With school back in session, my kids are now spending more time behind a desk than they have in the last year and a half. (We did virtual school last year.) So it’s more important than ever to make sure they’re getting enough outdoor time and unstructured free play. Just like adults, kids get cranky when they’re sedentary; happily, there’s a new playground at Cottell Park that makes for a fun mini “recess” after a long day in the classroom.
The 47-acre Cottell Park is located at the intersection of Snider and Irwin-Simpson Roads in Deerfield Township. Its centerpiece is the historic Snyder House, a charming, 19th century farmhouse that hosts private events and is a well-known wedding and event venue. My kids know it as the “park with two playgrounds”—but up until recently, the playground located behind the Snyder House parking lot didn’t hold a candle to the larger playground that faces Snyder Road. After a complete overhaul, however, this new playground is amazing and downright irresistible for kids.
While its footprint is small, the opportunities at this new play area are big. This multi-story play structure invites kids to scale, slide, and explore its various hideaways and secret nooks. Climbing rungs on the side allow for adventurous, Spiderman-style exploration (a challenge my 7-year-old happily accepted). Meanwhile, with all sorts of lookout spots and hidden alcoves, this play structure is as irresistible for kids as one of those massive indoor playgrounds…but better, because it’s outside.
As my kids adapt to their new routine, I’ll keep Cottell Park in my back pocket for an impromptu after-school recess. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last 18 months, it’s how happy my kids are when allowed to be wild and free.
Cottell Park, 5847 Irwin Simpson Rd., Deerfield Township