Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scoping Out Aurora Parks

Yesterday, the promise of 75+ degrees in November prompted us to head outdoors to explore the area. The "Pickles" had wanted to walk down to their school playground (about a 10 minute walk) but we decided instead to venture out to other area parks to see what they offered.

Even before moving to the area, we noticed Aurora has a huge selection of parks, many of them catering to different interests. One in particular, Wheel Park, is the perfect place for kids (and adults) to go with their skateboards, in-line skates, bikes, etc.

We didn't go to Wheel Park. We were looking more specifically for parks with great playgrounds. We headed first to Great Plains Park. The view from the park was spectacular!

In the summer, they have a Splash Zone where water sprays cool you off.

There were 2 playgrounds. One suited for smaller children and another for larger children.

Great Plains Park has restroom facilities and picnic areas as well as a nice baseball/softball diamond, sports field, basketball court, fitness stations, and walking paths. The whole park was clean and seemed to be well maintained. It is not far from the Air Force base, so we got to see military jets taking off and even a group of helicopters. The Boy seemed to like that.

Mr. LH and I still can't seem to get over how huge the sky seems...or how blue it is. This really is a beautiful area.

The kids had a great time there which, I guess, is all that really mattered.

Although the "Pickles" wouldn't have minded staying at Great Plains Park for the rest of the afternoon, we left to head over to Rocky Ridge Park where we had once noticed a huge Geode statue out by the road. The Boy has an interest in rocks and gems so we thought he'd get a kick out of the giant geode model.

Rocky Ridge Park has all sorts of amenities. Several groups were having birthday parties, cookouts, or hosting sports games while we were there. There are many open areas to play as well as a volleyball/badminton net. Restrooms and shelters are available. Natural areas dotted the park offering shade from the sun...

And a few "secret" paths to follow.

The playground was dinosaur themed with a huge T-Rex skeleton to climb on...

And a rock climbing wall...

and seats you could spin on (which kept the kids busy for a very long time).

And which made them VERY dizzy...

Once our park exploring was complete (for the day) we started to head back home...but not before we stopped to get a close up view of the natives...

It looks like the prairie dogs have put on a heavier coat for the upcoming winter. They look a bit shaggier than they did back in August.

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