Young Life in an Old Town: The Playground at Charles Houston Recreation Center
This playground at 901 Wythe Street is one of the many fun offerings at the Charles Houston Rec Center.
The Charles Houston Recreation center has so much to offer residents of North Old Town. Isn’t it nice that we no longer have to drive out to Chinquapin or all the way to south Old Town to the Nannie J. Lee Center?
I was so glad when the Charles Houston Center opened its doors, and Sophia and I have enjoyed many of the facilities there in the last year or so since it opened. The outdoor mini pool is the perfect spot for toddlers and pre-schoolers because of the shallow water depth, the fitness facility is an inexpensive alternative to joining a gym, and the soft playroom is a fantastic place for preschoolers to burn off energy when the weather is not cooperating.
Location: On Wythe Street between Patrick and Alfred streets, the recreation center is bordered by a mostly residential area (with considerable construction going on right now), but within walking distance to some of the retail establishments on North Washington Street (Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, etc.) I could walk there from my house, but there is ample parking in the parking lot at the center lot so I almost always drive.
Equipment: The outdoor playground is a compact but nice area. It has one main play structure with several slides, a “rock climbing” feature, bars to swing from and a few things for toddlers to that are lower to the ground. The surface is soft (no mulch!).
Shade? Not really. Every time I’ve visited this playground during the summer, it was very hot here! Fortunately, you can cool off in the pool.
Fenced? Yes. In fact, you cannot enter this playground from the parking lot or the street. The only way to access the playground space is by going through the recreation center. I was told that the playground is free and open to the public as long as the center is open. There are summer camps at the center and various after school programs during the year and the playground is in use by the children enrolled in programs at the center on and off throughout the day.
Bathrooms? There are bathrooms adjacent to the pool as well as inside of the center.
Miscellaneous: While the actual playground is small, there’s a lot to do at the Charles Houston Center and the playground is one of the newer facilities in our area.