Georgetown Texas – Not just best for retirement…

…we’re also not too shabby for kids.

Texas Monthly magazine recently ranked the Creative Playscape in Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park as the best in state.  I asked my wife what she thought about it and, although she likes it, she mentioned that it was actually a little too big for our little kids and she would have a hard time keeping track of them.  Maybe a great place for the older kids…or mom’s who are a little more care-free.  Anyway, the Austin American Statesman wrote an article on it and I’ve included it below for your convenience:

Georgetown playscape ranked best in state
Texas Monthly magazine praises San Gabriel Park playscape.

By Bob Banta
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GEORGETOWN — When Raoul Perez drove into Georgetown on an errand last week from his home in Marble Falls, he ran into an unexpected delay.

“My daughter, Adrianna, looked out of the car window and saw the playscape here and just had to stop and play on it,” Perez said as he pushed his 1-year-old son, Julian, on a swing while Adrianna, 7, explored the playscape’s maze of tunnels and towers.

Adrianna’s attraction to the 15-year-old Creative Playscape in Georgetown’s San Gabriel park is not unusual. Designed by architect Robert Leathers of Ithaca, N.Y., the facility was named favorite playground for children in the April issue of Texas Monthly magazine.

“With all the places to run and hide, no game of tag will ever be the same after your kids have played here,” said the article, compiled by a team of writers.

“I’ve seen buses of school kids from as far away as Salado,” said Kimberly Garrett, director of Georgetown’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We draw people from a 30-mile radius.”

The structure, built by volunteers in 1993 and funded with $140,000 in donations, consists of walkways, tunnels and elevated wooden bridges that are stained dark brown. Pagodas loom over the assembly of swings, firefighter poles and bouncing rope bridges.

The heavy plank walls of the tunnel and corridor system are decorated with carvings of ancient buildings and log cabins, and colored tiles painted by children line square posts at the entrance to the playscape. Shade from an oak tree gives it a shadowy, brooding, Harry Potter-like atmosphere.

It’s spooky enough to satisfy older kids but not scary enough to frighten toddlers.

“They love playing hide-and-seek and running through all the different structures,” said A.J. Green, who drove from Jarrell to let his two grandsons, ages 10 and 5, run off some energy. “We come here almost once a week.”

Longtime Georgetown resident Tom Swift, a staff secretary in the health and counseling services office of Southwestern University, managed the citizens committee that raised money and helped build the playscape. “Our priorities in building it were safety, engagement and beauty. We also wanted it to be accessible to everyone,” he said.

Swift said he knew they had been successful when the mother of a boy with cerebral palsy told him shortly after the playscape opened that the high-backed swings allowed her son to enjoy the playground with other kids for the first time in the boy’s life.

“What had been a field of weeds literally turned into a field of dreams,” Swift said.

The kids and parents who play there agree.

“I like everything about the playscape,” said Joshua Peyton Mohle, 6, who visits it regularly.

His mother, Inger Peyton, said the playscape gives parents a chance “to just chill out and play with your kids.”

Bradley Green, 10, enjoys the open-air feeling.

“I like the tire swing,” he said. “And I like just being able to run and climb and have fun outside.”

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