School’s out soon (or already is) and all over Great Lakes Bay kids are anxiously awaiting outdoor play – well okay, at least mine are! It’s finally consistently sunny and warm, and my girls want playgrounds, dirt to dig in, and are inquiring daily, “Mom – when are we going to the splash park?”
We love to play outside, and visit our local parks, but until recently I had no idea how many can be found within the Saginaw, Midland, and Bay counties. I was shocked to find that in this area alone, there are well over 100 parks, all which can be found within the directory of GreatLakesBayMoms.com! Let’s highlight a few here.
In Saginaw County:
Andersen Celebration Park – 1830 Fordney St, Saginaw
features: splash park, playground, skate park, walking paths, picnic areas
One of my family’s absolute favorites is the Frank N. Andersen Celebration Park across from the YMCA in Saginaw. Being that we are from the area, my kids want to go here at least once a week – well okay, I do too! Coming here brings up a certain amount of nostalgia, as it is at the same location where the Andersen Water Park used to reside. Now the area has been revamped and rejuvenated. Entrance to all areas is completely free, and contains a splash area where kids (and – ahem, the occasional adult) can run through a giant enclosed patio with an array of sprinklers to get you cooled off on that hot summer day. Pack a picnic, and swimsuits, and if you are so inclined, a bike or skating gear, and head out to this park for an afternoon of summer fun.
In Midland County:
Dow Gardens – 1809 Eastman Ave, Midland
features: children’s garden, Whiting Forest, Friday Story Times & Crafty Wednesdays
Of course, any mention of Midland parks would not be complete Dow Gardens – many of us have witnessed a wedding, had pictures taken there, or simply ventured out for a stroll through the flowery winding paths. But did you know that Dow Gardens is more than just these walking paths? Come on out and bring the kiddos, to learn and explore in the dirt at their children’s garden. A scavenger hunt, colorful scarecrows, vegetables for the picking, and raised beds that could always use a little watering, all await you and your little gardeners. Whiting Forest contains hiking trails with 7 fascinating forts hand-crafted with the Homebuilders Association. Dow Gardens has many activities going on throughout the summer, including free concerts and crafts on Wednesdays, and Story Times on Fridays. Bring $10 for an annual admission pass so you can enjoy this amazing resource throughout the entire year.
In Bay County:
Carroll Park – @ Park Ave & Carroll Rd, Bay City
features: duck pond & bridge, playground, tennis courts, picnic & pavilion areas
This gorgeous park is a must-visit for any park-going families in the Bay County area. South of Carroll Road, intersecting with Park Ave and Groveland, it encompasses over 13 acres. Weeping willows, fountain animals, and ducks swimming by for treats from the kids surround you while you stand on the little white bridge. Carroll Park fills me with a sense of community, of calm, of peace, and provides a respite amidst all the summer bustle. Adults can play tennis or simply chillax while the kids burn off their youthful energy chasing squirrels, climbing trees, and to use my girls’ terminology, on the “ginormous playscape!” With its pavilion and picnic areas, Carroll Park is a great place to have that graduation party, family reunion, or a barbeque with all your friends.
We love our community, and our kids do too, and this is just one of the many reasons why. There are so many wonderful parks to enjoy here, whether you want to enjoy a water-fun day, skating or sports, or simply a stroll and sit in the shade or the sun. So fill that day bag with sunscreen, shades, and all the summer staples, check out the directory at Great Lakes Bay Moms, pick your place, and get your park day on… post it to the forums where you’re going and when, and maybe we’ll see you there!
Michelle Mersy, C.P.C. is the mother of two wonderful children (who can’t get enough of the splash park), and a certified Life and Parenting Coach. She affirms, “Stop just wishing things could be different. They can be, if YOU do something different. Coaching will make that difference.”
989-397-8386 ~ Michelle@MichelleMersy.com