Photo by Kim Engstrom
The park has a large soft surface play area along with many unique features. The play area consists of 3 structures, a large one with climbing walls and bridges, a smaller structure with 3 slides and a toddler "playhouse" with tunnels and fun for the youngest visitors. All in all there are 9 slides, 6 swings and plenty of areas for running and climbing. Adjacent to the play structures is a large mulch filled area with some "creatures" to climb and play on. There is a hippo, an alligator and a huge Lock Ness Monster to keep kids amused.
Surrounding the play area and beyond are paved paths perfect for bicycle and scooter riding. One path circles the play structures while another crosses the length of the park. A unique feature of this park is the adult exercise circuit equipment located just across the bike path from the play structures. Your kids can play while you get a workout in! There is information on suggested exercises for each piece of equipment. Towards the Gaither Road boundary of the park is another unique feature. A basketball "court" with hoops of all sizes from toddler to regulation height can be found here.
A statue of Mattie and his service dog are located in the "Peace Garden" area of the park. Here chess tables can be found along with information about Mattie's life and an audio board to listen to excerpts of his poetry. This is worth a visit. His story and words are very inspiring.
The remainder of this 26 acre park contains tennis and basketball courts and a lighted football field. There are restrooms but they were locked on the day of our visit. Two water fountains can be found in the park (one in the play area) and there are 9 picnic tables available for use close by. The park has plenty of parking both in the lot and along the street in front. The soft surface play area helps to keep kids a bit cleaner than at traditional mulch parks. There is not much shade at the park which made it really enjoyable for us on a brisk fall day but can cause the park and play equipment to bake in the sun on a hot day. Local parents said that the park can be very crowded on weekends.
A trip to Mattie's park can easily be combined with a picnic lunch at one of the available tables or a quick .4 mile walk down Grand Champions Way to the King Farm Center where you can find Baja Fresh, Quiznos, Mayorga Coffee and Fontina Grill.
Bring your kids to play at this spacious fun park, and take a minute for yourself to learn about the inspiring life of Mattie J.T Stepanek.
Have you been to Mattie J.T. Stephanek Park? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and we'll add them to the review.