Parks and Playgrounds: Best of Brookings

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

As the leaves turn and the weather becomes colder, now might be the best time to get outside and make the best of the nice weather we have left. One of the best places to have fun outside is at a park. This is why the Collegian is examining the top choices for park-style recreation Brookings has to offer.

Before broaching the topic of which park is the best park in town it may be important to note that Brookings has some of the best parks I’ve ever seen in a town of a similar size. Brookings Parks and Recreation department recognizes 20 different parks in town, but we at the Collegian want to highlight some of the best parks, in a few different categories. May the best parks win!

Best scenery

All through the summer, SDSU’s McCrory Gardens is one of the most beautiful places to be. Now that the leaves are turning, it’s still a gorgeous place to check out fall foliage. This is the park that a person (without allergies) will enjoy taking a long stroll through. Lacing through the intricate and lovely gardens while having a conversation with a friend is my recommendation for a lazy afternoon.

Best playground

For those park-goers who want to get a bit more physical and play a sport, or just recapture their youth, McCrory may not be the place to go. Brookings Parks offer everything from a half-pipe to slides and swings.

Hillcrest Park is my pick for the park with the best playground equipment because I like the circle of swings. However it ties with Larsen Park which also offers some exciting playground equipment. There’s even a warning on some of the Larsen equipment – how’s that for exciting!

Best sport equipment

The best sporting equipment vote has to depend on what one considers the best sport. If you like swimming Hilcrest is the way to go while the pool is open. Hillcrest also has nice tennnis courts. If soccer is your gig, the soccer fields are all south of town, along with the Edgebrook Golf Course. That half-pipe I mentioned is at Dwiggins-Medary.

Best picnic park

Hillcrest park has it for this one because picnic lovers don’t have to worry about getting rained out! In the southern end of the park lies a lovely sheltered picnic table area. In fact I personally had a romantic picnic in the rain at these very shelters!

Silly park fun

On a silly note, it is always fun to go to the band shell at Pioneer Park and sing like a diva when nobody is looking.

Or, if you’d prefer to pretend you are a small rodent, you might want to check out the human-sized hampster wheel at Indian Hills park.

It is also important to note that all of Brookings’ parks close at 11 p.m. so if you are planning on having some silly bandshell diva fun or running the hampster wheel, make sure to do it before 11 p.m., otherwise the police may have to break it up – and they will too!