Last week was a long week. My younger daughter was recovering from a bug that kept her home from school.
By Friday, she was almost fully recovered, but not quite ready for a busy school day. But, she was tired of being cooped up at home and so was I. So, despite the steady rain in the forecast, we made the trek to Carpenter Park, one of Cary's newest parks.
It was pouring by the time we got there, but we were so ready to be out of the house, neither of us cared. She ran from piece to piece on the playground as I took some pictures. It's not a big playground, but we both were impressed with the play pieces that were there.
Carpenter Park, 4420 Louis Stephens Rd., opened in late summer 2016. The 16-acre park includes a playground, basketball court, terraced lawn, preserved forest, pedestrian trail, pickleball courts, a picnic shelter, a central pond with an earthen dam and the town's second community garden.
The $3 million park is paid for thanks to the 2012 Community Bond Referendum, which voters approved. An official park dedication is scheduled for spring 2017, but it's open now for play.
We'll focus on the playground in this post. It isn't huge, but you'll find two sections.
The first caters to kids ages 2 to 5 with a small slide, tunnel, drums and different ways to climb.
The play structure for older kids - ages 5 to 12 - is the focal point. The main piece is a giant rope climbing structure that kids (and adults) can access from all angles, including the very center. There are several pads where climbers can take a break and take in the view. The structure also includes a tall slide and what looks like a large belt swing that two or three kids can sit on or a single kid can try to balance on.
Speaking of swings, the playground does include a couple of belt swings, a bucket swing and another swing designed for kids with mobility issues.
There is no fence around the playground, a feature that I know is important to some parents. The park's basketball and tennis courts are across the parking lot from the playground. A picnic shelter sits right next to the playground. And restrooms are just a few steps away - and right next to the large pond.
Check the image gallery and quick video for a closer look.