The new playground at Crowder District Park isn't bigger than the old one. But it offers more opportunities to play thanks to a large new play structure that features a 10-foot central tower.
Wake County reopened the playground in November after a massive overhaul that includes a lot of new pieces - and some old ones. Part of the original play area for kids ages 2 to 5 remains, but that one was reconfigured and also sports some new play panels.
The playground's focal point is that new play structure, which also sports different ways to climb, lots of play panels, a roller slide and two long (and fast) slides coming down from that giant tower.
Around it, kids will find an impressive climbing structure; pieces that will spin them around; and several opportunities to make music with drums and xylophones. The sounds echo out across the 33-acre park off Ten Ten Road in Apex and sound a little like the regular chiming of church bells.
The new playground, coupled with the smaller play structures that dot the 0.3-mile paved loop and boardwalk around the park's pond, make the play areas at Crowder District park one of my favorites in the region.
This is the perfect place to spend an hour or more - playing on the playground and walking the trails. With the promise of a boardwalk and playgrounds, there's plenty to keep kids moving forward on those walks.
You'll find plenty of parking here, along with two restroom buildings - one near the main playground and a second next to Heron Shelter and playground. At the end of the pond, there's also a swinging bench and wooden platforms where my seven-year-old spent plenty of time looking for creatures in the water and grasses.
There is no fence around any of the playgrounds, but there is plenty of seating around the perimeter of the main playground for parents and kids who want a break. There also are three picnic shelters, along with lots of picnic tables scattered around the park if a picnic is part of your plans.
The image gallery gives you a closer look at the playground. Crowder District Park is at 4709 Ten Ten Rd., Apex. It offers a variety of programs for kids and families. The park's website has more information about these, which typically require pre-registration.