5 Gated Playgrounds for Corralling Young Children in the Triangle


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Waverly Place offers a gated playground with artificial turf.

Photos courtesy of Rachel Blackwood and Instagram

Playgrounds are great places for kids to burn off some of their endless energy — especially when summer heat transitions into fall breezes. But as parents and caregivers, our priority is to keep kids safe. Gated playgrounds make that job a bit easier for all of us. 

Here are five gated playgrounds located around the Triangle where you can turn those kiddos loose and relax for a spell.

 

Abbott's Creek Park

9950 Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27614

The Abbott's Creek Park playground has very large sun shades covering most of the play area, which is GREAT. It has a rubberized surface, too. This playground features tot-sized equipment, including a small slide and bucket swings. The community center has bathrooms available with a changing table. The only drawback is that this playground is fairly small, so it can get crowded fast.

 

Marsh Creek Park

3050 N. New Hope Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27604

The playground at Marsh Creek Park is beautifully landscaped, completely enclosed and of decent size. It features a mostly rubberized surface. However, along the outskirts of the play space there are bushes and flowers. My kids loved the butterflies flying around the shrubs as much as the playground.

This playground features separate sets of play equipment for older children and toddlers. If you position yourself in the right spot, you can see most of the playground and keep an eye on kids running in opposite directions. Younger tots can manage the older children’s section pretty easily with just a little help. The equipment here also includes ramps, ladders and stairs. Bathrooms and changing tables are available at the community center. The only downside to this playground? It’s located in mostly direct sun.

Eastgate Park 

4200 Quail Hollow Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27609

Nestled in Quail Hollow neighborhood, you will find 25-acre Eastgate Park. This playground has a lot of tree shade, which is great for hot summer months. The toddler equipment is a little challenging for the smallest explorers, but Eastgate Park does have a small sand area and bucket swings for younger tots.

The older and younger children’s play structures are separate, but both are enclosed by the same fence. Parents and caregivers will find shaded picnic tables and benches within the playground area. Cons to this park? The bathroom is a small with only a single stall, and there is no changing table. Also, this is a popular playground so it can get pretty busy.

Waverly Place Playground and Splash Pad

2001 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC 27518

Located in Waverly Place shopping center, the Waverly Place Playground is fenced in and built on an AstroTurf surface. It features both a playground and small splash pad, which is a great feature in the hot summer months. The playground also includes a family-sized bathroom with a changing table and is located near several restaurants for grabbing a quick meal or snack.

The toddler area is adjacent to the larger playground and splash pad, but is separated by its own fence. The younger kids’ section is fairly small, with only a small structure and tunnel. The larger playground is manageable for older toddlers and school-age kids. The splash pad features a few water spouts to cool off from the heat.

The playground and splash pad don’t open to the public until 10 a.m., which may be late for those of you who have early risers. There is no real shade to speak of here, either. The small splash pad area is a nice place to cool off in, but gets busy quickly. Younger toddlers may experience some boredom, especially if they are not too keen on the splash pad area. But if you need a place to do a little shopping or grab a bite to eat, this playground is a nice stopping point.

 

Mordecai Mini Park 

1122 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Despite its name, Mordecai Mini Park's playground is actually of decent size. It features sand and mulch surfaces as well as lots of tree shade, and is separated into two sections: an upper and lower half. Between the two areas are platforms with picnic tables in the shade.

The lower half houses a pretend fire truck, bucket swings and ride-on animals. The upper half includes equipment for older toddlers and school-age children. The playground has a mostly sand surface, so if your little ones love the sand, they will enjoy this playground.

Parking is free and located on the street. The biggest issue is there are no bathrooms. None. Not even a porta-potty. And the closest gas station or restaurant is about a mile away. So if you go to this playground, plan a potty stop ahead of time!

Discover what makes a playground great10 playgrounds worth a drive and new parks opening (or already open) in the Triangle.

Rachel Blackwood reviews local playgrounds, classes and children’s activities at her blog, raleightotspots.com.

 
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May 2019

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Hilton Raleigh
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Apex Community Park
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Park West Village
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Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
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Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
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101 Wilkinson Ave.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


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Cost: Free

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2112 County Park Dr.
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
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Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

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Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Cost: $5/person. Free for ages 2 and younger

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The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
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120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

Where:
Edison Johnson Community Center
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Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
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Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
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Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
SummerStage
800 Taylor St
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Hi-Wire Brewing and abc11

More information

Enjoy Raleigh’s premier Japanese animation and culture convention. Concerts, educational panels, limited merchandise, unique artwork and more highlight the event. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $65/person

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15-$30

Where:
Duke University East Campus
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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
SummerStage
800 Taylor St
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Hi-Wire Brewing, abc11, and Offline

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are provided,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about songbirds! Registration is not required. The display table is located at the Upper Playground.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-2117
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Enjoy Raleigh’s premier Japanese animation and culture convention. Concerts, educational panels, limited merchandise, unique artwork and more highlight the event. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $65/person

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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