NJ Playgrounds: Regatta Playground in West Orange, NJ
Another November day close to 70 degrees in New Jersey and we were certainly not staying inside! After having so much fun last week at KidStreet Playground in Bridgewater, G and I were psyched to try another new playground. Picking up G’s Great Grandma on the way, we set off on our next adventure to the newly built Regatta Playground in West Orange. This playground has been on my visit list since I saw it being built last year. Let me tell you, this nautical-themed playground nestled right on the picturesque reservoir in the South Mountain Recreation Complex is awesome for both kids and parents!
We entered the playground through the main gate at the back of the picnic pavilion. The entire playground has only one entrance and exit with a high top latch on the gate. This gave me great piece of mind for keeping an eye on my toddler, who tends to be a flight risk.
The large playground has three main areas: large ship play space geared toward 5-12 year olds, small ship play space for pre-school kiddos 2-5, and a vast swings area with a giant web climber.
There are also many great additional features for kids of varied ages and abilities to enjoy such as a musical instrument station, rock climbing and rope area, dragon fly sea saw, balance beams, and spinners.
My favorite part?! The playground is surrounded by clusters of Adirondack chairs! Next time, I’m bringing friends! This is a great spot to relax and catch up with the girls while the kids play. The beautiful view was very calming.
I also loved the adorable mushroom cap tables for picnicking and playing.
Address & Parking:
This playground is a little tricky to find if you are unfamiliar with the area.
The best GPS address to use to find this park is 9 Cherry Lane, West Orange. This brings you close to the playground, right next to the Essex County Paddle Boat House, which has adorable Swan Paddle Boats to rent in season. It’s also just down the street from the Turtle Back Zoo, which we will be visiting in another few weeks for their spectacular Holiday Lights display.
There are two main places to park. The closest is the Oakdale Parking area across the street from the playground. We parked here and the lot was almost full on a November weekday! From this lot, you have to cross the busy street which made me uneasy. To help, there is a well-marked crosswalk and light at the intersection. The park’s gated entrance is visible once you walk through the center pavilion entrance.
A bit farther down, you can also park near McLoone’s Boathouse Restaurant (great dining for a date night) in the back area where people park for the paddle boats. From there, walk down to the park through the path by the reservoir or head down Cherry Lane on the sidewalk.
Bathrooms, Water, Tables:
There is a multi-leveled water fountain located at the playground entrance. Next to the playground entrance is a shaded picnic pavilion with many tables. Bathrooms, including two family bathrooms with diaper changers, are located outside the playground, next to the picnic pavilion.
We had a great time at this beautiful playground. Everything was brand new, spotless, and completely kid-friendly. When the weather gets nicer in the spring, we will definitely visit again. Next time I’d also like to walk the stroller friendly path that circles the reservoir.
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