In a city with 350+ days of sunshine, a gorgeous moderate climate, and over a million people in the metro area, you would expect to find a plethora of playgrounds.
Surprisingly, Tucson is somewhat barren in the playground department. Parks in general are not as plentiful as they ought to be – especially considering that trees and outdoors spaces contribute so much to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of individuals.
We remain hopeful that the City of Tucson, Pima County, the private sector, neighboring suburbs, and Tucson residents will partner together to expand, renovate, and innovate for more and better playgrounds in our city.
In the meantime, we’ll celebrate the playgrounds that currently rise to the top as being safe, fun, and beautiful play spaces for children.
Gene C. Reid Park
Located in mid-town Tucson, Reid Park boasts a superb location and lots of acreage. Your kids will love the playground structures – but you’ll also find lots to do throughout the park – including visiting the rose garden, attending performances and concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, having stick races down the streams, watching the ducks waddle around the park, and picnicking in the ramadas. The park is also adjacent to Reid Park Zoo – a fun space for year-round fun and learning!
There is currently a grassroots effort underway called Expand Reid Park with the mission of “creating a signature park in the heart of Tucson.” Exciting times!
McDonald Park in northeast Tucson is the only park that we know of with designated playgrounds for different age groups. There is a play structure for ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. With spectacular mountain views, plentiful picnic tables, and other activity options (baseball fields, batting cages, basketball court), McDonald Park has lots to offer.
This master-planned community approximately 35 minutes south of Tucson boasts gorgeous architecture and amenities for families. Children will instantly fall for the eight parks that offer a variety of features, including a Safari Trail with life-size bronze statues of African animals, Butterfly Gardens, picnic tables, and tot lots. The canopied playgrounds are clean, colorful, and appealing. Not to mention that Rancho Sahuarita is home to the one of the best splash pads in all of Tucson!
Brandi Fenton Memorial Park
Everybody knows Brandi Fenton for its fun-in-the-sun splash pad, but the on-site playgrounds are aren’t too shabby either. The covered play areas are good for tots and elementary age children. Older kids and teens can shoot hoops, play soccer, journal or read in the memorial garden, or go for a bike ride down the Rillito River path.
Canada Del Oro Riverfront Park
If you live in NW Tucson, you’ve likely been to Oro Valley’s CDO Riverfront Park. Meticulously maintained with ample green space, the park boasts covered playgrounds in a serene environment. Enjoy mountain views as you push your children on the swings and watch them race down the slides. The park also has a basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court, softball fields, soccer fields, and horseshoe pits.
WHAT TUCSON PLAYGROUND IS YOUR FAVORITE?