Picnic perfection

Gage Park

4001 SW 6th & SW Gage Blvd., Topeka

The City of Topeka's premier park, this 160-acre facility at SW 6th (to SW 10th) and Gage Blvd. offers a full range of family fun from A (Animal Land) to Z (Zoo). Named for Guilford G. Gage, whose wife, Louisa, and heirs gave the park's original 80 acres to the city in 1899 following Gage's death, the spacious park is beautifully landscaped and full of mature trees. It features the Topeka Zoological Park, the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center, the Helen Hocker Theater, the E.F.A. Reinisch Rose Garden and the Thomas F. Doran Rock Garden.



Central

1300 SW Clay, Topeka

Named for its location in the heart of the city, Central Park is a 15-acre all-purpose park that includes a community center, a fishing pond, a walking trail and an open-air shelter for family picnics and other group functions. There's a wide variety of play equipment for kids, a landscaped pergola on the north end and a football field with a gravel track on the west side. Abundant large trees offer plenty of shade.



W. Giles

750 SW 1st, Topeka

This small park is easy to overlook at SW 1st and Taylor, where it's bordered on the north and east by the 1st Street exit off I-70. The park has some shade, swings, a slide and a teeter-totter for the youngsters, plus benches, a picnic table, a BBQ grill and a water fountain.



Westboro

1273 SW Lakeside, Topeka

Located in the heart of the Westboro neighborhood, this oval-shaped park is highlighted by large, mature trees offering lots and lots of shade. Youngsters can choose from modern playground equipment, swings, slides, a merry-go-round and a jungle gym. There's even a backstop for modest ball games. It's the perfect place to unwind or walk the dog.



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.



Edgewood

SW 2nd and Edgewood, Topeka

Whether you're looking for a place to picnic, play tennis or simply relax, this heavily shaded park east of the Potwin neighborhood on SW 2nd is a good choice. An open-air shelter covers picnic tables, with a BBQ grill nearby, while modern playground equipment and swings occupy the youngsters. The tennis courts have seen better days, but at least one of them usually has a net.



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.



Children's

600 SW MacVicar, Topeka

This small but shady park at SW 6th and MacVicar is bisected by Ward-Martin Creek, with most of its amenities on the east side of the creek by the small parking lot. The playground equipment includes a small slippery slide, teeter-totters, regular swings, a tire swing and a jungle gym -- plus a basketball court. There are picnic tables and a BBQ grill for picnickers.



Chesney

1823 SW Clay, Topeka

Located three blocks west of the Kansas Expocentre between 18th and 19th streets, this park is ready for activity with a small skateboard park and a basketball court. Youngsters will enjoy a variety of playground equipment, including swings and teeter-totters. There are plenty of picnic tables -- some beneath an open-air shelter -- plus a BBQ grill, a water fountain and a gazebo. Large, mature trees offer lots of shade.



Brookfield

2430 SW Kingsrow Road, Topeka

This newer neighborhood park located a few blocks east of Cypress Ridge Golf Course is deceptively versatile. There's modern playground equipment (on a rubberized surface) for the youngsters and a tennis/basketball court for more mature athletes. An open-air shelter covers three picnic tables and a walking path winds around the park for those wanting exercise for themselves or the dog or both. Plus there's a water fountain.



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