Little Kids Play Hard
Toddlers are always keeping us on our toes, and most parents spend our time chasing after them as they test our limits. Wouldn’t it be great to know that there are playgrounds in the Kalamazoo area with structures and activities designed to keep toddlers engaged and having fun? And, we don’t have to helicopter (as much) with worry that they’ll take a huge fall.
It’s that time of year in Southwest Michigan when we want to spend every moment possible soaking up the warmer weather.
We polled our readers for their favorite places to take their littlest tykes by location. Looking for a full list of parks? You’ll want to check out our GUIDE for all of the Best Parks and Playgrounds, listing park amenities.
Get outside – Kalamazoo has an abundance of playgrounds waiting for you.
Playgrounds by Location
Use this handy map of area playgrounds to find your next adventure. Playgrounds are marked with the green symbol.
Toddler-Friendly Playgrounds Around Kalamazoo
Harbors West Park | 3458 Summersong Path, Portage
This park is tucked away in a residential area. There’s an infant swing, plenty of regular swings, different slides, and things to climb. My kids especially love all of the tiny hills to run up and down and the pine trees to hide behind. It’s also perfect for strollers and trikes, with paved walking paths.
Haverhill Park | 6577 Hampton Street, Portage
This gem of a park is adjacent to Haverhill Elementary school and is on the greater Portage Bike Trail system. There’s a water tower that kids love to look at and picnic underneath, swings, a play structure, and plenty of trees to play hide and seek around, while you have a picnic.
Ramona Park | 8600 S Sprinkle Road, Portage
Portage residents love this park for the beach, but it also has an impressive soft-surfaced playground with multiple play structures. Pack a swimsuit and stay and play and swim at the beach in the summer. Entrance fee applies in the summer to non-Portage residents.
Schrier Park | 850 W Osterhout Ave, Portage
Schrier park is the perfect setting for little legs to explore with the paved and natural walking trails. The playground offers a wobbly bridge, slides, multiple climbing structures, and pine trees to play in and around. Don’t forget the swingset.
West Lake Nature Preserve | 420 S Shore Drive, Portage
Visit this nature preserve and explore on the upgraded nature-themed play structure, perfect for toddlers, with a frog, dragonfly, butterfly, and bumblebee to climb on. There’s also a beehive, slides and a couple of swings. When the kids get tired of the playground, head off on the trails through the forest where there’s plenty of room to run and explore on natural paths.
Flesher Field | 3664 S 9th Street, Kalamazoo
Flesher Field offers something for all ages. Slides, toddler and regular swings, a hammock, and plenty of other structures to ride and climb. Make sure to go on the paved loop trail, perfect for strollers and trikes, as well as a picnic area.
Oshtemo Township Park | 7275 W Main St, Kalamazoo
Tucked behind Oshtemo Library and Township Hall is a beautiful sprawling park. It boasts a huge play area full of infant, toddler, and regular-sized swings, the popular climbing net, and play structures for toddlers. Oshtemo Township Park is down the road from the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery.
Upjohn Park | Lake & Walter Street Intersection, Kalamazoo
Located in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, Upjohn Park contains a “boundless playground” with a play area and activities perfect for toddlers. New for 2019 – soft surface play area will be extended to the remainder of the playground.
Baby swings, a ladder, a mini-rock climbing wall, and a see-saw are all favorites here among the several play structures. The Kik Swimming Pool opens in the park for summer swimming. This playground is handicapped accessible.
Parks for Toddlers around Southwest Michigan
Chancy Lewis Park (aka Kids Dream Park) | 520 S. Main Street, Lawton
Located off of M-40, this park has a beautifully shaded playground, made of wood, with a Tot Lot toddler playground, which includes large wooden cars to “drive” and a sandbox. It’s also a perfect place for a picnic.
Kids’ Corner | 563 Monroe Blvd, South Haven
Headed to South Haven? Make sure to stop at the Kids’ Corner. This playground is an entire wooden castle to explore, complete with mazes, slides, and climbing structures. There are swings nearby, and even a boat to climb in and drive. Although much of this park is toddler-friendly, due to the labyrinth structure of the playground, it’s helpful to have another set of eyes. Across the road, you have a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.
Kindleberger Park | Park Ave, Parchment
Kindleberger has giant hills to run down, playground areas, and paved walking trails to explore. One of their play structures is on a sandy surface, perfect for swinging, climbing, and sliding. It doubles as a giant sandbox.
River Oaks County Park | 9202 E Michigan, Galesburg
River Oaks Park has a playground with several play structures and one designed for smaller tots with a fun tunnel slide. In the summer, plan to get wet at the splash pad, complete with water spray structures perfect for the toddler age group. Admission fee applies.
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