Kip Lee Park
|Kip Lee Park in Port Jefferson boasts a large and fun playground, right in a seaside town with plenty to explore.|
Kip Lee Park is located in the parking lot behind the Main Street stores in Port Jeff. There is plenty of parking, but you have to pay for it. Automated kiosks dot the landscape all around the parking areas in the village of Port Jefferson, and code enforcement will find you should it slip your mind to pay up. The good news is, it's not very expensive -- a few quarters will buy plenty of playground time and the machines do accept ATM cards if you'll be staying longer. A midafternoon weekday visit found plenty of parking immediately adjacent to the playground.
The play area is divided roughly into two parts, for older and younger children. The older area is dominated by a slide structure that resembles a rocket ship. It has multiple climbing platforms and two long covered slides that are very popular. The second playset is geared more towards wire climbs, but has three slides of its own.
The equipment at Kip Lee Park is older, but it's in very good condition. The color may be fading, but there's not much chipped paint or rust to be found. The play surface is a soft sand, which can be a little rough on the eyes on a bright and sunny day. But for the kids, it's a giant sandbox.
The section for smaller children features two more playsets. The first one offers access via easy stairways or a wire bridge for the better climbers. A covered slide descends from a pavilion into the sand. There are plenty of benches located around the park, and the whole area is fenced in to keep kids away from the busy parking lot.
The last of the playsets is the closest to the ground, and offers a great introduction to new playground visitors. Children can get on via short stairs or a long ramp. The ramp leads up to another platform and step, so it's not handicap accessible. There are two short and wide slides for little ones, and even a covered slide for the more adventurous toddler.
There are two banks of swings at Kip Lee Park, one toddler set and one standard. There is plenty of capacity: six swings in the toddler area and four standard swings for the big kids. The only problem with the swings here is that they are in full midday sun. On a hot summer day, the swings get pretty hot and it's not too comfortable to stay on them for very long.
Back to the main attraction at Kip Lee Park: the big slides. The rocket-themed pavilion is a great spot for kids to play out of the sun, and the climb up is great exercise. Once at the top, there are two curvy covered slides whose height is akin to sliding out of a second-story window. You won't find many slides of this length that don't empty into a pool.
Kip Lee Park is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Located right in the heart of Port Jefferson village, there are plenty of places nearby to eat or just browse. In addition to the playground, there are tennis and basketball courts, and there are public restroom facilities nearby. A stop at the playground is a nice addition to a visit to the Children's Maritime Museum, just across town.
Kip Lee ParkOfficial Site: www.portjeff.com
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