Park of the Week: Oceanview
Located in south Anchorage on Oceanview Drive and Jarvi Drive, this park is a hop, and skip and a jump away from Seward and Huffman Road, and boy did my kids throw a fit when I said we had to leave.
This week, the group “Anchorage With Kids” kicked off their Park Tour of Anchorage there, and it was packed with parents and kids discovering a love the outdoors, new play equipment and new friends.
I loved the attitude of the founder of the group, Rachel Kemp, about her events, “It gives parents the opportunity to meet adults and other parents and see their kids interact.”
Because as parents, at the end of the day, don’t we all need someone to commiserate with and [sometimes] admit that we can get overwhelmed? Oceanview is a great place to see your kids grow while bonding over the funny and sometimes frustrating parts of parenthood.
Best feature (for the kids): the zipline. My 4-year-old wouldn’t stop riding this. Well, that’s not true. She rode until other kids showed up, and then it was game-on.
What I like about this park is that parents are willing to share the responsibility of looking after kids. A fellow mom and I switched off looking after our littles versus our big kids. I would help the line of kids waiting for the zipline while she watched the little ones trying to get up and down the slide. What I’ve learned since I started frequenting different Anchorage parks is that it takes a village – and the things I love about Oceanview could be frustrating for a mom on her own with more than one kid. While the zipline is popular with the kids, it’s a lot of work for the parent – at least until your kids are older than 6, in which case, they can do it on their own.
Best feature (for the parents): this park caters to a variety of ages. While my daughter wouldn’t stop switching between the zipline and the climbing wall, my 1-year-old loved the equipment for the littles. The slide was the perfect speed and he could climb up the steps by himself. My 4-year-old even loved the smaller equipment.
How to wear your kids down: get them to entertain themselves. This is another plus for parents: there are multiple features that are friendly to both older kids and littles-- as long as you can get them to work together! I had my daughter push my son August on the (inclusive) swing for about an hour and it just about put them both to sleep! Parents, what I learned early on: don’t do more work than you have to! It was fun to see them getting along – and wearing each other down at the same time.
Bonus: there’s a covered picnic table if you’d like to hang out or have a party and there are some trails around the park if you have older kiddos that need to burn off steam. In the woods, right behind the playground, the kids had started to build a fort, which apparently had been destroyed by other kids but that was okay because they got to build another one out of sticks! There’s also tennis courts that a lot of the park users have turned into a giant canvas for sidewalk chalk.
Downside: there’s not a lot of parking. Just two spaces by the two port-o-potties which didn’t have any toilet paper or hand sanitizer. There’s parking on the street, which quickly fills up by lunchtime, which means you may have to walk a bit to get to the park.
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