1800 SE 21st, Topeka

Hillcrest Pool provides cool stopping grounds for Hillcrest Park, but there's lots more to check out beyond the pool's zero-depth entry, frog slide, drop slide, diving board and rain-drop waterfall. In the park, beautiful, mature trees provide welcome shade on a sunny day. The trees can be enjoyed from the benches that dot the landscape or the way they help keep the smooth basketball and tennis courts just a little cooler. The park also features an open-air shelter, grills, and a mix of modern and older playground equipment, including swings, teeter-totters, slides and a merry-go-round.


1600 N Kansas, Topeka

Garfield Park has held a special place in the hearts of North Topekans for more than 100 years. Dating back to a time when soldiers used to camp in the area along Soldier Creek (before the main channel was redirected to the north), the 32-acre park still has a lot to offer. In addition to the usual park amenities of playground equipment (swings, slides, climbing, etc.), benches, picnic tables and BBQ grills, the park features a community center, a large shelter house, a small swimming pool, a bandstand and an outdoor basketball court.

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.


2540 SW Gage Blvd., Topeka

Felker Park, named for a former mayor, features athletic fields and the showcase Kossover Tennis Center, which was named the 2008 Facility of the Year by the United States Tennis Association. Competition on the courts ranges from middle school competition to Missouri Valley USTA tournaments. In 2006, Kossover completed almost $1 million in renovations -- finishing a vision for the tennis center that went back to its start in the 1970s.

Crestview Park & Community Center

4801 SW Shunga Drive, Topeka

This park has something for just about everyone in its grounds that extend from Gage to Fairlawn along Shunga Drive. Start near Gage Boulevard and pick up the Shunga Trail at a green tree-lined stretch. From there, the park wraps west past Edgewater Park providing an endless park scene and the perfect spot for bikers, runners, walkers and parents pushing strollers to pass through. Around Shunga and Eveningside Drive, the scene changes when Crestview Community Center, Heartland BMX and a pool come into view.


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.


SE 22nd & SE Madison, Topeka

Located at SE 22nd and Madison, this small park offers a few picnic tables and benches. With plenty of trees and shade, this is a good place to escape from the sun on a hot summer's day.


1800 SW 6th, Topeka

This sharply triangular-shaped park separates SW Willow from 6th Street as they converge from Garfield on the east to Lindenwood on the west. Located across from St. Francis Health Center, Willow is the perfect place to relax or read a book in the shade of mature trees. There are numerous benches and picnic tables, plus swings (including a tire swing), a merry-go-round and a jungle gym for youngsters.

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.


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.

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