Centennial Park is a meaningful location to local Antioch’s area residents as it was built during Antioch’s 100-year celebration by area volunteers in only five days. With over eight acres of open and wooded spaces, the park is beautiful and often busy. The castle playground provides limitless opportunities for creative play while the fields allow plenty of room for running around and structured activities.
The park has beautiful mature trees throughout, which provide adequate shade. With plenty of picnic tables under the pavilion and out in the sun, this location could offer a long morning full of adventures plus a picnic lunch. My favorite part though, is the lion drinking fountain. It is a piece of nostalgia and reminds me of my childhood park experiences.
The wooden play structure has everything a child could want to explore in one place. The wood has been re-stained yearly and appears in pretty good shape other than a few disintegrating low boards here and there. This park was not designed with young children or tots in mind (which dare I say is refreshing?), but there are specific items my 18-month-old really enjoyed. With only three infant bucket swings, a sand area and a small fire engine to explore, tots are limited for independent play. This park is not fenced-in, so if you’re looking to kick back while the little ones play, this may not be the ideal location for your outing.
Elementary-aged children have plenty to explore from the balance beam to many bridges made of tires, chains, rings, and rubber. With multiple climbing opportunities, my children became engrossed in play and we didn’t see them for a very long time. We heard stories of rocket ships, castles and aliens as the kids giggled and hid among the pathways and towers of the structure.
A tube, spiral and a tot slide allow children to quickly get down from the maze-like structure when they don’t want to run though the obstacles, use the fire pole or ladders. If you have climbers, there is plenty to safely satisfy. The ring monkey bars were too high for my almost six-year-old, along with other pull up bars throughout. Older children will enjoy the challenge of this play equipment and the unique materials, as many structures include tires.
Spinning on the tire swing was very exciting for my crew. Tire swings have become more rare at parks, and we spun until they got sick–for real. The giggles were worth it! With more regular swings and one swing chair (and the infant swings) there is plenty of space for the whole family to pump their legs.
The baseball fields are in fantastic shape and are used often, filling the park with families and siblings during practices and games. The tennis courts appear well used and if you are like us–you can use them to corral small children when they aren’t in use! A large grassy area sits between the parking areas. The main parking lot (which is marked with signs, but is the second one you come upon if you arrive from the south) has a concrete path to the pavilion and playground, but there isn’t enough space to bring bikes or scooters for a walk.
Centennial Park is one we will definitely visit again as a whole family. Having been recently serviced, which happens in spring and fall by Friends of the Playground volunteers, the graffiti we heard rumors of was non-existent and the almost 25-year-old structure looked fresh. My kids cried as we left, which is a sure sign they had a blast. We can’t wait to come back without our youngest in tow so we can enjoy the park to its fullest.
601 Anita Street, Antioch