Having lived in the Robinson area for several years, my son and I have spent our fair share of time venturing around the western parts of Pittsburgh. Clever Park used to be our go-to spot and remains one of our favorite playgrounds. Nowadays, my son has outgrown the baby swings and traded in the toddler slide for monkey bars and climbing ropes. We love this playground not only for the memories it holds, but also for its versatility and ability to appeal to children of all ages.
Real Mom Review: Clever Park
In the Pittsburgh Playground series, I’ve been traveling around the city to visit the city’s most notable playground to provide an unbiased review. 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?
Clever Park in located in the Robinson area, right up the road from the Robinson Mall. The playground is in the general vicinity of the community pool, basketball and tennis courts. If you’re in the area, you may also want to check out Montour Trail.
In July of 2014, Clever Park playground received an extreme makeover. The large wooden playground was re-stained, the chains/climbing structures were repaired and tons of maintenance was done to the landscaping. Honestly, it really needed it and the playground looks phenomenal.
Within the fenced in area, there are two areas – separated playgrounds for older and younger children. On the younger children’s side is a sandbox, toddler friendly slides, various climbing equipment and baby swings. On the opposite side visitors will find climbers, slides, large wooden mazes, a musical element, swings and more. Throughout the entire playground area there are paintings and artwork that add whimsy and excitement. There are also benches in between the two areas that provide seating for caregivers.
Two freestanding wooden structures are located just outside the fenced area near the large picnic pavillion: a playful stage and reading area. There’s also a huge grassy hill that’s excellent for running up and rolling down!
I was delightfully surprised to see all the recent renovations, however it is still an aging wooden playground. Some areas were splintering and I saw a couple exposed nails in a corner of a railing. The playground is also completely grounded with wooden chips. Also, I’m sure it’s hard to actually keep sand in the sandbox, but I wish there would have been more sand to play with- seemed a bit empty. It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the shaded sandbox at Blueberry Patch. Also, while the playground is fenced in, it doesn’t have gates that close completely. There are two exit areas that remain open. I would definately keep an eye on little ones as there is a busy road nearby.
Overall, I think this is a marvelous playground. We’ve spent quite a few days running back forth between the playground and the pool… tons of summer fun!
Clever Park | 115 Robinson Pool Dr McKees Rocks, PA 15136