Our family recently won a night at the Westin and they put us in a room on the eleventh floor. Imagine our kids’ delight when they looked out the window and spotted a playground far below!
It was a new-to-us playground so first thing the next morning we skipped across the street to check it out and were thrilled when we realized it was a train themed playground, directly across the street from the VIA Rail Train Station!
First stop with my kids always seems to be to check out the swings. This playground has three swings: one baby swing, one belt swing, and one platform swing. Not a lot but there are several other swinging/spinning type activities though (keep reading!) to make up for the lack of traditional swings.
There is a really cool climbing structure here as well that reminded us a bit of an American Ninja Warrior Junior show with different hang and spin elements, monkey bars, and hop and step platforms.
There was also a part that you can stand on and use your body weight to spin yourself around in circles - my daughter said it was like a ride at an amusement park (check out my IG Stories Playground highlights to see it in action). We were a little puzzled about if you were supposed to sit on it as it looks like there’s a seat part, but she found standing worked better. Maybe it’s for two kids to share?
These standing swings are also here. Truthfully they’re not something my kids love as one can barely reach the handles, and even I couldn’t get much traction on it, but some kids may enjoy them.
This stepper activity (above) wobbles ever so slightly so the kids said it was like a wobbly bridge and had fun challenging themselves to get across it faster each time. The slide above has a cool climber that big kids will enjoy and little kids will stress their parents out while they try to master it.
There are several benches around the park area but these little train car ones were the best. No, they don’t move, but they’re built on a little “train track” which is a fun visual element to add to the imagination.
The main structure is designed to look like a train (and you can even see the actual trains and station in the background!). It has big tires for climbing in and a tunnel to climb through to get to the front of the train.
There are no simple steps to get up to the main part but there is a fairly basic ladder and steppers (seen above), along with several climbers of varying degrees of difficulty. There are a couple main level play areas for kids who are not able to climb, but not as many as other playgrounds we’ve seen. Two slides finish off this structure, a straight one and a twisty one.
This is an imagination-rich playground with lots of fun features. My daughter’s favourite was the spinner and my son’s was the main train structure and the ground-level musical play space.
If your children enjoy trains a lot, be sure to check out our round-up of seven train adventures in and around the HRM too!
LOCATION AND PARKING
The Train Station Playground is located at 1170 Hollis Street, in the park formerly known as Cornwallis Park, in downtown Halifax, next to the VIA Rail Train Station and the Westin and across from Superstore. There is metered parking on the street and some free parking on the side streets surrounding the park (note that parking is free at meters after 6 p.m. and on weekends).
There are flat paved paths to the playground from the sidewalks which makes it accessible to all mobility levels.
PLAYGROUND FEATURES AND AMENITIES
Two main play structures
Three swings - one baby swing, one belt swing, and one platform swing
Three slides (two on the train structure, one twisty slide and one straight, as well as one stand-alone slide)
Many climbing options including steppers, ladders, spider web ropes, etc.
Various ground-level games including a music component
No fence between playground and the road, but it's set a bit of a distance from the road. Keep an eye on kids though as it is still a busy part of the city with a road surrounding the park.
Closest public bathrooms are at Superstore or in the train station.
Very little shade but there are a couple patches of trees surrounding the playground
Ground surface is the flat sponge surface; surrounded by grass and asphalt paths