Our Favorite Playgrounds Across the Triangle
From All-Inclusive to Modern to Traditional…Something for Every Child!
As a father of four children under ten years old, one of our favorite ways to spend time together as a family is on the playground at a local park. There is nothing better than packing a picnic lunch, loading up our vehicle, and traveling to a local park to play and enjoy a picnic lunch, especially on a beautiful sunny day. Since relocating to the Triangle seven years ago, we have traveled across the area and have visited dozens of parks with playgrounds. From traditional to modern “American Ninja Warrior” style to natural to all-inclusive playgrounds, the Triangle has a playground for every ability, age, and child. The following are our favorite playgrounds across the Triangle.
Apex Community Park – Elevate Fitness Course
Do your kids love American Ninja Warrior? If so, check out the Elevate Fitness Course at Apex Community Park! This state-of-the-art fitness course will test their agility, balance, and strength. Constructed fully over astroturf, this course includes multiple elements that flow from from one to another and challenges both arm and leg strength. This “playground” has always been a favorite of our kids!
Address: Apex Community Park, 2200 Laura Duncan Road, Apex, NC 27511
Hours: 6:30am – 10:00pm (hours vary by season)
Phone: (919) 249-3402
East Clayton Community Park – Harmony Playground
Opened in late October 2020, the Harmony Playground at East Clayton Community Park includes opportunities to play for every child. With the vision of “every child deserves a chance to play,” a collaborative partnership of private and public funding made this playground possible. It includes a wide variety of elements, from natural play with sand and water to a traditional playground constructed over compressed rubber. It includes a slightly sloped climbing wall that even our 18-month old toddler could climb on his own!
Address: East Clayton Community Park, 1774 Glen Laurel Road, Clayton, NC 27527
Hours: 6:00am – 11:00pm
Phone: (919) 553-1550
Knightdale Station Park
Knightdale Station Park is a beautifully designed park, with athletic fields, paved multi-use trails, multiple shelters, and a railway themed playground. The playground includes traditional playground equipment with ladders, slides, and swings along with agricultural themed structures, including a chicken coup and grain silo. It definitely makes for a fun playground experience for kids!
Address: Knightdale Station Park, 810 North First Avenue, Knightdale, NC 27545
Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Phone: (919) 217-2230
Smithfield Community Park
Our favorite park close to home in Johnston County is Smithfield Community Park. It includes two playgrounds, athletic fields, picnic shelters, the Buffalo Creek Greenway, and the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC). The new playground opened in 2018 through the Partnership for Children Park and Miracle Field, an inclusive project for children of all abilities. The new playground is constructed over compressed rubber and offers multiple elements including bouncy seats, climbing structures, stump jumps, swings, and a pirate ship themed playground. There is enough to keep you busy for an entire day at this park!
Address: Smithfield Community Park, 600 Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield, NC 27577
Hours: SRAC Hours – 5:30am-9pm, M-Th; 5:30am-8pm, F; 8am-5pm, S; 1pm-5pm, S
Phone: (919) 934-2148
Laurel Hills Park – Sassafras Playground
Sassafras All Children’s Playground at Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh is the largest, most expensive playground in the Triangle. With a project cost of $2.3 million, $1 million of the project budget was funded from the 2014 parks bond. This 3.5-acre site includes a playground for children of all abilities with a variety of play experiences. The playground is fully accessible and is constructed over compressed rubber and includes picnic areas and shelters for shade during the hot summer months. One of the highlights is a pair of 50-foot zip lines that hover above the ground. This playground is a favorite for our kids!
Address: Laurel Hills Park, 3808 Edwards Mills Road, Raleigh, NC 27612
Hours: Laurel Hills Community Center Hours – 8:00am-5:00pm
Phone: (919) 420-2383