Cranbrook Park – Tuesday Playground Profile
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 Cranbrook Park, a playground on the South West side of Ann Arbor. Cranbrook Park is in the neighborhood behind the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center. Check out all of our Tuesday Playground Profiles.
Cranbrook Park is a long park that serves multiple communities in the neighborhood behind the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center off W Eisenhower Pkwy (more easily identified for me as the neighborhood behind the Ann Arbor-Saline Rd Whole Foods).
Location: 1705 Linwood Avenue: Between Westwood, Maryfield, and Linwood
Unique Features: Lots and lots of space, very shaded tennis courts, two different sized structures for littles and mediums, a wonderful climbing tree for older elementary kid, and did I mention lots and lots of space? AKA: no where to run! If you have an escapee child you can feel safe at this park because there are only fields around the playground and no parking lots or roads in sight.
Swings: Yes, 2 regular, 2 buckets
Surface: Woodchips for playground, cement for half basketball courts (a regular hoop and a shorter hoop), lots and lots of grass in every direction
Bathrooms: No (but there are bathrooms in the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center)
Shade: Half of the playground is shaded all day long (the smaller structure) as is the tennis court. The rest is full-sun.
Pavilion: No pavilions but there are benches and one picnic table set a little ways from the playground
Sports Fields: 1 tennis court, a ½ basketball court, and lots of fields of grass
Walking Trails: There is a lovely long trail that winds through the park. It is paved so it is great for a medium length bike ride with kids, a walk with a stroller, or a jog. If you want you can make a loop by using the sidewalk along Oakbrook Drive. You will have to cross two car entrances but there is high visibility.
Parking: There is NO parking for this park! This actually really surprised me. Because it is tucked between all these housing communities there is no parking specifically for the park and there is no street parking. All the communities have private parking only. The best place to park is in the side lot of Whole Foods (grab a snack or drink while you’re at it). I did call and ask the manager about parking in the back, which is a slightly closer walk, but I was informed that it is for employees only.
Cranbrook Park Playground Review
I wanted to go on an adventure and discover a new park that I knew nothing about to review. I looked for a medium size spec of green on Google maps, verified it had a playground, packed up the kids in the car, and set off. That is how I became aware of Cranbrook Park.
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My first impression was actually negative – but had nothing to do with the park. (Hang with me because I really like the park). The park is strategically located so that people in at least SIX different apartment or housing subdivisions can get there by basically walking out their back doors. What this means for other people is that all the parking surrounding the park is private. I suppose I should have looked closer at the map.
Parking for Cranbrook Park
When I realized there was not parking, I was determined to review Cranbrook Park anyways since I had three very expectant children. So we parked in the Whole Foods Parking lot and walked along W Oakbrook Drive to the park entrance. Not as bad as I thought. From there you can see the playground so it is a pleasant walk. Being away from a street made the park feel very private, cozy, and quiet. An occasional person walking a dog, an elderly couple taking a walk…made it feel even more so. It was also so so so nice to not worry about streets, or cars, or bikes but just relax.
Cranbrook Park Playground Thoughts
The playground is set off the main path at a comfortable distance. It backs up into high brush and wildlife with grassy fields all around. My kids could run and run. I felt like they would run out of energy before the field ran out of distance. A great feeling.
I could also see myself coming back with a friend and walking our babies in strollers while letting older siblings run and roll in the fields (again, they can run within eyesight of the path but won’t get nowhere) or ride scooters or bikes along the path.
Overall, even though there is no parking I would still recommend it.
Cranbrook Park on the Ann Arbor Parks page. Have you visited Cranbrook Park’s playground? Do you have any additional comments?
Check out all of our Playground Profiles.