Ann Arbor is filled with exciting parks and playgrounds, for children of all different ages! Each park is unique and offers different accommodations. Below is a description of some of our favorite parks and what makes each playground special.
Burns Park: Located on Wells and Baldwin adjacent to Burns Park School, Burns Park hosts a small shelter with restrooms and a drinking fountain, five tennis courts with a one half practice court, a basketball court, a sledding hill, a small parking lot and play equipment. There is a large sand pit with plenty of sand toys and vehicles that stay in the pit. There are several play structures and lots of space for running around. Easy street parking too. There is not a ton of shade over the playground.
Cobblestone Farm (Buhr Park): Located behind the tennis courts, this park is nicely shaded with several picnic tables surrounding the wood chip play area. There are swings and several slides suitable for children ages 2 and older. This park is great following a visit to the Mallet’s Creek library, as it is right across the street! You can also stroll over to the barn to see the farm animals or allow a little playtime after swimming at Buhr pool, located right next to the playground.
County Farm Park: Located off Washtenaw and Platt, this large park contains play space for toddlers as well as older children. There is not a lot of shade over the play structures, but there are nicely shaded picnic tables as well as public bathrooms located nearby. There are nice walking/running trails. WARNING: Avoid this park on the weekends, as many birthday parties take place here, free of charge. It can get very crowded!
Gallup Park: Located along the Huron River and Geddes Pond, this park has tons to offer! There is a walking path all along the river, with picnic tables and benches spaced throughout the path. The playground recently moved, to provide space for the new playground currently being constructed, down the lake path. There is also canoe and kayak rentals available daily.
Island Park: Located off of Maiden Lane (between Plymouth Rd. and Fuller), Island Park is a river park containing two picnic shelters, a Greek Revival shelter, play area, picnic tables and grills, benches, paths through the Island, and a connection to Fuller Park. There are plenty of parking spots and a short walk, over a bridge, before finding this secluded playground. The play structure is NOT shaded, so not ideal for sunny days. However, the water is very shallow and perfect for little ones to wade in! Bring sand toys, a picnic lunch, and enjoy the serenity and peacefulness of this hidden gem of a park!
Sugarbush Park: Located off Green Rd, this park is has two separate locations. The toddler playground is found deeper into the subdivision and is ideal for sunny days. It has an several swings, a seesaw, and a large sand area. There is also a basketball court, tennis courts, and a baseball field, which my boys enjoy observing all the sporting events!
Airport Playground: Although, this is not the actually name of the park it is the best name for this hidden gem. Located off Ellsworth (first left once you turn right onto Ellsworth, from State Street), the playground is found just behind the fire station. There are covered picnic tables as well as swings, a play structure, baseball field, and a little hill where you can sit and watch the planes take off and land. Every five to ten minutes, a child shouts, “airplane”, and there is a pause in the play to watch the plane in the sky.
Virginia Park: Located on the corner of Virginia and Fair, Virginia Park is on the west side of Ann Arbor, tucked into a neighborhood off of Huron St. The park contains a playground, water fountain, asphalt connection to the play area, picnic table, benches, softball fields, basketball court, and open field play area. My boys love the LARGE sand area, with a hippo statue to climb in. There are also several swings (for babies and older children) and easy parking on the street.
Wurster Park: Hike up the hill at Madison and Third to arrive at this rather large park, complete with a play structure and sand pit. There is also a grill and picnic tables. Treat yourself to a delicious donut or scoop of ice cream, at Washtenaw Dairy (602 S. Ashley Street), before heading to the park, only a few blocks between the park and popular dairy.
Click here for a full list of the Ann Arbor parks and descriptions.