The playground at Buffaloe Road Athletic Park is about to get busier as the weather warms up and people look for places to cool down.
But that's not because there's any shade at this playground at the east Raleigh park. It's because the popular, year-round Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center, which opened last year, is right there too. The center features an indoor water play area with a tall slide, currents, vortex and a special play area for younger kids. Playground Review: Buffaloe Road Athletic Park
But the playground is worth a stop before or after a session in the water. While there's no shade, you will find a large sand area with bucket swings; a play set with slides, including a very steep one that my three-year-old loved; and some small boulders to climb on.
You'll also find some shaded picnic tables next to a building with bathrooms if you want to stop for lunch or a quick snack.
The playground is right at the entrance to the park, which also features ball fields and trails. The park hosts some big events, including the World Fastpitch Connection youth tournament; track and field meets; and youth baseball tournaments.
For a closer look, watch the video tour.
Buffaloe Road Athletic Park is at 5900 Buffaloe Rd. in Raleigh.