Family fun

Washburn

SW 10th & SW Billard Ave., Topeka

Ward-Martin Creek emerges from its underground channel to define the east edge of this wonderful park bordering SW Billard Ave. between 10th Street and Munson. Mature trees offer an abundance of shade for picnickers, while youngsters can choose from modern playground equipment (on a rubberized base), swings and a jungle gym. An old backstop can still support a ball game. Benches and picnic tables (with nearby grills) abound, some beneath a newer open-air shelter. There's also a water fountain and two older tennis courts.



Ward Parkway

1501 SW Ward Parkway, Topeka

A small storm runoff creek slides along the east side of this park at the intersection of SW Drury Lane and SW Ward Parkway in west Topeka. A large open area (with a backstop) is ringed by trees, while a picnic table, swings and an elephant slide are located at the park's south end.



Shunga Glen

2400 SW Washburn, Topeka

Located on the east side of Washburn Avenue from SW 22nd to Shunga Drive and east to Buchanan, Shunganunga Creek gives this large park a split personality.

On the sunny west side of the creek along Washburn is the Rip-On Skate Park for skateboarders, in-line skaters and bicyclers. This 9,310-square-foot concrete non-lighted facility features two pyramids, ramps, quarter pipes, grind rails, bank-to-bank ramps and a bowl. There's also a soccer field, some playground equipment, part of the Shunga Trail and a water fountain.



Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site

124 NW Fillmore, Topeka

Whether it's rediscovering the past, a soothing garden walk or a wedding site you're after, this compact park offers a unique variety of amenities. Anchored by an elegant Southern-style mansion built by Anthony Ward and passed down to his daughter, Jennie Meade, the park features a 2.5-acre botanical garden. The wheelchair-accessible garden contains a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants, a gazebo and several water features. The mansion, which includes the Preston Hale Reception Room, and garden are used for weddings, meetings and dinners.



Horne

3510 SW Atwood, Topeka

Located at SW 35th and Atwood and extending uphill to the east, this spacious park features a soccer field and lots of climbing apparatus for the youngsters. It also has a backstop for ball games, swings, slides, picnic tables and a BBQ grill. There's plenty of room to exercise the dog and lots of shade, too.



Hillsdale

5201 SW Huntoon, Topeka

Modern, brightly colored playground equipment highlights this large park at the intersection of SW Fairlawn and SW Huntoon. Youngsters also will like the swings, sand boxes and climbing equipment. Scattered trees shade benches, and there's a BBQ grill. There's also a small storm runoff creek.



Gwendolyn Brooks

3691 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka

If it wasn't for the brisk traffic on nearby Topeka Boulevard, the park could be considered downright serene. As is, it has plenty of charm. A small bridge constructed by the Topeka West Rotary spans a ditch and there are plenty of developed trees. A Kansas Historical Marker discusses Kansas and Topeka history and nearby play equipment gives children a place to swing and teeter totter. Located at the corner of Topeka Boulevard and 37th Street, Gwendolyn Brooks has 37th Terrace running through its middle.



Freedom Valley

SE 14th and Locust, Topeka

From Freedom Valley you can hear the traffic zoom by on bordering Interstate 70. Yet, there's something serene and calming about this neighborhood oasis. Parking for the park sits off 14th Street between Locust and Illinois. To the south, trees and foliage block the view of the interstate -- at least during the summer when the branches are thick with leaves. The park also features some shady trees, but it has plenty of open, sunny stretches, where kite fliers can soar free of entanglement worries. At the bottom of the sloping park, a small fishing pond with a dock beckons.



Cushinberry

335 SE 15th, Topeka

Named after the late Grant Cushinberry, a local philanthropist, this wedge-shaped park separates 15th and 17th streets as they converge eastward from Quincy. The park is heavily shaded by mature trees and welcomes visitors with numerous picnic tables, benches, a BBQ grill and a water fountain. Youngsters can try out the playground equipment, including swings and a merry-go-round, or check out the concrete Bison sculpture at the east end. Both the Landon and Shunga trails can be picked up near Cushinberry Park.



Collins

1400 SW Collins, Topeka

This gracefully curving park in the heart of the Collins Park neighborhood offers something for everyone. Modern playground equipment is complemented by swings, teeter-totters, a merry-go-round and basketball courts. There's room to sit and picnic in the shade, and lots of space to walk the dog. Most of the amenities are south of where SW 13th crosses the park. Gardens grace the entrances on SW Huntoon and SW 15th.



Syndicate content