Blue Slide Playground is part of Frick Park located in Squirrel Hill on Beechwood Blvd. As a Pittsburgh resident since 2004, I was long overdue for my first visit to the park. Although it’s always been popular among Pittsburghers, the Blue Slide Park was thrown into the national spotlight in 2011 after Pittsburgh native and award winning rapper, Mac Miller named his studio debut album after it (songs also include Blue Slide Park, Party on Fifth Ave., PA Nights, and Frick Park Market). Please note, these are not the sing-a-long types for a family road trips! 🙂
The park includes multiple playgrounds on varying levels complete with large concrete tunnels, a toddler playground and of course, the blue slide built into the cascading hill side.
Real Mom Review: Blue Slide Park
Blue Slide Park scored 87% on the Pittsburgh Playground Rating System. Here are some of the things I was looking for:
- How was the quality, diversity, and accessibility of the playgrounds equipment?
- Is the area free of hazards (i.e. free of defects, equipment in good repair, no traffic hazards, etc.)?
- Did the playground encourage play and curiosity through a variety of spaces, age appropriate materials flexible equipment?
Upon walking up to the playground, the thing that immediately caught my attention was the unique playground set up. The multiple story playground was located on a hillside covered with rubber matting. The gentle slopes made small nooks and crannies to crawl under and made it semi-physically challenging. It is an inviting, fun atmosphere.
The newer parts of the playground were in great shape. The toddler was almost completely shaded and had a separate playground with age appropriate equipment. Up the hill there was various low-to-the-ground climbing equipment including a cube shaped rope obstacle at the top of the playground. There were plenty of hard surfaces including basketball courts and nearby grassy knolls for organized games.
Last, but not least, we had to try the infamous blue slide. We didn’t bring our own cardboard but there was an abundance lying around so we were able to borrow some. Apparently the cardboard is key for sliding! We climbed the steep hill to the top and waiting in line. After my son jetted down the hill he immediately climbed back up for more!
While the newer parts of the playground are in great shape, there were a few older elements looking rather weathered and in disrepair. For example, there were graffiti markings inside the tunnels.
Although they were new, the garden retainer walls had a sharp 90 degree edges… not great to have near climbing equipment.
The playground itself is open and close to street. There’s fencing that runs along Beechwood Blvd. but the walkway is open and only about 50 feet away from where the toddler playground is located. This may be an issue for parents of young children (or multiple children).
Other things I couldn’t find but wish I could have: water play area, sand box and a restroom. They could have been hiding somewhere, but I wasn’t able to locate them.
As it is a 45 minute drive coming from the North Hills, we probably won’t be visiting again soon unless we are in the area. HOWEVER… Overall, I’m glad we got to visit. Visiting the Blue Slide Park was certainly on my Pittsburgh Bucket List. If you’re in the Frick park area, stop by and see for yourself. I mean, it’s Blue Slide Park… you have to, right? 🙂
Blue Slide Park | Beechwood Blvd & Nicholson St , Pittsburgh, PA 15217