Did you know that Warren County is known as “Ohio’s Largest Playground?” With a world-renowned amusement park (that also boasts its own water park), an expansive indoor and outdoor water resort, a nationally acclaimed sporting arena, important historic sites, and superlative outdoor recreation, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in this northern Cincinnati suburb. In fact, it can be difficult for newcomers to stand out in a sea of such big names and bucket-list-worthy adventures. But Makino Park in Mason does.
Makino Park’s Common Ground Playground is a one-of-a-kind play space that encourages inclusivity and accessibility. This 23-acre park in Mason is the first of its kind in the area, with numerous features designed to make it a place for all. Sensory-friendly play structures, interactive elements, and a variety of different areas designed for kids from toddlers to elementary age make this a wonderful place for families with kids of different ages or developmental stages.
While 2020 is behind us, I will admit I’m still a bit wary of visiting some of the area’s bigger attractions with my kids. So I appreciate a place like Common Ground, with its expansive size, fenced-in perimeter, and diversity of play areas. There is a shaded, centrally located sitting area, too, where you can see the entirety of the park, making it easy to keep track of wayward children.
But what’s most striking about Common Ground is how downright irresistible it is for kids. Brightly colored butterflies decorate the jungle gyms and the toddler play area is full of houses and supplies for imaginative play (the pretend food was a big hit with my 3 year old!). Music can be made via larger-than-life xylophones or the computerized Simon-esque game (parents hailing from the ’80s will get this reference!). Kids can fly on zip lines, whirl on roundabouts, and partake in an epic see-saw experience. Best of all, there is an abundance of green space and open areas in this park, which is perfect for kids who just need to get out their energy.
There is something for everyone at Makino Park, and while your kids are blissfully having fun, they are also learning important lessons about social inclusion and cooperative play. Common Ground is an inclusive, welcoming space that takes accessibility to a whole other realm. But then, this is a park located in Ohio’s Largest Playground, so of course it’s going to be next level.
Common Ground Playground at Makino Park, 6100 Kopfler Ct., Mason