Outdoor Play

Outdoor play allows children and adults to explore and interact with the natural world, all while getting much-needed fresh air and exercise. Best of all, when parents and children play together, relationships are enhanced and family bonds are strengthened. Five Rivers MetroParks provides nearly 16,000 acres of nature to play in, including special facilities that provide not only fun and entertainment, but also important opportunities for children to learn and develop new skills. Discovery awaits! Get out and look for bugs, explore blossoms, skip a rock, build a fort or play in the mud.

Featured Locations

Englewood MetroPark Disc Golf

4361 W. National Rd., Vandalia, OH 45377 Directions >

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The Englewood MetroPark disc golf course provides a fun and relaxing outdoor activity for people of all ages. Disc golf is played by throwing a plastic Frisbee®-like disc at a target called a “basket.” The whole family can enjoy this free outdoor activity on our 18-hole course at the south end of the East Park.

Englewood MetroPark Nature Play

4361 W. National Rd., Vandalia, OH 45377 Directions >

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The nature play area at Englewood MetroPark provides an opportunity for kids to explore, build forts, count bugs and use their imaginations in unstructured outdoor play. There are comfy chairs for caretakers to sit and watch, too. It’s also a short hike to see Patty Falls. As you enter East Park on U.S. Route 40, veer right at the fork and continue until you get to the T in road. Turn right, and the parking lot will be on your right shortly after you turn. From the trailhead, you will see the nature play area, as well as several trails to explore.

Hills & Dales Playground and Nature Play

2606 Hilton Drive, Kettering, OH 45409 Directions >

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Hills & Dales White Oak Camp area offers a traditional playground and a nature play area on the tree-covered hill. While the kids play, caretakers can keep an eye on them while walking nearby paths or relaxing in the comfy Adirondack chairs. Park in the lot off of Hilton Drive or walk to the park on the three-quarter-mile trail starting at Twin Oak Camp off of South Patterson Boulevard.

Possum Creek Nature Play

4790 Frytown Rd., Dayton, OH 45417 Directions >

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Possum Creek has a nature play area, complete with logs and stumps, next to the farm house. Families can also explore the stream, which is accessible from the green trail, a 0.3-mile loop trail. During farm hours, you can stop in and visit with the animals and learn how you to grow and raise your family’s food. Enter from the 4790 Frytown Road entrance and drive until the road ends at the last parking lot.

Sugarcreek Nature Play

4178 Conference Rd., Bellbrook, OH 45305 Directions >

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Sugarcreek’s nature play area backs up to a wooded area perfect for exploring. Enter from Conference Road and walk a short distance along the path to the trailheads. The paved prairie trail loop is perfect for family walks and accommodates baby strollers.

Wesleyan Playground & Nature Play

1441 Wesleyan Rd., Dayton, OH 45406 Directions >

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Like Hills & Dales, Wesleyan features a traditional playground and a nature play area. Kids can weave in and out of the two spaces, climb on logs, find bugs and explore natural habitats. The nearby pavilion offers a shady lunch spot and restrooms. Walk or bike into the park from Wesleyan Road. Parking is available near the entrance on the corner of Wesleyan Road and West Riverview Avenue. It’s a short walk to the play areas on easy paths.

Wegerzyn Children's Discovery Garden

1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, OH 45414 Directions >

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The Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark is a kid-friendly place for the whole family to discover, explore and connect to nature through gardening. Divided into three main areas, the garden offers opportunities to play among interesting and whimsical plant displays, learn about Ohio habitats and see vegetables and other backyard plants grow. If you visit in the summer, bring your swimsuits! Kids will delight in the park’s safe, man-made wading creek, waterfall and cave.

Playground & Water Play at Island MetroPark

101 E. Helena St., Dayton, OH 45404 Directions >

The playground at Island MetroPark features a traditional playground with slides and climbing equipment as well as an interactive water play system. Bring bikes! The adjacent paved loop paths and connection to the Great Miami River Trail provide a great opportunity for kids to test their skills on two wheels. The playground is open year-round during park hours. The spray ground opens each year on Memorial Day and is open daily until Labor Day. Hours through Aug. 14: 11 AM-7:50 PM Mon.-Sat.; 1-7:50 PM on Sun.; Aug. 15 through Labor Day hours are Mon.-Fri. 4-7:50 PM, Sat. 11 AM -7:50 PM, and Sun. 1-7:50 PM.

Interactive Fountains at RiverScape

111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, OH 45402 Directions >

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On hot summer days, children can cool off and play in the interactive fountains on RiverScape’s Festival Plaza. Multiple jets shoot water as high as 20 feet, choreographed to the sounds of family-friendly music. The water play area is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11 AM-8 PM, seven days a week. The Fountain Snack Bar next door offers cool treats for parents and kids.

Playground at Eastwood

1385 Harshman Rd., Dayton, OH 45431 Directions >

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Children are sure to enjoy the playgrounds near the beautiful shady picnic areas at Eastwood MetroPark. The playground is a safe environment for kids to slide and climb and offers multiple seating areas for caregivers to relax under the shade of Eastwood’s tree canopy. Make sure to explore the nearby Mad River Run — you might inspire the inner kayaker in your child!

Bell Children's Maze and Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum

6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449 Directions >

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Parents are invited to watch from the overlook or join in the fun as children wind a path through 1,175 boxwoods to the center of the Bell Children’s Maze. Kids won’t want to miss the park’s magical tree tower, either, where they can climb the 81 steps for a panoramic view of the Miami Valley from 46 feet up.

Get Out and Play! 

Outdoor play is fun and easy. MetroParks provides places to safely and freely explore outdoors in these parks:

Getting Started

MetroParks has been developing programs connecting families and children with the outdoors and nature for years. Find a program below, or head out to your local MetroPark this weekend and just get outdoors and play!

Programs & Events

Reservations made easy

Reserve a campsite or shelter with a few quick clicks

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Experience the outdoors at Five Rivers MetroParks reservable facilities. Open-air shelters in beautiful, natural settings are excellent for BBQs, family reunions, birthday parties and more, or plan an overnight camping adventure with numerous park amenities nearby!

Reserve now

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