I often get asked why we get so excited over mulch-free playgrounds and what's the matter with mulch! Nothing is the matter with mulch! But turf playgrounds are extremely beneficial for a variety of reasons. Turf and padded play surfaces are much more enjoyable compared to it's mulchy counterparts during rainy weather as it is less likely to accumulate puddles. Turf or padded playgrounds are also great for wheelchair accessibility and kids still crawling and learning to walk. We particularly seek out these playgrounds because my son has a mini meltdown whenever the slightest piece of mulch gets in his shoe. Without further ado, here's the list of our favorite turf and padded play surfaces!
Sweden Town Park
Redman Rd, Brockport, NY 14420
This lovely new playground with a padded play surface is completely handicap accessible and adjacent to a splash pad! This park is worth the drive no matter where you are around Rochester!
Van Ingen Dr, Webster, NY 14580
Ridge Park in Webster recently received a makeover to include a padded play surface with wheelchair accessibility. Kids love to run, crawl and ride up and down the ramps of this playground. We visited in the colder months and the kids had no problem crawling around on the ground!
3 Vince Tofany Blvd, Greece, NY 14612
This playground behind the Greece Recreation Center is one of the more imaginative ones out there. Not only is the play surface padded, but frogs fish and bear occupy the grounds! There is a splash pad ($5 for non-residents) adjacent to the playground.
99 Victor Rd, Fairport, NY 14450
Egypt Park is a fan favorite. The surface is padded and the structures are farm-themed including a tractor-shaped play structure! The Farm trail of Lollipop Farms is nearby for an extended visit.
Cobb's Hill Park
80 Culver Rd, Rochester, NY 14610
Practice your parkour skills on this turf surface at Cobb's Hill Park. The playground can be found right off the Culver Road Entrance.
First Responder's Park
1350 Chiyoda Dr, Webster, NY 14580
Fire truck fans unite! The First Responder themed playground is covered with a padded surface and adjacent to a firefighter themed splash pad.
Finger Lake Welcome Center
35 Lake Front Dr, Geneva, NY 14456
If heading to the Finger Lake region, stop by the Finger Lakes Welcome Center and climb aboard a ship on a padded play surface!
1558 Lakeshore Blvd., Irondequoit, NY 14617
This playground at Camp Eastman in Irondequoit is open to the public and also adjacent to a splash pad! Put some time aside for this visit as there is a lot of playing to be done at this location!
99 Park Rd, Spencerport, NY 14559
The newly renovated playground at Pineway Ponds now takes on a modern feel, but the padded play surface remains! Pack the swim suits for the nearby splash pad.
Perinton Community Center
1350 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450
This playground is open to the public! Be sure to visit Perinton Community Center for its Aquatics Center and Preschool open gym before checking out this padded (and enclosed) playground!
Henrietta Recreation Center
605 Calkins Rd, Rochester, NY 14623
This new playground at the Henrietta Recreation Center was built to include a padded play surface. Call ahead to ensure it is open to the public as it is sometimes used for the day camps there.
Genesee Valley Park
1316 Genesee St, Rochester NY 14611
There is more than just beautiful trails and the Genesee River Pedestrian Bridge at Genesee Valley Park. This enticing playground can be found off of Genesee Street. Use "Genesee Valley Park Playground For All Children" in Google Maps to find this padded playground.
Titus Ave, Irondequoit, NY 14617
Located behind the Wegmans on Titus Ave, the enclosed and padded play surface has a variety of structures to please a wide range of ages.
Empire Blvd, Irondequoit, NY 14609
McAvoy is the park with that small playground located on the corner of Empire and Winton in Irondequoit. It's a great stop after watching a ball game and, you guessed it, it's padded!
Ellwager and Barry Park
800 Meigs St, Rochester, NY 14620
Ellwanger and Barry Park recently received a makeover to include a padded play surface in some areas. However, not to worry- Though the mulch was removed in some areas, the sandbox and community donated toys still remain.
Adams Street Recreation Center
85 Adams St #2210, Rochester, NY 14608
Adams Street Rec Center is located just a short distance from Corn Hill Landing. Though this playground is attached to the rec center, it is open to the public! The play surface is padded rather than mulch and there are two separate play areas, plus regular and baby swings.
Benjamin Daley Memorial Playground
340 Broadway, Rochester, NY 14607
Located in a cute neighborhood off Monroe Avenue, this playground is friendly to a wide range of ages. Not only is the surface padded but there is also a nice grassy area next to the playground to play as well.
1648 Five Mile Line Rd, Penfield, NY 14526
Rothfuss park just got even better! Not only is it home to one of the "Jack's Place" dinosaur theme playgrounds, it just received a new playground that is all inclusive. This playground is wheelchair accessible with its padded play surface.
Sibley Pl, Rochester, NY 14607
This is a hidden gem of a park tucked in the Park Avenue neighborhood. There is a community garden along with the cool mushrooms. There are some swings and a decent size climber with a mulch free play surface! There is also a fun yellow brick walkway through the park.
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park
353 Court St, Rochester, NY 14607
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial park is an Industrial style playground found with the city of Rochester. The playground features a single fountain "splash pad" to cool off in after climbing its unique structures. Though this playground is geared toward older children, it can be fun for kids of all ages. There is plenty to do around this playground including ice skating in the winter and the year-round museum of play. Though the surface is not mulch, it isn't softly padded either.
Verona Street Playground
Verona St Rochester, NY 14608
Located in a large open space right in the heart of Rochester is Verona Playground! This structure is a little bit older, but still gets the job done. With metal slides, monkey bars and tons of climbing kids are sure to enjoy it. Ground cover is rubber! There are also basketball courts nearby.
For more information on all of these playgrounds and more, check out the playground page HERE