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Valley Stream State Park

Valley Stream State Park Valley Stream State Park is a natural oasis in a densely developed residential area that features nature trails, picnic areas and two playgrounds.

Valley Stream State Park
Valley Stream State Park is located right off the Southern State Parkway in Valley Stream. If you're approaching from the East, you'll have to drive through the adjoining neighborhood to reach the approach on the westbound side of the parkway. There is a very large and paved parking lot, and seasonal fees follow the New York State parks system, with Empire Passes honored. The playgrounds are divided into two areas, for younger and older children. The older play area features two playsets, both of which boast a number of slides.

Valley Stream State Park
The first playset has an area on one side that is intended for smaller kids, with a short slide and an easy stair climb to the platform. There's a tunnel and a spiral ladder as well as a set of monkey bars. For the bigger kids there is a corkscrew slide and a covered one.

Valley Stream State Park
A second playset features a tall platform with three steep slides. One of these was still under construction during our visit. It looks like a doozy: it's tall and steep and has a broad curve. It looks a little flimsy, though: the work must be to shore it up.

Valley Stream State Park
The height of the slide platform on the second playset provides for some great climbing opportunities. There are multiple access points including a set of monkey bars and a curved ladder. There is a short and wide slide off the rear to accommodate younger kids who can't quite get up to the higher platform. The covered slide is long and fast -- with a steep end. Younger kids who try this one may tumble off the bottom.

Valley Stream State Park
The play surface at Valley Stream State Park is a wood mulch that's not in great shape. It's pretty thin in many spots and a fall from the monkey bars or slides will result in a hard thump. The newer set features slides with grooves at the bottom to prevent any puddles from forming.

Valley Stream State Park
There are two sets of standard swings next to the playsets. The chains are bare but in good condition. Two sets of toddler swings are in the smaller play area, which is closer to the parking lot. Both areas are well covered with trees for plenty of shade on sunny days. There is a paved path that connects the two spots, making navigation with a stroller easy. There is also a public restroom and a pair of vending machines in the space between the two playgrounds.

Valley Stream State Park
The smaller area features two anchored rockers on springs, one of which can hold up to four kids. The second one looks more like a see-saw. In the center, you'll find a pair of toy cars.

Valley Stream State Park
The area also has a pair of single anchored rockers, one that looks like Clifford the Big Red Dog and another that looks like a large dinosaur. These were popular rides during our visit, so you can expect to wait even on a quiet day.

The Valley Stream State Park is open every day and offers a huge number of picnic areas. There are also two nature trails and an exercise path with many workout stations throughout.

Valley Stream State Park

Official Site: http://nysparks.state.ny.us/
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