When you’ve got a toddler, you know that not all playgrounds are created equal. With small kids who are just learning to walk and run, you need a unique play area to meet their unique and growing needs.
A toddler-friendly play area needs:
- Small and safe play equipment options
- Protection from busy streets
- Stroller accessibility
- To be clean, safe, and well-kept
My son is 2 1/2, and here are some of our favorite toddler-friendly go-to play areas we’ve been enjoying on the reg since he started walking!
Abbeville St, Columbia, SC 29201
Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park is new, beautiful, completely fenced in to prevent little escapees, and features an entire section just for children under five. There’s even a splash pad!
100 Alvina Hagood Cir, Blythewood, SC 29016
We love Doko Meadows Park. It features a play area just for little ones, a Little Free Library, lots of walking paths, and a lovely pond that’s perfect for turtle-watching. Bonus? It’s right around the corner from Grace Coffee Co!
2 Harbison Way, Columbia, SC 29212
The Ausome Gym is an indoor play area that is uniquely sensory-integrated. It’s family owned and operated, very clean, beautifully kept, and thoughtfully put together to help nurture growing minds. Drop-ins are $12, and on Tuesdays before noon, admission is only $5!
95 Woodcross Dr, Columbia, SC 29212
A shady, flat, mile-long walking path positively riddled with ducks and turtles! Halfway through the loop, you’ll find a playground and waterfront picnic area that my toddler absolutely loves. I like to pop by Loveland Coffee for some caffeinated sustenance before our wildlife strolls. This time of year, scores of baby ducklings make visits extra cute.
301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201
The State Museum offers a FREE playroom available to kids under six every day they’re open. I love it because the room is spacious but completely contained, offers lots of different toddler-friendly activities, and provides a comfy seating area for parents with a clear view of the whole space. (Bonus? Free wi-fi. As a work-from-home mom, it’s a perfect place to get some writing done while my little guy has fun!)
1431 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29201
If you haven’t been to the new children’s area at Richland Library’s Main branch, you’re missing out! It is, in a word, completely magical. So many nooks and crannies to play in, and, of course, BOOKS GALORE. I could spend all day here, and my son could too!