Playgrounds have reopened after closures during the stay at home order. Please remember to keep social distance while at the playground. Playgrounds are not sanitized, so please use your own judgement as to whether they are a good option for your family. Amenities like bathrooms and water fountains may not be available due to current restrictions.
Each week Ann Arbor with Kids is profiling a different playground in the Ann Arbor area including Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Dexter, etc. Today we are profiling Arbor Oaks Park, a playground on the south side of Ann Arbor (follow Stone School south past the I-94 or go up Stone School off of Ellsworth) located at the intersection of Champagne Dr. and Stratton Ct. Check out all of our Tuesday Playground Profiles.
Arbor Oaks Park
Arbor Oaks Park is in a neighborhood off E Ellsworth Rd and Stone School Rd
Location: 2090 Champagne Drive: Entrances from Stratton Ct, Lucerne Ct Eden Ct, Blain Ct. Best parking on Champagne Drive.
Unique Features: Pirate themed structure, afternoon and evening shade, a circular path and basketball court for easy bike riding, tire swing, checkerboard picnic table, lots of small planes fly overhead
Swings: Yes, 2 regular, 1 bucket, 1 special needs
Surface: Woodchips for playground, cement for basketball court and all trails, grass field
Water: No, there is a water fountain but it does not work
Bathrooms: No, there are no bathrooms
Shade: The playground is very shady in the afternoon and evening.
Picnic Tables/Benches: There are 3 picnic tables right next to the playground, two are under arbors for shade. There are two benches right by the play structure, one is right under the shade all afternoon.
Pavilion: No true ‘pavilions’ but there are two picnic tables in the shade under arbors
Sports Fields: A small basketball court and a circular field area
Walking Trails: There is a great paved circle with benches at regular intervals. Great for biking, getting your daily steps in pushing a stroller, or walking a wheelchair.
Parking: There is plenty of street parking on Champagne Drive.
Arbor Oaks Park Playground Review
This past week my husband wanted to take our boys to help a friend with a building project in a neighborhood off Stone School Rd. I needed a back-up plan (since the men actually wanted to build stuff and not just pretend with the kids) so I looked up parks nearby. Arbor Oaks Park was the biggest green on the map in the neighborhood. So after a little ‘construction’ we headed over to the park to play.
When we asked a passerby about parking on the street for the park they said “you mean the Pirate Park”? (um…YES!!!) They call it the Pirate Park because the play structure has sails like a ship. The neighborhood kids apparently like to pretend they are pirates. My kids, who are a little small to understand complex role play, liked Shark Hunting from on top of the wiggly whales!
If your kids are old enough you can teach them how to play checkers on a special picnic table. You can play with leaves, wood chips, blades of grass, or small rocks.
The climbing structure is easy for younger kids but also fun for older kids. There is a swirly slide and a side-by-side double slide. A fun faux-rock climbing area. There are also a few monkey bar type structures for older kids: regular ones and a circle that you grab onto and spin around on while hanging. There were a few elementary school girls hanging and doing somersault flips on the latter. And even though there is no merry go round there is a tire swing that is set up to be pushed around fast with plenty of room on the sides. Dizzying!
My boys are in the early stages of learning to ride pedal bikes. Because of this I am constantly noticing the trail and surface surfaces to see if they are bike-friendly. This park not only has nicely paved trails (all of them), but all the trails into the park connect to an inner circle that is perfect for loops and loops of bike riding. And the trail is flat, so super easy. We didn’t have our bikes with us but I will definitely be volunteering my husband and kids for more construction help to give us more excuses to go to this park.
BONUS Play Area
One of the trails off the circle connects this park to the Bryant Elementary School playground. If that is your elementary school skip the bus one day and play at two parks after pick-up!
Learn more about Arbor Oaks Park on the Ann Arbor Parks page. Have you visited Arbor Oaks Park’s playground? Do you have any additional comments?
Check out all of our Playground Profiles.