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The top 5 playgrounds in Ann Arbor

The main play structure at County Farm Park on Platt Road (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – Luckily for local families, Tree Town has no lack of playgrounds and parks.

As kids get older and go through different stages, parents generally rely on two things when choosing a spot to play: location and the personal needs of their child.

Some parents prefer more closed-in playgrounds, such as Wheeler Park, so that their little ones can't run into the road just feet away. Some prefer climbing structures for bigger kids who've outgrown the playgrounds designed for toddlers. Some playgrounds are suited for certain age groups and some are suited for all.

We turned to some tried and true local moms who shared their favorites with us.

County Farm Park

By and large, this was the playground that ranked the highest. Not only is it in a beautiful setting, it also features an impressive play structure, an area for little ones to play safely, regular and secured swing sets and an area to explore seedlings in the community garden sponsored by Project Grow. Surrounding the playground are running paths that are perfect for pushing your infant or toddler in a stroller. The covered picnic area with restrooms makes this a place where families can comfortably spend hours.

Location: 2230 Platt Road

The toddler play area at County Farm Park (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Gallup Park

Besides a beautiful 1.35 mile-long walking trail that loops around the Huron River with breathtaking views and a canoe livery, Gallup Park features three playgrounds. With shaded sitting areas and public bathrooms throughout, the park is a great choice to spend a morning or afternoon.

The most recent addition is the Rotary Centennial Playground, an impressive project on the riverfront featuring various play areas that are inspired by the surrounding nature. It is wheelchair accessible so parents and kids with all abilities can enjoy the structures.

Location: 3000 Fuller Road

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

The park features two smaller play areas closer to the main entrance of the park. One is for infants and toddlers, the other for toddlers and up.

The infant/toddler play area at Gallup Park (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

The structure for toddlers and up next to the main bridge at Gallup Park (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Burns Park

Located in the center of one of Ann Arbor's most sought-after neighborhoods, this playground is situated on the edge of the expansive park. The play structure is low and has barriers lining the sides, so it is suitable for little ones as well as bigger kids. A swing set and sandbox round out this playground's features. A covered pavilion on site has restrooms, but it is a bit of a walk from the playground.

Location: 1300 Baldwin Avenue

(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Island Park

Get a sense of escape in this special place nestled in Ann Arbor's north side. The park itself is located on a small island with the flowing Huron River on each side. It is accessed by small bridges close to public parking spaces, where public bathrooms are located. The playground structure is great for all ages, as well as the swing sets. The picturesque pavilion is just a short walk away. Bring your camera when venturing to Island Park!

Location: Island Drive

​​​​​​​(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Allmendinger Park

This small playground on the west side is a local favorite. It features a climbing wall and net for big kids, separate slide structures and a swing set. It has public restrooms, softball fields, tennis and basketball courts. In the winter, the park has a skating rink that is accessible during park hours 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

One mom I spoke to on the playground said it's a great spot because it's well-shaded, but felt that it's most suitable for kids ages 3 and up since they like to ascend the climbing wall but don't always know how to get down. 

Location: 655 Pauline Boulevard

​​​​​​​(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

​​​​​​​(Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

What's your favorite playground in Ann Arbor? Let us know in the comments below!

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