Top 5 Parks (Downtown)
With so many parks in this city it was impossible to choose only 5, so we narrowed it down to the
Top 5 below the hill and up on the hill!
Pier 4 Park
Matilda Street Natural Playground
Corner of Matilda Street South and King Street West in Dundas
The Details: This is the first natural playground in the City of Hamilton. Throughout the construction process the concept of the “100 Mile Diet for Playgrounds” was followed. This included the local procurement of native plants, trades and materials. Local discarded white oak and cherry logs were used for all of the site furnishings, Pink Canadian Shield Granite boulders were use for the climbing element in this playground and logs from damaged trees surrounding this site were reused throughout the space. The collaborative design was developed with a focus on all phases of child development and community engagement.
Age Rating: Ideal for the toddler and preschool crowd.
Why We Love It: There's something to be said for a park that's completely unique. This one certainly fits the bill and it's a perfect spot for some active and imaginative play with little kids. The only traditional equipment here is a small double slide built into the side of a hill - no swings, no big colourful climber. But what it does have is lots of natural beauty and plenty of opportunities for kids to use their imagination, something you just can't get the same way at other parks.
Kids Will Love: Getting to sit on top of the giant rock and bring taller than the adults is definitely a highlight but you can't beat the music area full of drums. Searching for and testing out the best drumstick from the twigs and branches on the ground is almost as much fun as making lots of noise!
Good To Know: There is a good amount of street parking available on Matilda Street South. The proximity to a busy street may make some parents nervous, however the park is fully fenced to wrangle little wanderers (just remember to shut the gate!). It's just past the heart of downtown Dundas so it's a perfect spot to play before or after shopping and a bite to eat. This park tends to be a fairly quiet spot however it can be a bit crowded when it gets busy due to its small size.
Pier 4 Park
64 Leander Drive, Hamilton
Details: Pier 4 Park is a charming and picturesque waterfront park. Its main features include an 80-foot tugboat play structure, oriented to provide children with a full view of the water; a curved boardwalk with a pavilion and benches as well as a splash pad.
Age Rating: All ages
Why We Love It: It is large park near the water, a perfect setting for a picnic or snack. There are washrooms close by and tons of boats and birds for the kids to look at. It is close enough to walk or drive over to the other side of Pier 4 that has Hutch’s fish and chips and an ice cream stand. There also tend to be food trucks from time to time down here as well. You can even hop on the trolley that takes you around the harbour on a guided tour.
Kids Will Love: The tugboat play structure! I loved it when I was a kid and mine now love it too. It allows them to use their imagination more than usual at the park and the inclines allow them to feel like they are at sea. They will also love looking at all the ducks, geese, swans and boats in the water.
Good To Know: There are public washrooms in a building close to the park. Due to the park being wheelchair accessible it is very stroller friendly as well. The walk from one side of Pier 4 to the other is more suited to older kids or ones in a stroller or riding a bike. It tends to be a long tedious walk with younger ones. The trolley ride is free for kids under 3, kids over 3 are $3 and adults are $5 and you must pay the conductor in cash.
387 Beach Blvd.
The Details: Located on the east side of Beach Boulevard, Kinsmen Park has three play areas with swings, spring toys, and a creative play structure shaped like a ship, a wading pool, benches, and picnic tables. It is adjacent to Lake Ontario.
Age Rating: All ages, some aspects of the play structure might be challenging for young toddlers.
Why We Love It: This park has a little bit of everything, making it the perfect location for a quick outing for the kids to burn some energy or a longer outing with picnic lunch. Being close to the beach means being able to build a sand castle or throw some rocks in the lake and access to a wading pool means the kids can still go swimming without having to go in the lake (generally not recommended!).
Kids Will Love: The play structure at this park is a bit different from other parks in the city so your kids won't get bored playing on the same old equipment. The climber is shaped like a pirate ship and there is a large plastic hippo that they can climb in and on - it's pretty cool!
Good To Know: Wading pool is open from 12pm-4pm Monday through Friday. It is closed on holidays. Supie is in the park July 6 - August 21 from 9am - 4pm (not there between 12 and 1 for lunch). There is ample shade available for setting up a blanket if you plan to stay awhile. Parking is available on side streets in the area.
Main Street East and Gage
The Details: Gage Park is a large, multi-purpose park with recreational opportunities, passive areas, and historical significance. It offers a variety of sports activities, such as baseball, tennis, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and lawn bowling, and has a considerable amount of open space, which makes it an excellent location for festivals. Gage Park also has two playgrounds (one is wheelchair accessible), a bandshell, greenhouses, gardens, spray pad, wading pool, the newly remodeled Children's Museum where there is a creative play structure with spring toys and swings, and the beautiful Gage Park Fountain.
Age Rating: All ages.
Why We Love It: If you have never been to Gage Park what are you waiting for? This park really has it all no matter the age and stage of your family. Walking paths are great for a stroller stroll, two playgrounds and one of the best splash pad and wading pool are around for the toddler - school age crowd, there's a tonne of open space for a pick up game of soccer or football with your older kids, and there are many festivals throughout the year that will please kids of all ages.
Kids Will Love: Obviously kids will love the chance to run and play in the water and on the playground equipment but one of the fun hidden gems in Gage Park is the free greenhouse. Animal loving kids will be stoked to take a stroll through and visit with the birds, turtles and fish that reside there.
Good To Know: Supie runs July 6 to August 21, Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm, closed daily for lunch between 12 noon and 1 pm. Some Fridays are short days only running from: 9 am to 12 noon so check the schedule in advance. Wading pool is open daily from 11am to 4pm. Children 6 years of age and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and must be within arm's reach at all times. Splash pad is open 9am-9pm daily starting in June. There is a large parking lot at the south end of the park.
Dundas Driving Park
71 Cross Street, Dundas.
The Details: Dundas Driving Park is a popular sports park with several softball fields, a bandshell, swings, independent play equipment such as climbers and slides, a wading pool with spray pad, an accessible play structure, an outdoor ice rink/skate park area and sheltered picnic areas. Washrooms and parking are available.
Age Rating: All ages
Why We Love It: This park is on most locals list since it's just such an awesome park. Let's see: ample parking, lots of shade, plenty of picnic tables, pavilions to rent for parties, an awesome wading pool and splash pad, two playground areas, washrooms on site and ice skating in the winter? I think that just about says it all!
Kids Will Love: The pool and splash pad are definitely the highlight for most kids, however a the play area with the free standing slides is always a crowd pleaser. It's a nice change from the other more typical playground and the slides and tall and fast, perfect for little ones looking for a thrill!
Good To Know: Supie runs July 6 to August 21 Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm Closed daily for lunch between 12 noon and 1 pm. Some Fridays are short days only running from: 9 am to 12 noon so check the schedule in advance. Wading pool is open daily from June to September, 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. Children 6 years of age and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and must be within arm's reach at all times. Splash pad is open 9am-9pm daily starting in June.