination was dancing with the possibilities of these places.

Sadly, I was a little underwhelmed perhaps it was the fact that my expectations were been blown way out of proportion but the website alone for Hammock Park was significant in contrast a hard to find entrance. We started by going to Highlander Park. The playground was position right next to the splash park which was really great. The splash park was huge, fenced in and provided several shaded benches for parents. The playground had some unique features which is always the key to a well liked park by my girls. Even though the city of Dunedin website had a brief description of the park on their website there wasn't any more information, for example, what is on the rest of the 70 acres property. There are hiking trails and that one needed to walk around to find because they were not labeled significantly from the playground area. If you were a visitor, as we were, you would not know what else there was at this park. There were a couple of fields, courts and such. My girls found these fun.

Since Hammock Park was right around the corner and we wanted to check out the Butterfly Garden we tore the girls away from the softball field and went on to the other part of our adventure. We followed the signs to Hammock Park. We found the entrance to the park which was an odd, road that ends into a dirt road by some run down service buildings. It turned out that one of those shacks was the front of the Butterfly Garden that clearly had not been kept up with. A sad area with overgrown plants that have already clearly been effected by the erratic hot and cold weather.

There was a small climbing area that had been designated on the Internet map as a playground and several paths to follow for hikes. Right at the front of the property there was an old church that was built in 1888. It happened to be closed on the day we were there but it was adorable. It added to my series of disappointments.

Butterfly Garden. We saw one. 

Afterwards we went to British Deli_cious in downtown Dunedin which was adorable and cute. It was very kid friendly. There was a mom there with her two daughters having a tea park. It was quaint. The downtown area was great. We wanted to have lunch right by the marina but it wasn't terribly kid friendly. Though I was disappointed by the over all park experience the girls loved the playground at Highland and I am curious about the splash park even though I will never go up there since it is so far away. The rest of it must be designed for hikers, runners but for a Florida park that just seems silly.

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