Moms with young children often ask me for great playgrounds for toddlers and preschoolers. The playground at Project Enlightenment has always been a favorite of mine since my older daughter was much smaller.
Project Enlightenment, near downtown Raleigh, is Wake County's early childhood education center. The program offers workshops and counseling for parents and kids; a great resource center with books and supplies for parents and teachers to make educational activities; and a half-day demonstration preschool, which is an inclusive pre-kindergarten program for children with developmental and/or social-emotional concerns and typically developing children.
And that's why Project Enlightenment has the playground. The space off Boylan Avenue is great for toddlers and preschoolers. You'll find rubber matting under the playsets; a collection of small buildings, such as a cafe and gas station, for imaginative play; and a music garden for making lots of noise. I love that it's completely fenced in so you don't have to worry about your kids running into the street. And there's a good bit of shade too.
The two playsets sit lower to the ground compared to similar structures at other playgrounds. One features slides and monkey bars. The other focuses more on climbing (and includes a drop off that my 21-month-old tried to "slide" down, so just watch that one).
The playground is popular in the neighborhood around Project Enlightenment. Just know that it is off limits when the preschool is in session. The summer and weekends are great times to go.
If you're going in July, Wednesdays might be the best day for a trip. That's when Project Enlightenment's great resource center is open. So before or after playing on the playground, you can stop in and check out the parenting books for you, the children's books for the kids and maybe make a quick educational activity to take home (check out my earlier post on making routine charts, great when it's time to go back to school). Click here to see more about the resource center.
The resource center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays in July. During the rest of the year, it's open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and until 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month (except in December and July).
To take a closer look at the playground, watch the video. And click here to learn more about Project Enlightenment.