Spring is here! Warmer weather signals that my kiddos are out of hibernation mode and ready for outdoor exploration and activities. Tired and bored with the confines of indoor games, they are eager to get outside and play– but they want to play somewhere other than home– as they love going to different parks and places. So on the first warm day of spring, I decided to take my kiddos to South Park. South Park is the second of nine Allegheny County parks to be highlighted in our ongoing park series.
Made up of over 2000 acres of South Park Township and Bethel Park, South Park provides plenty of resources, activities for every age of child, as well as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. So I packed up some lunches and a bag of bread and headed out on our adventures. Since I am a South Hills resident, this was a quick drive, which allows us to often for impromptu outings. Our first stop was the Game Preserve located on Sesqui Drive.
The pond on the preserve is a short walk up the hill from the big Black and Gold Playground located on Corrigan Drive. I wanted to start our day here at the Game Preserve, as I remember visiting here as a child–and loving it. We brought a loaf of bread to feed the geese, ducks and turkeys– just like I used to do when I was little. My kids loved interacting and feeding all of the various types of birds. They could get so close to the birds and see their features and hear their quacks up close. Our time at the Game Preserve was enjoyed by all of my kiddos. The Game Preserve was not crowded, and the kiddos had plenty of space to walk about in a safe area and feed any of the birds that came near them.
Next we walked up to the fenced in area that houses four peacocks and two white ducks. The male peacock put on a show for us. My kids were amazed with his beautiful plumage.
After watching the peacock’s show, we walked to the upper field to see the buffalo. Three baby buffalo were born since St. Patrick’s Day (one is named Paddy) and there are nine adults in the herd. Unfortunately they were located in a spot that they could not be seen. We will definitely be going back to see them!
After completing all of the sights in the Game Preserve, we spotted a trail across from the parking lot. My daughter and I enjoyed a leisurely walk before walking down to the Black and Gold Playground in South Park.
The Black and Gold Playground is located on the main road of South Park, Corrigan Drive, on the end closest to the South Park Fairgrounds. This enclosed playground is fantastic, as it is large and has ample room for kids to run around and explore.
There are different play areas for children of various ages. Ample amount of slides and swings ensures all children have time and space to enjoy the playground. The ground is cushioned to prevent bruises when kiddos fall, which we know they always fall.
And although the playground is large, it is fenced in! This is a great stress reliever for watching multiple kids who want to play at various sections of the playground.
Additionally there is a picnic table located within the fenced playground area as well as various shelters in close proximity to the playground to have lunch.
And the bonus for parents who like to exercise, there is an outdoor fitness area directly outside of the playground.
My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our day out at South Park. We will be going back often because not only was it a fun day out, it was a FREE day out. We plan on returning to South Park with our dogs to let them play in the off leash area and I plan on exercising along the wide pedestrian path along Corrigan Drive and on the trails, which can be used for running, biking, and horseback riding. Additionally, shelters are available for rental for birthday parties, graduations, reunions, and family picnics.
For Memorial Day weekend we plan on spending a day at the wave pool as well as exploring the BMX track.
Another popular stop is the Oliver Miller homestead, an early settlement that teaches kids about life during colonial times.
Looking ahead, there’s an ongoing free concert series on Friday nights throughout the summer months, which is a fantastic opportunity for a family night out. Other summer events include the South Park Theater’s season, including the Children’s Outdoor Theater.
Get out and explore the Allegheny County parks.
South Park is a such a great resource to have in Allegheny County; although I am a South Hills resident, I did not realize all of the activities and events available for the entire family. South Park‘s further offerings include boards, bikes, and blades 3Bs action park, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, martial arts programs, dek hockey rink, golf course, hundred acres manor haunted house, radio control airplane field, and tennis courts. For a link to the events calendar, see here.
Hours: South Park is open daily dawn to midnight
See you on the trails!