New at Reno Moms Blog – it’s the Pick-A-Park series! Today, contributor Gemma Hartley of Journey of Love is kicking us off with her review of Whitaker Park in northwest Reno. Look for more reviews to come on parks all around northern Nevada. We’ll give you the rundown on everything you need to know to have a great time at these outdoor playgrounds.
Whitaker Park is one of my son’s favorites, and we often go there when we have family mornings or afternoons together. The park is beautifully landscaped with large, old shade trees, plenty of grassy areas and even a small rose garden. It is certainly one of Reno’s most scenic parks. It also has one of the best all-ages play structures in the area. It features nine slides, a rock climbing wall, a good working swing-set, a freestanding playground zip line and plenty of entry points suited to different ages (bonus points for having a super toddler-friendly walkway to access the smaller slides). It’s also rarely crowded; sometimes we’re one of maybe two or three families playing at the park. Oftentimes we have the park all to ourselves.
There is a large homeless presence in the park (hence the uncrowded playground), but they mostly keep to themselves in the pavillion or on the outer benches a good distance from the playground. We have never once had a problem with any of the vagrants in the park, although on rare occasion there is the “yeller,” which can be uncomfortable for both parents and kids. If I get uncomfortable (or the kids do), we just load up and head down Washington Street to Rancho San Rafael Park, and the day is saved (but that is very rarely necessary).
Whitaker Park: The Rundown
Location: 550 University Terrace between Washington and Ralston (Northwest Reno)
Parking: Street parking which is readily available on University Terrace, Washington or Ralston.
Play Structures: Large play structure with nine slides, lots of climbing entry points plus a toddler-friendly walkway, and a rock climbing wall. Freestanding playground zip line. Swing set includes two regular and two bucket seats.
Ground Cover: Bark.
Shade: Plenty of shade trees plus lots of umbrella shades on play structure.
Cleanliness: There’s some graffiti on the play structure, but not an overwhelming amount and nothing vulgar. The playground is very clean and litter is at a minimum.
Amenities: Bathrooms are occupied by homeless sometimes, so it’s best to go before you leave home. Also, the pavillion is always occupied by homeless, so plan on eating at a bench if you bring snacks or lunch.
Pathways: There is a sidewalk that goes around the perimeter of the park and one pathway that goes to the playground/pavillion. No long walking trails, but the surrounding neighborhood makes for a nice stroll.
Other: The park also has two tennis courts and a dog park area with two “mutt mitt” dispensers.