When I visit a new city, I used to explore based on where I wanted to eat. That may sound silly, but good food places usually are located in interesting place. Take San Francisco for instance. I like to eat Chinese food, so exploring Chinatown made sense. Cow Hollow has lots of bakeries. Haight Street has an electric mix of coffee shops and Mexican food. See what I mean?
However, now that I have kids, we have a new way to explore a city: where’s the nearest playground? What else is around there? Maybe a good food place, I hope. Sophia hopes for a slide. Gabriel doesn’t have a preference just yet. So, after consulting google maps and a few recommendations from friends, off we go!
We visited Oakmont Park. It was near a shopping area that includes a Trader Joe’s. It was hit! Sandbox and water benches, along with the slide and playground equipment. Coffee shop and TJ’s for Mama. A win for everyone!
Then we visited Skinner Butte Park. Large playgrounds, water and sand area, walking paths (which we still haven’t walked along the river!), and kids. I may have neglected to mention Sophia’s other requirement: kids.
Who else are you going to run around and explore with? Other kids! And if Mama gets lucky, she can visit with the other moms and fins cool things to do from locals. And maybe even make some friends herself, with plans to meet up again so the kids can play. This happened to us when we visited Monroe Park and I met some ladies, one of whom was from Tucson! We even knew some of the same people! What a small world!