This fall I was honored to attend a playground ribbon-cutting ceremony at my former elementary school in Gurnee, Spaulding. My once tiny K-2 school is now much bigger, but the small-town community feel is still alive and well at Spaulding School. And the Spaulding students and neighboring community are now the lucky benefactors of a brand new community park/playground that looks nothing like the one during my days there in the early 1980’s.
Nestled in a quiet neighborhood on the northeast side of Gurnee, Spaulding School is one of four elementary/middle schools in Gurnee School District #56. The Gurnee Park District and the school district partnered together to design and build a new playground experience for both the school kids and the surrounding neighborhood children.
On the day of the park’s official opening, the excitement mounted as the superintendent spoke, along with a park district representative, about the planning that went into the design and installation of the playground. Once the ribbon was cut with the help of a few lucky students, the students were given the green light to test out the new equipment. It was amazing to watch them all race to the playgrounds, giggling and smiling, and even better to see them all nicely lined up as they waited their turn on the swings.
The park consists of two separate playground areas, perfect for toddlers up to ages seven or eight. My three year old twins had a blast on the smaller of the two structures. A new bank of swings, a bunch of fun slides, a bridge, and a lot of climbing areas are the main focus of the playgrounds. There is also a super-cool modern merry-go-round (nothing like the rusted metal ones of the past) and a small igloo-like cave for climbing on or under.
The park is sunny and bright but has shaded areas, including a canopy on the smaller playground. The scale of the equipment is purposely designed for younger children, which makes it the perfect for both the K-2 Spaulding students and younger future students. It’s safe, clean, and best of all — FUN! These pictures of all of the excitement don’t lie. So whether you live nearby or you’re looking for a fun playground perfect for your younger children in Lake County, be sure to check out Spaulding Park!
Have you been to Spaulding Park? What is your favorite activity there?
Gurnee Park District
3638 Florida Ave., Gurnee, IL 60031