Monday, June 25, 2012

Playing in the Mud at Adventure Playground.

Summer is here and Field Trip Mom is out in force going to the first of many learning adventures for the summer.  Today’s adventure found us driving down the 405 freeway to Huntington Beach.  We decided to take our adventure to the dirtiest adventure we could find and what better than Adventure Park in Huntington’s Central Park.  This park is a summer time must with several exciting features.

Central Park is located near the cross street of Goldenwest and Talbert. As we entered the park, the parking lot is mostly covered with the state of the art solar panels allowing for renewable energy to all of the components of the park.  Inside the park, is a large lake, jungle gym, sports complex, the Huntington Beach library and he main reason for our adventure….Adventure Park.

Adventure Park is an enclosed area of the park in which kids can get as dirty as they wish.  There are 4 tree houses that kids can climb on. Additionally, admission allows them to use a hammer and saw, choose from hundreds of pieces of wood and construct walls, ladders or whatever their imagination tells them to create.  The boys where given their nails and hammers and away they went adding wall pieces to the tree houses.

Shortly after, the staff announced the opening of the mud slide. This is the parks, 25 foot version of a water slide dumping the kids into a watery mud bog at the bottom. The mud bog is 1.5-2 feet deep, but many of the kids were launching themselves in as if it was a slide into the 8 foot section of the community pool. Staff members stand at the top of the slide applying water as the kids zoom down the hill to the bog.

 
Another fun attraction is the rope bridge where kids can balance on a large shipyard rope that extends 40 feet across a large pond. Inside the pond are several Tom Sawyer type rafts where kids and adults can stand on top of the rafts and push themselves around the pond with 4 foot poles. Don’t worry about falling in, the pond is only 1.5-2 feet deep, shallow enough to simply stand up and walk out of the pond.

 

 
Why you ask….What kid doesn’t love to get dirty.  Believe me, my boys were hesitant at first because they couldn’t believe I was going to let them get their clothes wet and muddy.  However, after a few moments of coaxing, the fun was on.  What did my kids learn today…this adventure allowed them to freely express themselves in play with no worries of ruining their clothing, getting too dirty or do something that most of the time we are telling them “Don’t play with the mud!" or "Don’t step in that puddle!”  Additionally, they learned physics…as they pushed their poles in one direction; their rafts went the opposite direction.   The boys learned balance by climbing across the rope bridge as well as on their rafts, then discovered basic construction and how tools can make jobs easier.  It was an incredible learning experience.
Central Park is located at 18100 Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach.  Park and walk to the destination.  Adventure Park charges a $3.00 per child admission fee, adults are free.  They sell snacks out of a small storage shack however you can bring a picnic lunch and eat at one of the picnic tables.  Seating is limited so pack your lawn chairs if you plan to stay a while.  Adventure park is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Monday thru Saturday, closed Sundays and major holidays.  They are only open until the last week of August so make sure you get out there in the next couple of weeks.  Hotter days tend to bring out the crowd.  Shoes are mandatory for all to wear while in Adventure Park for safety reasons.  Bring an old pair because they are guaranteed to get soaking wet.  If you forget, the park has hundreds of pairs of shoes in multiple sizes that you can borrow.  Send your children in old clothes and bring a change of clothing.  Don’t forget the towels.  The park has a changing area and a small outdoor shower area to rinse off.  This is not a Hilton Hotel people, don’t expect much other than the kids getting dirty, wet and having the time of their lives.  If you have never been before, the staff talks to the kids about all of the rules which they strictly enforce for safety.  My boys were a little intimidated at first and were a little gun shy.  They were afraid to break a rule however once I OK’d their actions, they were fine.  There is absolutely no running or throwing of anything in the park, and violators will be asked to leave.  Children under 8 years old must have a parent help them with sawing and hammering at the tree houses.  Pack some sandwiches and lawn chairs and get ready to get down and dirty at Adventure Park in Huntington Beach’s Central Park.
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