Leesville Community Park and Library opened in north Raleigh a couple of years ago.
The 55-acre site was a joint venture between the city, which provided the park, and Wake County, which provided the library.
I love places like this, and another that I reviewed in Wake Forest with a small playground and library, where kids can spend some time outside and inside. That's especially important during our hot, sunny North Carolina summers. Park Review: Leesville Playground
Leesville's playground is definitely unique, and raised some eyebrows after it opened. Instead of the traditional monkey bars and slides, the play structure, primarily designed for kids ages 5 to 12, is full of ropes and other pieces for climbing. There's a glider, a thin slide-like piece that kids can straddle to go down. You'll find another piece with two bars, one that kids can hold on to and another they can sit on and slide down. And there's some places where kids can spin.
Under a tarp, there's a smaller section for preschoolers, with some low monkey bars and a piece that spins balls (though most of the balls were broken when we were there a couple of weeks ago).
My two-year-old didn't spend much time in the section designed for her, but did enjoy attempting to keep up with all of the older kids, who were clearly having a great time at the playground. My six-year-old loved it and has asked several times if we can return.
Other than the tarp, there's not much shade at the playground, which sits on top of mulch.
There are plans for more improvements at Leesville, including upgrades to the playground. But those won't happen anytime soon. There's no money available for the work now, according to the city parks department.
The Leesville Road Library sits right next to the playground and is a small branch of Wake County's systems. Like most Wake libraries, you'll find a great range of programs and activities for babies to teens, including storytimes and crafts.
Check the library's website for details. And watch the video for a closer look at play at Leesville's playground.
You'll find the Leesville Community Park and Playground at 5105 Country Trail, Raleigh.
Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday.