What does a Candyland pathway, Twister, and a 6’ Mr. Potato Head have in common? They can all be found at Bliss Park in Longmeadow on 252 Bliss Road.
I had the opportunity to visit the park last summer with a van full of energetic children. I was looking for a place close to my Forest Park home that was different and with five kids, free. I remembered driving by the “Mr. Potato Head park,” as my girls affectionately refer to it, a few times and decided this was a good time to check it out.
I pulled into the parking lot by the giant playscape and released the hounds. The kids ran straight to the tire swing and all five managed to squeeze onto it. As they pretended to bob around in a boat, I sat on a nearby bench and snapped pictures.
The park provides benches and picnic tables. And with 14,000 square feet of playscape, I knew the children were going to be kept busy as I rested and watched over them.
The park is clean, boast tennis and basketball courts, walking trails and a baseball field. I liked that everything was close together, but not all crowded.
My two girls and their cousins easily navigated the playground’s several slides, zip line, rock wall, balance beam and swings. The painted Candyland path took my 2-year-old nephew to what ended up being his favorite area, the sand pit equipped with two back hoes. But he also couldn’t stay away from Mr. Potato Head so I was thankful that the playground not only had a paved path that made maneuvering a stroller easier, but much of the playground had smooth topped areas as well where kids in wheel chairs could get close to the playscape and be a part of the fun as well.
The kids got a kick out of the painted Twister game on the ground, although they thought it was weird to actually play on it. The idea of getting tangled up with other people and falling on black top didn't sound appealing. The group of kids I had varied in ages from 2-12 so I was very happy to see that there was something fun for all of them. But I was reminded that it is a neighborhood park when my 8- year-old daughter announced she needed to use the bathroom and my niece and nephew decided they needed water and there were no public bathrooms or water fountains in sight.
As I quickly corraled my hounds in the van, I was extremely thankful that home was only a few minutes away.