Basketball courts

McKinley

917 NW Gordon, Topeka

Located at the intersection of NW Gordon and NW Western, this small, well-shaded park sits just north of the old McKinley Elementary School, one of four segregated schools for African-American students in Topeka at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954. Youngsters will like the modern playground equipment, swings and merry-go-round, while parents can relax at the covered picnic table. There are public restrooms and a nice flower bed.



Hughes

725 SW Orleans, Topeka

This unique neighborhood park, which occupies one city block between SW Orleans, Parkview, 7th and 8th streets, is a destination for tennis players and youngsters of all ages and physical abilities. Tennis remains a staple, with five courts beckoning players of all skill levels. One court has a concrete wall for solo stars and a basketball backboard. Along the park's west side is the play-for-all accessible playground, which is perfect for parties with its open-air shelter, picnic tables and grill.



Betty Phillips Park

3300 SE Irvingham, Topeka

If you love this park you won't have to look far to find someone to thank. Students at nearby Avondale East Elementary School helped design the neighborhood park, which used to go by the name Highland Crest Park. It was renamed to honor longtime Hi-Crest resident Betty Phillips, who had begun asking the city to do something with the park in the 1960s. The park got a big student-influenced overhaul in 2004.



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.



Eastgate

SE 7th and Hackberry Drive, Topeka

This is a classic little neighborhood park where children can escape to swings, a merry-go-round and bouncy toys. A modest one-hoop basketball court has seen better days. The sunny park sits on the north side of 7th Street to the east of Rice Road and just west of Hackberry Drive.



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.



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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