On Father’s Day, we took Dad out to a somewhat renowned local park for a family picnic!
Elizabeth Park is a large city park, easy to get to off Rt 84. Parking is free, but can be hard to find a spot depending where you want to be; once you snag a place to park, you will find much to explore.
Although the park was busy on Father’s Day, it was not crowded. There are benches and plenty of trees scattered on the sprawling park lawns for visitors to spread out. We found a shady place near the duck ponds to lay out our blanket (tip: put a vinyl tablecloth UNDER your blanket and you won’t get that “damp” feeling from sitting on the grass!).
As we settled in to enjoy outdoor time, our nearly 2.5 year old son said in his sweet baby voice: “This is a GOOD place!”We heartily agreed. Then we enjoyed our cold picnic lunch: tomato, mozzarella, basil pasta salad, Italian bread, fruit and strawberry soda! And some chocolate chip cookies!
The most notable aspect of the park is the 100 year+ old Rose Gardens, at peak bloom the day we went (yes, I planned that!). These are the oldest municipal rose gardens in the United States, covering two and a half acres filled with 800+ varieties of roses! Gorgeous archways of roses lead from all sides to a leaf-covered gazebo, where you can enjoy shade, and maybe privacy. Rose beds surround the gazebo between trellised paths.
Several other gardens like the Rock Garden and Perennial Garden, as well as greenhouses are adjacent to the Rose Gardens, but we didn’t have time to explore. There’s also sports fields and places to play frisbee and other activities, as well as a snack bar open at the on site restaurant, The Pond House Cafe (where my sister had her wedding reception). We hope to return again soon!
Where do you like to picnic? Do you have a favorite local park?