Nervous about taking multiple kids to the park and losing one?
If you're taking a couple of little ones to the park, or your kid is a wiggle-worm who likes to wander away, or if you just like to relax and know that your tot isn't going to roam out of sight, then look for a fenced-in park. These are great for multiple kids, too.
Fenced parks keep your toddler from exploring outside the perimeter; some even have gates so you can open them up and let your older kids run around more freely.
These parks are designed with security and parents in mind!
Take baby steps towards risky, independent play with fenced-in Parks
Going to parks that are fenced in can ease some of the fears in letting your child play independently. You will have a little reassurance knowing they cannot wander off too far. Just be sure to keep an eye on them as things happen quickly and accidents can occur anywhere. If you are not feeling up for completely letting go, take baby steps and let them venture a little further away each time. They may test the boundaries, but so will you!
Letting your kids explore, be free and play can help build their confidence, independence and creativity. Kids love to run around outside with the wind blowing through their hair while exploring all the wonders nature has to offer. It provides opportunities for them to exercise in different ways like running or climbing over obstacles or even going down slides. They get the chance to experience new things which is beneficial for their overall development, especially at a young age when they are learning about everything around them.
If you are worried about strangers around your children talk with them about stranger danger before heading out into public spaces such as parks so that you know what signs they should look out for when meeting someone new and how important it is that they do not go anywhere alone with anyone who might try to approach them."
Dogwood park in mariemont
Head into Mariemont and you'll find lots of family-friendly attractions. Once you've arrived, Dogwood Park has a fully fenced-in playground for kids. It's a small park but it's close to everything in Mariemont, so take the kids there first, let them get some energy out, and then have lunch at one of the many restaurants.
Not great for older kids. The park is best suited for kids ages 2-5; however, it can also be fun for toddlers.-There's a sandbox, swings, and a playhouse too!
After you check out this park, take some time to walk around and enjoy one of Cincinnati's most charming neighborhoods: Mariemont.
Check out the shops and stores, grab lunch or dinner at one of the many great restaurants, and enjoy this little bit of a European flair in Greater Cincinnati. One great place to visit is a shop called Coolest Toys on Earth! This store has old-school toys that are reminiscent of your childhood. They have everything from classic board games to Lego sets, stuffed animals and so much more.
Jergens park in Northside
There is a lot of fun to be had in Jergens Park, one of the few fully fenced-in playgrounds in Cincinnati. The park is easy to get to by car or on foot—located at just off Hamilton Avenue and Bruce Street and offers a picnic structure, playground, and garden.
After playing with your children or watching them play on the playground equipment, you can take a break and get a cool treat at Dojo Gelato.
Jergens Park isn’t the only local park that has a fenced-in area for kids—Fergus Park in Northside is partially fenced so children can play without having to worry about not being able to find their way back into their designated play space.
Makino Park in Mason Ohio
Makino Park in Mason, Ohio is a new fenced-in park that opened this summer. There are separate areas for younger children and older children. The playground features an inclusive design with equipment that can be used by children of all abilities. This area also features a large sandbox and picnic tables. The kids have nicknamed the park “butterfly park” as it is shaped like a butterfly with each wing having a different focus.
The north wing closest to the parking lot is geared towards older kids featuring a soccer field sponsored by FC Cincinnati and zip lines and swings. The south wing has more open space with popular slides, climbing walls, and balance beams. In addition to the playgrounds there are walking paths, shaded pavilions, water fountains, benches, a concession stand building with restrooms, a nearby parking lot, and enough green space for toddlers to run free (or moms can bring their dogs). It does not have shade trees but young trees are being planted throughout the park so hopefully, these will provide shade in years to come!
This new park is already very popular but you can beat the crowds by getting there early on weekday mornings or later afternoons after school hours!
Highfield discovery garden
This is one of our favorite places to explore. This park inspires imagination and play. With each visit, we find something new on the property. The garden, which is spread out over many rolling hills, includes a treehouse, a pirate ship, more climbing structures for the kids, and beautiful gardens for the adults. The garden also has areas that are not fenced in but have large trees that create barriers from the main road (which is not heavily traveled). There are beautiful ponds with turtles and fish as well as many animals that call this garden home. We have seen deer and numerous birds among other creatures (kids love these sightings since it's always an adventure when you see something new). Additionally, there are multiple paved paths including a path around one of the ponds which has several bridges to cross over it making it easy for the little ones to get around (there are unpaved paths too). You can easily spend hours here exploring all that there is to offer or just sit on one of their two permanent picnic tables and enjoy your lunch while taking in all of nature’s beauty!
There is a cost involved with visiting Highfield Discovery Gardens: $5/adult or $15/family (to include your children under 12)
Selman Park in Madeira Ohio
Selman Park is behind Madeira Middle School. The whole park isn’t fenced, but the playground area near the school is. This is a good spot for letting younger kids go in and out of the fenced area while giving older kids a chance to play without you on their heels. There’s a creek and woods to explore in this park, so be sure to bring shoes that can get muddy! And if it’s during the school year, remember that middle schoolers will be coming out for recess at some point during your visit. They won’t enter the fenced playground area where you are, but they might make noise or run by as they enjoy their recess.
Naturescape at the Cincinnati Nature Center
Cincinnati Nature Center’s playground was the first fenced-in playground that we discovered. Home to nature scape, a natural playground, this spot has a woodsy, adventure feel for kids to be pioneers and run wild. The main attraction here in the summer is the creek! Its a shallow creek bed with fresh water flowing through where the kids can splash, climb, experiment with making rock dams, and more.
There's a Rock Garden, fort building area, swamp, mud kitchen, and more. All are located within the fence of the Naturescape. This gives security to parents while the kids run around playing and exploring. We’ve always found this spot to be pretty clean. There are plenty of bathrooms, picnic tables, and a gift shop to grab a snack.
So many opportunities for risky play but fully fenced in. For the veterans CNC goers, they installed a new gate to the naturescape over the fall/winter. If you know, you know.
And once you get comfortable expanding your boundaries with risky play, head outside the fenced area and explore the rest of what the Nature Center has to offer. With a unique features like historical buildings and limestone steps, as well as miles of trails to explore, this is an ideal spot for families looking to get outside and spend the day. And if you’ve got older kids in tow, they can try their hand at archery or geocaching while you hang with the little ones. We love that there are lots of different things to do here so all ages can enjoy themselves.
Washington Park, Cincinnati Ohio
Washington Park is one of Cincinnati’s most iconic parks and borders the bustling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Located by Music Hall, it features an impressive splash pad for cooling off during those hot summer days. There’s also a fenced-in the playground that includes a climbing wall, music area, sand pit (this might be mor of a PSA for some than a benefit) multiple slides, and swings. The park frequently has events going on like concerts and CityFlea.
Gower Park partially fenced
This park is not fully enclosed but they have some areas that are fenced in. They also have a wide open, grassy field where you can play Frisbee and other games with your dogs. There is plenty of shade at this park to keep you cool on those hot summer days as well.
The next step is to scout the parks and choose which one you want to go to, then report back and let us know which ones are your favorites!
Expand your comfort zone with risky play and independent play
If your child is experiencing this type of “play” or if you are feeling like a helicopter parent and don’t know how to start taking a step back, this article is for you.
We all have the best intentions when we take our children to the park, but sometimes we take it too far and go from supportive parents to being overprotective. We want to encourage our children in so many ways by being there for them every step of the way but sometimes letting them explore on their own and play without us standing right next to them builds confidence and lets kids learn to take risks and solve problems independently when adults aren’t around. We need to allow kids opportunities for independent play, risk-taking, problem-solving, creativity and imagination in order for them to become confident adults who are able to make good decisions about safety on their own.
Parents need to find a balance between being supportive and overprotective. We want to encourage our children, but sometimes they need opportunities to explore on their own, play without us standing right next to them, and take risks. This builds confidence and lets kids learn problem-solving skills independently. Allowing independent play also fosters creativity and imagination in children. It’s important for parents to strike a balance so that kids can grow up into confident adults who are able to make good decisions about safety on their own.
We hope you find this list handy, and if we missed any, make sure you drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot us a message on Instagram and let us know what we missed so we can update the list!