“Aunt Rachel, you tricked us! You said we were going to an amazing playground.” I replied, “You will just have to wait and see what comes along on our adventure.”
My nieces and nephew had come to visit and wanted to go to a park so I took them for an adventure at Vago park. The day was bright and quite cold. First we arrived at the park and checked out the small playground for toddlers. “But Aunt Rachel, this playground is just for little kids, it isn’t a Grand Playground at all,” said the oldest (who was dubbed the King). “We can play tic tac toe!” announced the middle girl (who proclaimed herself Queen). Then it was off to check out the splash pad, that was not functioning, and the spray shower. “Mommy, this isn’t on., said the youngest boy (the Prince). To which I replied, “Of course not, it is fall and too cold for the water to be on.” From there we moved onto the sand volleyball, because everyone on an adventure needs to come back dirty. “Mommy, look, I can write my name in the sand!” said the Prince.
It was a bit hard to get them to move on from the sand. From there we went to the big playground for 5-12 year-old children and climbed and played on the swings. “I guess this park is ok.” said the King. After we had played for awhile, we went up the hill to the field to see what we could find, a bird or a squirrel. “A plane, Mommy, I see a plane!” What should we see but an airplane flying in the sky! This made the adventure much more exciting. The children were very fascinated by the remote-controlled airplane a gentleman was flying.
From there we raced back down the hill, the children found more dirt/sand and a gazebo. Then we went exploring magical herbs in the scent garden and studied peace in many languages. The children learned what it is like to be blind. The Queen kept reminding the Princess, “You are supposed to keep your eyes shut!” Of course, how she knew the littlest’s eyes were open is a mystery. And they smelled and rubbed, and yes, the Princess managed to taste, a few various herbs, the cool smell of mint, the spicy scent of rosemary, and the calming scent of lavender.
After that we went up the BIG hill. At the top of the hill the Queen called out “Aunt Rachel, we must stop, I have a rock in my shoe!” This was fine with the youngest, Princess, who declared, “I am done with adventures! My legs won’t carry me ANY further.” “But if we stop here, we won’t make it to the surprise.” I replied. “What surprise?” asked the King. “You will have to wait and see…” I replied. Thankfully the Prince, who had been to the park before, remained silent. So, with a big sigh from the Princess, down the hill we went and down the street where I ran ahead and turned around to see their faces as they came around the corner. I was not disappointed. “You tricked us, Aunt Rachel!! We didn’t know this other playground was here! Yay!” All of the sudden they were running down the path to the grand playground at the end of our adventure.
The playground was a huge success! The Queen established roles right away “The middle area is our house and my room is on the top!” The littlest piped in, “And I get the bottom room so everyone will come and visit me!” The King was a very patient older brother and took the room just below the Queen as directed. The Prince was in the middle, much too busy to care where they put him. The Princess promptly declared, “You all are invited to my house for tea!” She wandered to the platform by the tower and declared it a kitchen and began to prepare tea. In the meantime, the Prince tried out the hammock and the Queen and King zipped off to new lands and far away places.
- “Tea is ready!” the Princess declared. And we all came back to the princess’s room to have tea. Then the prince declared, “We need to take a rocket ship back to earth!” So we went to the rocket ship and spun our way back home, because imaginary tea was not quite filling enough. Along the way we walked down the path of heroes. The children declared the adventure a major success! “Aunt Rachel, we had SO much fun! When do we get to come back?” “Some day soon,” I replied.
Please note, the Queen, King, and Princess were the authors of much of the story on the playground.
If you would like to take your own little ones on a Grand Adventure at Vago park, here is the stops we took:
- Tic Tac Toe at the small playground.
- Writing in the sand. (If it is summer, skip the splash pad till the end if possible)
- Find the frog.
- Build muscles in the big playground.
- Go to the top of the hill and find something interesting like a bird.
- Stop by the herb garden and smell the herbs and read the story. Describe the different scents. Adv. Draw the plants and describe them like you were a scientist exploring biology.
- See if you can figure out how to say hello in another language
- Hike to the top of the hill, if you notice the earthen works at the bottom of the hill, discuss why it is there. (Science, flood control? Imagination, bunkers?)
- Go down the hill and around the corner until you see the big playground.
- Make up your own story and act it out on the Grand Playground. (Work out your muscles in the adult playground.)
- Travel back down the road and read one of the names on the Veteran’s walk.
- If it is summer, stop by the splash pad and cool off. Or if it is too hot go directly the splash pad and have fun and save the adventure for another day!