Best Playgrounds in Tri Cities – Big Bear’s Top 5
Ok.....I have grand kids now and I love taking the kids to the park. You know things have changed alot since I was a kid and my mom & dad took me to the park. So let' s take a look at some of our favorite places to go play!
Columbia Park Playground Of Dreams
For years this park on the shores of the Columbia River in Kennewick just sat there. It had the remnants of a snack shack and a pond and some scattered playground equipment. A few years back some local groups and Kennewick Parks & Rec built the Playground Of Dreams in the east end of Columbia Park just off of Highway 240. Great interactive toys for kids to climb on and when the weather gets hot kids can enjoy the splash zone with water features to cool you on those hot days. The family fishing pond, a skate park and multi-purpose fields also make up this great park complex. You can also ride the J&S Express mini train thru the park for $5.
In Pasco you can cool off at Memorial Park. This park run by Pasco Parks & Rec and in 2010 the city of Pasco did a complete remodel of the Memorial swimming pool and added water slides and water spray features. Great place to play with big trees, playground equipment, picnic shelters and a pool for those hot summer days.
Badger Mountain Community Park
This next one is in the Tri-Cities hottest and fastest growing areas. Badger Mountain Community Park. This is located off of Keene Rd this little park started out as a green spot in the middle of nothing. Neighbors, Little League Teams and City Of Richland built 3 first class lighted baseball fields along with 2 football/soccer fields. Very nice! A couple of years ago the City of Richland allowed an off-leash dog park and on May 19, 2011 the city unveiled it's new splash zone water play area for kids! The park is also connected to a network of walking/biking paths lots of picnic area, and playground equipment for the kids.
Here is an out of the way park which in it's own unique way has some of the coolest things nature has to provide us here in Tri-Cities. Claybell Park is located off of Bellerive Drive in Meadow Springs. It has some playground equipment, baseball fields, and tennis courts...but! The cool part about this park is that it is connected to the Amon Waterway Nature Preserve. Here you can walk almost 4 miles of trails (groomed & graveled) where you can see several species of native wildlife including, raccoons, beaver, porcupine, lots of birds including pheasant, duck, geese, songbirds and the like. All of these in their natural Shrub Steppe habitat. Very educational for the kids and it is right in our backyard!
Howard Amon Park
This next park in Richland is probably my favorite. It is a timeless classic that has been around for over 50 years. It is Howard Amon Park. Located at George Washington Way and Lee Blvd in Richland. This park is right on the banks of the Columbia River. It offers great play areas including a fully restored Mr Elephant vintage kids slide, a giant sturgeon, rock climbing, swings and tons more. There is also a band shell and this park has held many community events including car shows, music festivals & art shows!