Nature Playscape in Forest Park: Experience Nature in a New Way

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If you haven’t checked out Forest Park’s newest addition — Nature Playscape — you should! It recently opened in June, so I took my elementary-aged kiddos to check it out.

 

a girl jumping from stump to stump across a stream at Forest Park and the Nature Playscape feature

 

It’s referred to as an “experiential play space” with natural landscapes (including water features) and spans a whopping 17 acres, right in the heart of Forest Park. It features nine distinct activity areas — including a Sensory Garden, Spring, Meadow, Mounds, and Wetland — connected by a series of accessible paths and boardwalks.

 

We spent about an hour-and-a-half there on a warm weekday morning and were able to cover the entire playscape with almost an hour spent playing in the fountains and water features. They had a great time!

 

-Nature Playscape Pro Tips-

 

a girl climbing on a giant log

Where Should I Park?

If you enter Forest Park from Hampton Avenue, you can follow the roundabout north and try to snag a spot along Concourse Drive near The World’s Fair Pavilion. But when it’s crowded, there is plenty of street parking on the east side of the playscape along Carr Lane Drive.

 

What Should My Kids Wear?

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! (There is some shade along the playscape but LOTS of sun). And because the fountains and water features are SUPPOSED to be played in, dress them in clothes that can get wet/muddy and water shoes for climbing the wet, slippery rocks.

 

Are There Bathrooms?

Yes! There are two sets of bathrooms (one near the west entrance by The World’s Fair Pavilion and the other near the east entrance). 

 

a boy and a girl crouched down as they play in a stream

 
Is it Stroller-Friendly?

Depends. The walkways are a mix of wooden boardwalks, small gravel, and mulch with very little concrete, so if you have a stroller capable of going off-roading, go for it! Otherwise, you may be better off with a carrier for little ones who aren’t up for walking.

 

Anything Else I Should Bring?

Water! They have water fountains/water bottle filling stations conveniently located throughout the playscape. Towels! If your kids are like mine and end up wet/muddy, you will want a towel for the car ride home.

 

This is a great place to kill an hour or two with kids of any age and would make a great meet-up spot for a playdate. 

 

a boy climbing on a hollow log at Forest Park’s Nature Playscape in St. Louis

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