There are over fifty wonderful parks with play structures in Albany and Corvallis! It’s hard to know where to go or which parks are worth getting the kids out of the car to check out and which ones aren’t. Whether you’re new to the area, or just looking for a new place to take your kids or family, we’ve done the “work” for you and randomly selected and reviewed six parks in Albany and six parks Corvallis so that you’ll have all the information you need to find the perfect location for your next family gathering or playdate!
Avery Park, SW Avery Park Dr- One of the best things about Avery Park in the summer is all of the shade, which is saying a lot because this park has a lot to offer. There are two different playgrounds, a covered area with tables, and public restrooms. This park is also has some incredibly unique features. There is a train car for kids to climb on and go inside and near the lower playground, there are “dinosaur bones” that the children can explore.
Grand Oaks Park, 6200 block of SW Trellis Dr- A favorite park for kids in the neighborhood, this park has a play structure with multiple slides, bridges and look-outs. There is also a basketball court and a field for kicking a soccer ball around or throwing a frisbee. Certain times of day, it’s hard to find shade, but there is a paved path through the park if you want to take a stroll. There is no public restroom here, so plan accordingly!
Tunison Park, 2270 Southwest Butterfield Dr- This park is not as well known as some, but it’s location next to a fire station not only gives it the advantage of feeling safe, it also has a firetruck themed play structure for your future fireman or firewoman! There is no public restroom here, but there are basketball courts, picnic tables, and a large field.
Wildcat Park, 2701 NW Satinwood St- Although Wildcat Park is attached to an elementary school, it is open to the public when school is not in session and is a favorite among many Corvallis children. It is designed to look like a castle and contains arguably the best play structure of any playground in Corvallis. It has bridges, a climbing wall, ladders, multiple levels, slides, swings, and much more. The park also has a covered area, picnic tables, and a large field. There are no public restrooms.
Willamette Park,1350 SE Goodnight Ave- This is the largest park in Corvallis and is right on the Willamette River next to a beautiful meadow. It feels much more secluded than a neighborhood park, because it is located at the end of a dead end road. There are two soccer fields, a playground, and a covered picnic area. Portable toilets are available certain parts of the year. Although the play structure isn’t huge, there is also plenty of room for kids to run around, and hiking and jogging trails that run the length of the park as well as a frisbee golf course that is open year round.
Our “don’t bother” park for Corvallis:
Central Park, 650 NW Monroe Ave- Central Park is beautiful and centrally located, but it has a reputation for being a less than desirable place for children. Unfortunately, it’s location makes it convenient for all ages and all activities. We made a quick exit after discovering a needle in the wood chips around the playground. Check back for improvements though- this park has great potential!
Bryant Park, 800 Bryant Way SW- Located off the beaten path, but still walking distance from downtown Albany, Bryant Park is accompanied by two softball field, a basketball court, and even frisbee golf. There is a great play structure, restrooms, a covered area with tables, and a lot of shade, but the best thing about this park is that there is plenty of room for the kids to run around without a major road close enough to cause any worry. It’s also rarely crowded, which is a huge plus!
Grand Prairie, 2530 Grand Prairie Rd- Grand Prairie is a fun park to take kids to, not only for the playground, but also for the wildlife! Ducks and frogs live in Grand Prairie Lake and Periwinkle Creek, which are both situated inside the park.There is a bridge to walk across and a paved walking path. There are also plenty of shade trees. The play structure isn’t huge, but it isn’t really lacking anything either. There are public restrooms available.
Kinder Park, 1326 Oak St SE- Kinder Park is right in the middle of Albany, but it’s convenient location isn’t even the best part. The modern play structure is located really close to a cluster of tables that are kept cool by fabric shade covers- the perfect place for parents to sit and catch up while their kids play. There are also two baseball diamonds and a large field. It’s located along a paved walking/bike path. The restrooms available are portable toilets and are only there seasonally.
North Albany County Park, NW Hillcrest St- This park is a great spot for a picnic. It’s secluded location makes you feel like you’ve really gotten away from it all, even though it’s only a short drive from the city of Albany. There is something for all ages; a playground, a sand volleyball court, a softball field, horseshoe pits, a covered picnic shelter, and restrooms. All of these amenities, on top of the grove of oak trees that provide shade, makes this a fantastic summer spot to bring the kids- or the whole family!
Takena Park, 1101 Lawnridge St SW- As soon as you arrive, you’ll notice the mature trees providing shade to nearly the entire park. If you’re looking for a simple playground that you can be out of the sun with grass, tables, and a place for the kids to play, then this is just for you. They have portable toilets available.
Our “don’t bother” park for Albany:
Monteith Riverpark, 489 Water Ave NW- Monteith is a hub for summer events in Albany due to it’s large grassy area and stage, so certain days of the week, the park is almost unusable starting in the early evening. The playground is pretty small compared to others in the area, and because of it’s central location there are a lot of people passing through which is disconcerting for parents with younger kids. It does have a restroom and a covered area, but you can’t watch the kids play from it. Do check out the summer evening events happening there though!
by Hannah Darling