Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children at Hermann Park – Visiting Houston’s Parks, One Week at a Time

Address:  Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St, Houston, TX ‎

Cost:  Free!

Appropriate Age:  Any age!

JoeBrookeJames Walking Path in Hermann Park
 

Hermann Park is one of my most favorite places in Houston. There are a ton of things to do, most of them are free and the park is just beautiful.

We often make plans to visit the playground, park, gardens, theatre, lake, pedal boats, train or zoo.  More often than this, when we find a little extra time but can’t decide what to do, we just head to Hermann Park.  With so much going on, we are never disappointed.

Hermann Park Smaller Playstructure
 

One part of Hermann Park is the Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children.  This playground is on the west side of the park and includes 3 play areas plus a splash pad.  Most of the equipment is accessible to children with disabilities.

This side of Hermann Park, with the play structures, has pavilions for parties, bathrooms, lots of open space.  It also has a train stop.  If you board at Kinder Station, by the Zoo, you can jump off at this stop.  Or, if you are at the park, you can jump on the train for free and ride back to Kinder Station.  (To depart from Kinder Station, you need to buy a ticket.  At any other stop you can jump on for free, as long as there is space.)

Hermann Park Toddler Playstructure
 

There is a toddler playground that is low to the ground and has several little houses for the little kids to explore.  For bigger kids, there is another area with play structure, sandbox, spring riders, bars, swings and a tire swing that everyone wanted to try.

And then there was the best play area.

Hermann Park Bigger Playstructure
 

The biggest play area had zip lines, slides, bridges, bars, swings, balance beams and everything a kid could want.  This playground is good for the big kids, but my younger ones also liked it best.  They all spent an hour running, jumping, sliding and swinging.

There are a few benches for parents and plenty of space for a picnic blanket.  But, I do not think you will be able to sit.

Although my kids love this playground, it’s not perfect for parents.  First, the play structures are in a big open space and there is nothing to contain the kids.  I could almost trust my 6 and 4 year old to stay close, but my 2 year old required constant chasing.

Also, the play structure is so big, that it is a little difficult to know where the littlest ones have gone up or down, unless you are constantly on their heels.

And finally, everyone in Houston seems to love this playground.  On the weekends we have been there, there have been a lot of kids running around.  The park can handle the numbers fine, but the chaos makes it even harder to watch the little kids.

So, my review is that I do like the playground but it is not for a lazy weekend afternoon.  If we go on a weekend, I have to be prepared to dart in and out of playground equipment to be sure my 2 year old does not disappear.

That said, I LOVE Hermann Park on any day of the week.  If the playground is just too crazy, I suggest walking around the trail, visiting the Japanese Garden, taking a train ride, feeding the ducks, renting a pedal boat or visiting the zoo.

 


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Comments

  1. Cameron Buckner says:

    These playgrounds are extensive and once quite beautiful, but must be regarded as unusable due to sanitation concerns. They are used as open-air latrines by the local resident homeless population that are attracted to the adjacent Palmer Church homeless waystation across the street.

    Here was our experience: I have regularly taken my daughter to these playgrounds since we moved to the area. Last Sunday, I took my daughter to play on the northernmost (blue) playground on the West side of Hermann Park. It is normally the most crowded with children and the furthest from the resident homeless populations in the picnic shelters a bit south. About a minute after she started to play, as she was scooting down some of the stairs on her bottom, I noticed that her bottom and shoes had gotten very, very dirty, and her hands were covered in what appeared to be mud. It took me a few moments to realize that someone had defecated on the steps of the playset and that she’d slipped and fallen in human feces. This set off some frenzied crisis cleaning, to say the least.

    I managed to find some park workers to report the incident to and they were very friendly, helpful, and responsive, but this is actually the second time I’ve seen human waste at that playground (I wrote the first off to a fluke, and it was not so…prominently placed). The workers mentioned that this had actually happened more often than the times I’d noticed.

    Apparently, the facilities cost $1.3 million to build back in 1995. Such a pity that the city has allowed them to fall through the cracks.

    This is just the experience of one person, but I wouldn’t wish the morning we had on anybody, and it just doesn’t seem to me worth the risk. If you need a playground in Hermann Park, the only real option seems to be to buy a zoo membership and use the one inside the Children’s Zoo.

    • Jill Jarvis says:

      Cameron – Thanks for letting us know. You’re experience sounds awful. One note is that I ran through the park just yesterday, and noticed no one was sitting in the pavilions or at the tables. It was just one day after your comment, so I am hopeful that you talking with the park workers has sparked some change. Until we’re sure, we’ll stick to the zoo side of Hermann Park.

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