Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Local Attractions: Chutes and Ladders

Ok, so these days it's probably better known by its official name: Hyland Play Area, but when I was a kid we called this park Chutes and Ladders. Even though the park has had a complete makeover since my childhood, it's nice to see that they kept the super long slides and tall climbing structures the park was known for. 

The play area is located within the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, and being part of the Three Rivers Park District, admission is always free...for everyone! Nice, huh? Let me walk you through it...

Like I said, the park has a bunch of really long slides and tall climbing structures that are perfect for older kids, but they didn't forget about the little guys when designing this park! They have one pretty large play structure that is great for even the littlest climbers. Short slides, wide stairs, and tunnels only a few feet off the ground. Abe enjoyed playing on it, but even at just 22 months, he seemed a little old for this one.

Not to worry, they had another even larger structure with wide platforms, fun things to look at, and three different slides that were all perfect for kids that are too young for the big slides.

The twisty slide was maybe even a little too safe. Perhaps it goes faster if you're wet...

The twisty slide was right by the misters they have for kids to run through when it's hot. Abe wanted nothing to do with them, but his cousins enjoyed cooling off!

I didn't want Abe climbing the big structures so I kept my distance as well. They look fun though, don't they?

There were a couple rope climbing areas as well. Abe investigated this climbing contraption...

...and you can sort of see another one in the background of this picture. We were climbing a big rubber hill, which doesn't look so big in the picture, but to Abe it was Everest!

Behind this huge structure for older kids...

...they had a climbing structure that seemed relatively safe for little kids. I let Abe go in with his older cousins. 

It was the one place he kept wanting to go back to. The kids loved climbing on the nets and tumbling around in the big "room" at the top. There weren't any slides attached but that didn't stop Abe from trying to slide down the rope ramp.

They also had a nice big sand pit (complete with diggers), and we ended our day there, as Abe was pretty tired and eventually just laid down and started rolling around in the sand!

Oh, and we actually went there to meet Noah's sister and her family for a late afternoon picnic. They have grills and TONS of picnic tables at the park...and plenty of wide opens spaces for the kids to run around.

Hyland Park Reserve offers the following attractions and amenities (click on the links for more information):


For more information about Hyland Park Reserve and the "Chutes and Ladders" Play Area, go to www.threeriversparks.org.


  1. I'm in MN, too, Eden Prairie, and I love that you do these posts. Thank you!

    1. Yay! I'm glad I have at least a few local readers, otherwise these posts are just another excuse to post pictures of my kid. ;-)

  2. I stumbled upon your blog months ago from some far off string of blog trail.
    I just now realized we must be a lot closer than I thought as Highland is practically in my backyard (less than a mile).

    Love the local updates and everything else in between.

  3. I am loving your blog as well. We are in Minnesota and my kids are pretty young. 18 months and 3.5 yo. I was wondering if this would be appropriate for them and/or worth the drive up. I think we will definitely try it out now. Thanks!!

    1. I have one niece who was 4 this summer. She had fun but avoided the larger climbing structures and slides. If you're coming from far away, you may want to wait until your kids are a bit older (I think 5 and up is the perfect age for the more exciting climbing structures), but if you live nearby it's totally worth the trip even with little ones!