We took friends to Tenney Park and Lock today. It has become one of my favorite spots in Madison because of the combination of natural play areas, water and playgrounds (a favorite for my girls!). The girls love looking for all the wildlife that is around Lake Mendota, the creek and "pond" (may be a branch off of the river or the lake I am not actually sure). There are tons of big trees, wildflowers, a beach, rocks to climb and much more! Plus two different playgrounds within walking distance of each other that are great for little ones.
One of the things that is so great about this place is that it is in Madison, almost right downtown. Having places like this to go so close to the city means that even those families living in the most urban settings have a place nearby to play outdoors and see some natural areas.
Apparently today I was sick of taking pictures of my own kids and just wanted to take pictures of our friend's daughter! She is a cutie!!!!
Had a great weekend with friends and some fun outdoor play time. It was almost 100 degrees today so we didn't get to explore as much as I would have liked but the little girls (and all the grownups!) were just too darn hot!
The Nitty Gritty!
If you are headed to Tenney anytime soon I have a plan of action that I would suggest!
Start your adventure at the small playground right by Lake Mendota, there is a parking lot right there. Then use the distraction of the big lake to draw the kiddos away from the slides. If you brought beach stuff you can head to the beach right from there. A short walk from the playground and beach is the Tenney Lock with a nice wildflower path, fish to look for and a great pier out on the lake to explore. Cross the street from there and you can head to the creek. There are birds, muscrats, beavers and tons of fish to find around the creek. Head to one of the stone bridges to get to the island that has soccer fields and another big playground. Once your kids have had enough for the day the walk back and be a way to point out more of the natural sights (and wear them out just a little bit more!).
This may seem really specific but I have discovered that one of the most helpful things when you head out on an outdoor adventure is knowing the location really well and having a plan for what you will do when you get there. Hope this helps someone that might be in the Madison area enjoy this fun place just a little bit more!