I always think about those carefree, childless days whenever I head over to Cary's Ritter Park.
My husband and I lived in an apartment complex near the park when we first moved to the area more than a decade ago. I'd often walk along the greenway or by the park and see the kids playing on the playground with their parents. Park Review: Ritter Park
Fast forward a decade and now I'm one of those parents. The playground has changed. It went through a massive upgrade in 2007. But it remains a very popular spot for kids in the neighborhood and beyond.
Here's what I like:
The whirl: It's back. And I apologize for not having video of it as it was gone when I went out to shoot it. But the much-loved whirl is a disc-shaped piece of play equipment that kids sit in and then their parents or other kids spin them around. It looks a lot like this. You don't see many of these on playgrounds, but they're a lot of fun.
The rubber matting. I know lots of parks, especially in Cary, have the rubber surfacing instead of mulch or sand. But this is one of the first playgrounds in the area that I'd seen with the surfacing when it was poured back in 2007. The mat actually is deeper at spots depending on the height of the play equipment above it. And if you've ever seen a kid fall on it, it's amazing how they kind of just bounce.
The toucan bouncy ride: There are a lot of these bouncy rides around at area parks, but you don't see a lot of toucans.
The sand pit: I always forget sand toys when I head to the park and so it's always nice to know that there are usually some toys in pretty good shape at Ritter that my kids can play with. Thank you very much to the parents who left them behind.
Sight lines: The playground area is in a big circle and it's pretty easy to sit at one of the benches and watch your child from nearly all points in the playground.
The ball field: Recreational sports teams play here. But when they don't, it becomes a free for all for all the kids, who love running the bases or just running on the green open field.
There's more to like. So check the video for some scenes of Ritter Park. Worth nothing is the beautiful, giant picnic shelter if you're planning an end-of-season team party or big family reunion.
Ritter Park is at 301 Lochmere Drive West in Cary.
Looking for other park and playgrounds? Check our other parks and playgrounds reviews.