Kid-Tested Spring Break Playgrounds

Photos courtesy Keri Hepner on Instagram at klhepner

Spring break is around the corner, so we asked local 9-year old park expert, Josh Hepner, for his top 10 park destinations for your Portland staycation.

Josh became a park expert when he set a goal in 2015 to visit as many parks as possible.  PPF followed his adventures on Instagram when he used the #parklandia hashtag.  Josh said, “One day after school we wanted to go to a park to enjoy the nice weather and play – but we had been going to the same neighborhood park over and over and decided to go to a different park. My mom picked Peninsula Park because the roses were blooming. This started our journey to try and visit every park in Portland.”

We asked Josh what he would do if he had unlimited money for parks. He said, “I would put a skate park and water feature in every park. I would also invent something to make swings keep swinging once you hit the ultimate height.” That might take some time for PPF and Portland Parks & Recreation to achieve, so in the meantime here are Josh’s top 10 parks picks (in no particular order):

10. Senn’s Dairy Park: This one was so fun!! I could have played at this one all day; it’s always fun to sit inside of a rocking chicken.

9. Glenhaven Skatepark: Some of my first skateboarding was done here, this one is close to my house, so it doesn’t take too long to get there.

8. Northgate Park: It was a really hot day when we went to this park, it was fun to climb on the spider web thing and the water feature was really awesome.

7. Pendleton Park: I liked the old merry-go-round the best; my little brother loved the big rabbit that is off to the side.

6. Wellington Park: This one is in my neighborhood and close to my school. I can walk there so I go there a lot. There’s a great view of Mt. St. Helens on a clear day.

5. McKenna Park: The monkey bars were awesome, and there were guys playing a basketball game that I watched.

4. Ivon Street Park: This small little corner park was actually a lot of fun. The slide was fun to go down on my belly, and it had cool swings.

3. Patton Square Park: We were driving by and just decided to stop at this one, and I’m glad we did. We didn’t spend too much time there but plan on going back again because those things that twist up and down while you sit on them were fun.

2. John Luby Park: This park was nice a shady when it is hot, and really big! And again, the monkey bars were awesome.

1. The Fields Park: [Picture in banner] We had a picnic in this park, and even though I hurt my elbow in this park, we got to play in the sand until the sun went down.

Thank you to Josh and Keri Hepner for this totally awesome list of kid-tested parks. We’ll continue to follow you on Instagram and watch for more fun park visits!