Not to Miss Playgrounds in Union County

By Union County Macaroni Kid October 19, 2021

Union County is lucky to have so many great parks and playgrounds for kids. My kids have swung, spun, and raced through many of them ... and definitely have their favorites! But before you go, remember that parks and playgrounds can also be a place to encourage your kids to work on their motor skills!

Here are some great tips from Dr. Chpryelle Carr, a pediatrician at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Rea Village Pediatrics

At playgrounds, children can use creative skills (coming up with their own games), and fine motor and gross motor skills. Children can also strengthen muscles by playing on the playground equipment in a fun but safe way. During the pandemic, many children have had decreased social interactions due to isolation and quarantine guidelines. "Playing outside at the park or playground can help children work on creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication all while playing with others". 

The most important thing to remember is that parents are the perfect role models for children. The more parents get outside with their children, the more children will enjoy exploring, creating, and having fun all while exercising and getting fresh air!

Here’s a list of our family’s favorite parks and playgrounds and the reasons we love them:

Belk Towanda Park
1821 Skyway Dr, Monroe

COMING SOON!  A new Master Plan for this park was just completed and adopted by Monroe City Council in April 2019. At present, the city is undergoing design and permitting for the first phase of the plan, which will include new parking, signage and a new entrance off of Charlotte Avenue. The second phase will include a new shelter, splash pad, restroom and an outdoor fitness station along the greenway within the park. This will, hopefully, begin next fall. 

Chestnut Square Park
320 Chestnut Parkway, Indian Trail

Features: Grill, Pavilion, Picnic Shelters, Playground, Restrooms, Sports Field, Tennis Court, Volleyball, Walking Track, Nature Trail

What my kids love: The play area has a buoyant surface that makes running and jumping more fun - also, softer landings when they jump from all of the structures. They love the new football/soccer field and the nature trails and the "activity" sidewalk is always a big hit!  

What I love: There is plenty of shaded seating and cute areas to picnic. I don't love that the bathrooms are pretty far away from the playground, but we've never had too big of a problem with that either

Crooked Creek Park
5900 Oakwood Lane, Indian Trail

Features: playgrounds, splash pad (closed for the season), disc golf, walking trials, ball fields, ADA Playground, shelters with restrooms and vending machines. 

What my kids love: The zip-line and splash pad are their favorite things at this amazing park. 

What I love: The younger children's area is mostly fenced in, so they cannot easily escape; there's tons of shade and plenty to keep active kids playing. There are trails and pathways for walking or riding bikes and scooters all around plus fields for ball-play. On the other side of the drive in, there's a second play ground with more "traditional" playground equipment - as opposed to the nature-inspired play equipment featured in the photo above. 

Cane Creek Park
5213 Harkey Rd, Waxhaw

Features: fishing, boating, hiking, picnic areas, canoe and rowboat rentals, ball fields, playgrounds, disc golf and mountain bike & horse trails. Fishing licenses can be purchased on-site. 

What my kids love: So much to do and see with the lake, trails and playgrounds. In the summer, there's a beach you can play at, too!

What I love: I love that I don't have to drive up to Lake Norman or out to the beach to get a taste of the "Chicago Summers" I grew up with - beach play, lake play, parks.

David G. Barnes Children's Park
West South Main Street, Downtown Waxhaw

Features: The David G. Barnes Children's Park is a one acre neighborhood park featuring playgrounds for toddler and school-aged children, bathrooms, video surveillance, a small picnic shelter, greenspace, benches and foliage.  The park is located adjacent to the Waxhaw Skate Park and within walking distance of historic downtown Waxhaw.

What my kids love: The play structure is perfect for kids up to age 11 and my kids love to play, run and climb. They also love that the skate park is directly "next-door." The Skate Park is perfect for older kids who either love to board or are adept on scooters and bikes.  

What I love: It's set back away from the street so they can't get into too much trouble and, when they've tired of playing on the playground, they can watch the skaters. I also love that there is no sandbox and only a couple swings!

Dogwood Park
Location: 121 Lester Davis Road, Waxhaw

Features: Brand-new, fully-fenced children's playground with multiple play structures and plenty of shade, paved and unpaved trails, picnic/grill sites, handicapped accessible fishing pier, dog park (separate sections for small and large dogs), little free library, geo-caching, amphitheater and portable restroom facilities

What my kids love: Walking the trails with our dogs and this new playground!  

What I love: It's serene and great for family photos, walking the dogs or riding bikes. there are great paths and the kids can really just run and play. Our dogs love the dog park(s); but children under 12 are not allowed inside those areas. And, you can never go wrong with a fully-fenced, shaded playground! 

Fred Kirby Park
Location: 3505 Faith Church Rd., Indian Trail

Features: Fred Kirby Park is located in the western part of Union County in the Lake Park Community. This park was developed as a small athletic complex for both baseball and soccer. The soccer field is lighted for night-play up to 9:30 p.m., but the baseball fields are not lighted for night-play. The park also features small gazebo style shelters, a playground (not fenced), paved walking trails and restroom facilities. 

What my kids love: They love running and playing on the big field.

What I love: It's set back in a neighborhood, away from traffic and it's rarely busy during the day.

Jesse Helms Park

Location: 1505 Summerlin Dairy Road, Wingate

Features: Jesse Helms Park offers a playground, walking trail, soccer complex, picnic shelter, and picnic sites. It also boasts a six-section exercise station and signature big red barns! 

Marvin Efird Park
121 Lester Davis Road, Waxhaw

Features: "The Barn", community gardening, one-of-a-kind redwood playground, restroom facilities, picnic areas, meadow and natural groomed walking trails

What my kids love: the redwood playground is pretty awesome and they are huge fans of the tire swings. 

What I love: listening to my kids make up games in the playground "treehouse" structure - it is perfect to put their imaginations to work!

Stallings Municipal Park
340 Stallings Road, Stallings

Features: 3 playground areas (one of which is fenced in for the wee ones), 2 tennis courts, picnic areas, Shelters with restrooms, large band shell, and a walking trail with a boardwalk overlooking the wetland area. 

What my kids love: The boys love to make me chase them between the three playgrounds! But seriously, they love each for different reasons: sand box in the toddler section, spinning apparatus in the bigger kid section and a great climbing structure in the far playground. They also love running across the brige.  

What I love: The younger children's area is fenced in; the large shelter is away from the chaos of the playgrounds and there are so many play areas from which my kids can choose.  

If you are venturing out and about, you may want to check on some Charlotte area or Fort Mill/Rock Hill parks and playgrounds.