There are more than three great playgrounds locally, but today I’m taking a look at the three best ones for …. big kids, kids who like extras, and kids who like to be at the most popular spot! Read on to see which parks made the cut.
This is Clara and Wyatt’s most favorite park currently. And, it’s ALSO the closest one to our house. Score!
The Kenneth Leo Marvin Veterans Memorial Park has a super tall slide tower, rope climbing, XL disk swing that fits 4+ kids, restrooms, a baseball/softball diamond, and a shade structure.
The monument, located along the parking lot entrance, honors community veterans who lost their lives fighting in World War II in the name of a local resident Kenneth Leo Marvin who joined the Marine Corps in 1939 and fought in WWII.
This park is easily the Gig Harbor region’s most popular in the region for its size, amenities, and inclusive play structure elements on the playground with high-back designs and sensory features. The park, once home to the Sehmel Family’s historic settler homestead, also plays host to several of public rec agency Pen Met Parks recreational events like its Summer Class Open House and the popular Scarecrow Festival. Wyatt even had his kindergarten field trip here!
In its entirety, Sehmel Homestead Park is a whopping 76 acres of grassy lawns, wetlands/ forest/trails, sports fields, and even a community center. The playground was designed with inclusivity in mind by incorporating structured back swings, and wheelchair access ramps alongside some climbing equipment and a multi-seat sensory structure that sways.
Elsewhere in the playground design, the slides and climbing structures are bright rainbow colors and there’s lots of seating around the perimeter for parents to sit and watch. NOTE: While the seating is handy, depending on where I sit, I’ve had to get up and walk around to find the kids behind a slide or under a platform, because the orientation of the play equipment leads to some blind spots.
The sports fields are laid out in a fancy sports complex style with paved walkways and a concession stand for baseball, softball, and soccer; plus a tennis and basketball court.
The outdoor amphitheater is a stunner in the summer – and is home to the rec organization’s outdoor movie nights on the big screen. Here’s the IG post about the kids and I seeing Disney’s The Little Mermaid there!
Crescent Creek Park stands out for two main reasons: it was Gig Harbor’s very first “city park” back in its early settler days, and (my favorite) has a fenced (and gated!) toddler area separate from the main playground. I think one of the fenced entries to this feature is either left open or is designed with a partial opening, so it’s not a complete fenced-in layout – but it’s pretty close.
The park has a large covered picnic structure, a big rock thing to climb in/on, habitat signage to the bordering creek (the water is off limits to play), a brightly painted imaginative boat play structure, a spinning buoy ride-on and other cute/creative maritime throwbacks to the Harbor’s fishing culture.
The site was originally owned by Crescent Valley School in 1915 and was used as a playground then, too.