- Space to run
- Close to food (if we forget to pack our own or have run out of snacks)
- Contains a play structure or playground
Ok, now let's pretend you have a cranky toddler in the backseat who just wants to stop and you are somewhere in the middle of nowhere on the 401 en route to Ottawa. You figure you'll take the next exit and grab some lunch and stop in a park with a playground to eat. You have also stated your plans out loud to your driving partner (BIG mistake) and your toddler is now excited to swing at the park. So you find some lunch at a drive-through and take it to go, because heaven forbid you take the toddler out and there is no playground at the restaurant. Now you start driving around while your spouse frantically searches (on the smallest screen ever!) for local parks with playgrounds in an area you do not know. I say 'frantically' because imagine at this point the toddler is now crying to get out of the car to eat the food which is getting colder by the minute as you turn right for the 10th time and your spouse forgets which town you have stopped in while entering 'playgrounds' in google. Isn't there an easier way?
There is most definitely an easier way! Now imagine an app that is able to find parks while road tripping almost ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Some genius parents in Victoria, BC have created such an app, and it's even FREE! I am excited to share it here with you so that your next road trips can be as enjoyable as mine now are. Enter Playground Buddy. The map locations are pretty accurate in Durham Region (although a few newer parks may not be pinned yet) and the rest of Ontario, even if the park name and details are not yet populated (still a pretty good data dump if you ask me). Quebec is pretty spotty and has some inaccuracies and Alberta is missing quite a few parks, but the app still gets you what you need if you're in an area you are not familiar with. Not only does it help you find the nearest playground to your location in the middle of nowhere, but it also lets you add new ones (if you get lucky and 'happen' upon one while toddler in the back seat is still crying). You can even remember parks in a favourite list if, like us, you take the same route many times each year! The data is based on user updates, so it's only going to be as accurate as the information provided going forward.....so what are you waiting for? Help a girl out and start adding some details to the 401 route East and West! Pretty please?