Friday, May 8, 2009

Rotary Park Playground

Rotary Park is more commonly called the Dinosaur park and you can find it behind the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre on the Westshore. I had received lots of requests to put up some playgrounds that were further afield than Victoria City and so when a friend suggested we go to her favourite playground I leaped at the chance.

I originally gave this playground a 9.5/10 but have decided to change it to 10/10. I don't really see how they could obviously improve it. For a start, there is parking and a multitude of great facilities, including washrooms at the rec centre. Secondly, there is a great grassy area right next to the playground which our children rolled the entire way down and so I got some exercise piggybacking 'A' back up the hill- otherwise I would just have stood gossiping to my friend!

Thirdly, the playground itself is so well thought-out that whoever designed it deserves a pat on the back. It's pretty new but it isn't just flashy. It seems to combine new, good quality features with good old favourites, such as the two-lane track that circles the playground, old school metal digger-machines, and a magnificent tunnel. There are two parts to the playground, smaller and bigger but both halves could suit all ages as we saw in action. All of this is on a bed of good old woodchips.

In all there are eight swings. Five big kid, two toddler and one therapeutic swing. There are four slides on the smaller kid structure, one of which is a double and there are two slides on the bigger structure, one of which also is a double so all in all that makes eight slides! For the picky out there, I think that is three metal and the rest plastic. There is a plastic 'mountain' style climbing wall, a free standing actual climbing wall a bouncy dinosaur and (nice touch here) even a dinosaur fossil underneath the mountain wall. The tunnel is what kids want- long and fat and 'A' giggled his way through it. There are loads of things to climb up, to hang off and oh my, there is even a mini sliding rail though parents beware- I think I need to see my chiropractor after trying that out. What? I know, I know...I am over 12 years old......but if I am doing a review, surely you want me to test the equipment-right?

As a parent I am always trying to carefully balance the need to protect my kids with the need for them to learn for themselves, and this blog really isn't the place to debate how far parents need to supervise their children etc. Rotary Park Playground is surrounded by bushes some of which have pretty steep trails down from. If you had a child that was inclined to run headfirst into things, you might find yourself having to be extra vigilant around some of those bush paths- which may or may not add to your enjoyment of this fabulous playground.


  1. I agree. The metal sliding rail is fairly harsh on an adult's back. I don't think they were constructed to carry our weight. I've been playground hopping in Toronto 'testing' the equipment with my nephew.
    Great site. Happy reviewing. It sounds like you're having a blast.

  2. Wow, I can't believe something like this came up when I googled it. I'm a new mom in town and this is perfect! I'll keep an eye on your site. Thanks for the effort.

  3. I am SO glad I found this site. I've been searching for something like this for a while. Thank you!! I will share!

  4. This is one of our favorite parks! We live in Saanich, but when we're out and about on weekends we often go here. We grab a meal or a snack and picnic on the grassy area in the summer, and then head over to the playground or even visit the library next to rec center if the mood hits us. I love this park!

  5. This park has been redone, and I'm soo disappointed. As a child I went there and loved the tire swings and zip-line, as well as the big iron red spheres you could climb up in. Safety who? It rocked back then. It's pretty lame looking now. I survived it, and as an adult rave about it to friends who've never been. It's too bad there are no photos online of it's glory days.