By Michelle Gillan Larkin
When I take my five-year old son to the playground, I’m always sure to bring along water, a snack, and a pack of wipes. We recently stumbled upon a gigantic gem of a park in Chappaqua that begs visitors to pack enough gear to last the better part of a day.
It’s called Gedney Park, and it has so much to offer. A whopping 126-acres of offerings, as a matter of fact, and the playground is just the start. This vast bastion of the great outdoors is situated along the heavily-traveled Route 133, and it would not be an exaggeration to call it an oasis from life that’s whizzing by at 40-miles per hour. As we pulled off the road and into the parking lot, my son spotted the playground first, and took off at a pace that I’m sure was over the speed limit.
He was tickled that he had to cross over this sweet, little covered bridge to enter the sprawling play area, and thrilled to discover three jungle gyms (big, bigger, biggest), six swings for young and older kids alike, and a small sandbox. While he ran in twenty different directions, I stood still in awe that all of this sits at the very edge of a small, wooded area. A serene backdrop painted in the colors of fall, with welcoming picnic tables along its perimeter.
Surprise: There’s hiking here too!
When it was time for a break, I grabbed my son’s hand and we ventured into those woods yonder for an easy hike along a short loop that’s dotted with signs describing the types of trees we were looking up at, and the insects, birds, and small animals that live among them.
With this taste of nature on the tips of our tongues, we left the playground to explore the rest of the park. There before us was a wide, open field that seemed to cry out for picnic blankets to cover it. The lush, green grass sloped upward at one end and we imagined it would be quite the ride down in a sled.
We then picked up another path that led to a large, sparkling pond. We were able to walk all the way around it, and got giddy when we spotted a turtle sunning himself on a rock. Across the water, the woods beckoned to us once again. We started to follow the clearly blazed trails only to realize we were headed way uphill. We turned back, but vowed to return armed with better footwear and daddy.
With so much activity, exercise, and space, one sippy cup and a pack of Goldfish would never be enough to tackle all of Gedney Park. Yet, it’s nice to have a choice: Divide and conquer, or plan ahead, pack the proper provisions, and spend the whole day long immersed in these beautiful green acres.
Check back in with us in two weeks when we’ll visit a playground in Scarsdale that’s brand-spanking new.
Gedney Park, Route 133, Millwood