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The Best Playground in America is at Smothers Park

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Lazy Dayz Playground at Smothers Park
Lazy Dayz Playground at Smothers Park

Smothers Park in Owensboro, KY is home to the best and most complete playground in the country. Formerly known as Riverfront Park, Smothers Park was renamed in 1963 after Bill Smothers.

In 2012 it was expanded and renovated as part of a multi-million dollar makeover of the riverfront. The playground within the park is called Lazy Dayz Playground. In 2015 it was named the Top Playground in the World by Landscape Architect’s network.

Lazy Dayz Playground is open from 7:00 AM til 10:00 PM. It’s nestled beside the Ronald Lee Logsdon Spray Park. There are beautiful fountains, veterans’ memorials, picnic areas, porch style swings that overlook the riverfront, open air pavilions, restrooms, and a concession stand.

Pavilions can be rented out for birthday parties and they have some really good party packages available.

Why the Lazy Dayz Playground at Smothers Park is So Great

The sheer size of some of the play structures is jaw dropping. There are multiple realistic looking giant trees that connect to each other with walkways, creating connecting tree houses. There are tube slides that come out in all directions and at various height levels.

Around every corner you’ll find different kinds of play equipment like rock climbing walls, swings, slides, monkey bars, and obstacle courses.

There are also really cool statues the kids can climb on and take pictures with. The entire floor is made of rubber so it’s really safe and also very comfortable. The splash pad has lots of sprinklers to keep the kids cool on hot days, and there is convenient seating for the parents to sit and watch their kids play.

Lazy Dayz Playground Amenities

Lazy Dayz Playground at Smothers Park in Owensboro, KY boasts a captivating array of amenities that make it a standout destination for families and children alike.

One of its most impressive features is the connecting tree houses, which offer a unique and imaginative play experience. These realistic-looking giant trees are interconnected by walkways, allowing kids to explore and navigate through the elevated structures, fostering creativity and adventure.

The splash pad with sprinklers provides a refreshing retreat on hot days, ensuring that children can cool off while enjoying outdoor play. With numerous sprinklers strategically placed throughout the area, kids can dart and dash between water jets, engaging in active water play that promotes physical activity and laughter.

Water fountains scattered throughout the park offer convenient hydration for visitors, ensuring that families can stay refreshed and energized during their visit. Whether taking a break from play or enjoying a leisurely stroll, these water fountains provide a convenient amenity for all park-goers.

The riverfront overlook provides a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and contemplation. Families can unwind on porch-style swings while taking in scenic views of the riverfront, creating cherished moments of tranquility amidst the lively atmosphere of the playground.

The riverfront at Smothers Park
The Riverfront at Smothers Park

Open-air pavilions offer shaded gathering spaces for picnics, parties, and socializing. These pavilions provide a comfortable retreat from the sun, allowing families to enjoy meals and festivities in a shaded, breezy environment.

Rubber flooring throughout the playground ensures safety and comfort for children as they engage in active play. This durable and resilient surface offers protection against falls and impact, giving parents peace of mind while their children explore and play.

Memorials scattered throughout the park honor veterans and serve as poignant reminders of sacrifice and service. These tributes add depth and significance to the park’s ambiance, fostering a sense of respect and appreciation for those who have served their country.

Picnic areas provide designated spots for families to enjoy meals and snacks amidst the natural beauty of the park. Whether hosting a casual picnic or enjoying a quick snack between play sessions, these areas offer inviting spaces for dining and relaxation.

Birthday party pavilion rentals offer convenient options for celebrating special occasions amidst the excitement of the playground. With customizable party packages and amenities, families can create memorable experiences for their children’s birthdays, complete with fun-filled activities and entertainment.

Porch-style swings provide additional seating options for families to relax and enjoy the scenery. Positioned along the riverfront overlook, these swings offer a serene vantage point for taking in the sights and sounds of the park.

Dozens of slides, obstacle courses, monkey bars, and climbing walls offer endless opportunities for physical activity and adventure. From thrilling slides to challenging obstacles, the playground’s diverse range of play equipment ensures that children of all ages can find activities that suit their interests and abilities.

giant tree playground at Lazy Dayz Playground
Giant Tree at Lazy Dayz Playground

Cool statues scattered throughout the park serve as playful landmarks for children to explore and interact with. From whimsical creatures to imaginative sculptures, these statues add an element of whimsy and delight to the playground environment.

A concession stand and food vendor stands offer delicious treats and refreshments for hungry visitors. Whether craving a snack or a meal, families can indulge in a variety of tasty options while enjoying their time at the playground.

Nice restrooms provide essential amenities for visitors, ensuring comfort and convenience during their park experience. Clean and well-maintained facilities offer a welcoming environment for families, allowing them to enjoy their visit without any interruptions or discomfort.

  • Connecting Tree Houses
  • Splash Pad with Sprinklers
  • Water Fountains
  • Riverfront Overlook
  • Open Air Pavilions
  • Rubber Flooring Throughout
  • Memorials
  • Picnic Areas
  • Birthday Party Pavilion Rentals
  • Porch Style Swings
  • Dozens of Slides
  • Obstacle Courses
  • Monkey Bars
  • Climbing Walls
  • Cool Statues
  • Concession Stand
  • Nice Restrooms
  • Food Vendor Stands

Pictures of Lazy Dayz Playground

Below are some photos of Lazy Dayz Playground from our time at Smothers Park.

The Splash Pad at Smothers Park
The Splash Pad at Smothers Park
Fountains at Smothers Park
Fountains at Smothers Park
fish statue at Smothers Park
Fish Statue at Smothers Park
frog statue at Smothers Park
Frog Statue at Smothers Park

If you would like to get an even better idea of what the Lazy Dayz Playground looks like and why it’s the best playground in America if not the world, here’s a link to a video of Lazy Dayz Playground.

Things To Do Near Smothers Park

There are lots of things to do near Smothers Park if your kids are worn out from playing so much. The Owensboro Museum of Science and History is located a short drive away. It’s a great place to learn about the history and culture of Owensboro, Kentucky.

The Owensboro Riverfront is a paved trail that runs along the Ohio River and provides some beautiful scenery. The Riverfront and the bridge is lit up beautifully at night. RiverPark center is right next to Smothers Park. They often have good concerts if you want to plan a full day and night in Owensboro.

The riverfront often has live bands and singers on each block providing some great nighttime entertainment. There are several good restaurants nearby as well, including Mellow Mushroom Pizza.

Other Great Playgrounds

If you are nowhere near Owensoboro, Kentucky and you would like to find the best playgrounds near you, here is a list of playgrounds that are regarded to be within the top 50 in the United States.

  • Blackberry Farm Adventure Playground – Aurora, Illinois
  • Adventure Playground – Berkeley, California
  • Brooklyn’s Playground – Pocatello, Idaho
  • Castle Park – Winter Park, Florida
  • Tatum’s Garden – Salinas, California
  • Smith Memorial Playground & Playghouse – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Rural Studio Lion’s Park Playscape – Greensboro, Alabama
  • Zachary’s Playground – Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Harry Thomas Sr. Playspace – Washington DC
  • Clemyjontri Playground – McLean, Virginia
  • Grange Insurance Audubon Park – Columbus, Ohio
  • New York Hall of Science Playground – Corona, New York
  • Wonder of World Playground – Athens, Georgia
  • Imagination Playground – Manhattan, New York
  • Bible Story Playground – Parker, South Dakota
  • Fort Washington Playground – New York, New York
  • Neptune Park – Saratoga Springs, Utah
  • French Park Playground – Plymouth, Minnesota
  • Kamankana Playground – Kona, Hawaii
  • Hope Park – Frisco, Texas
  • Musical Playground – Moab, Utah
  • Jake’s Place – Cherry Hill, New Jersey
  • imPOSSIBLE Dream Playground – Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground – Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Alexander W. Kemp Playground – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Project Playground – Juneau, Alaska
  • Can-Do Playground – Wilmington, Delaware
  • Blue Lake Regional Park – Fariview, Oregon
  • Teardrop Park – New York, New York
  • Westminster Center Park – Westminster, Colorado
  • Big Creek Playground – Poly City, Iowa
  • Dodge Town Park – Merriam, Kansas
    Hadley’s Park – Potomac, Maryland
  • Preston’s H.O.P.E. – Beachwood, Ohio
  • Natural Playground – Westport, Connecticut
  • Medora Children’s Park – Medora, North Dakota
  • Possibility Playground – Port Washington, Wisconsin
  • La Laguna Playground – San Gabriel, California
  • Shiver Me Timbers Playground – City of Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Discovery Playground – Auburn, Washington

If you get the opportunity to take your children to any of these playgrounds I would highly recommend it. Allowing your kids to get outdoor play time and exercise is extremely important.

Tips and Advice for Playground Safety

The biggest keys for playground safety are supervision, awareness, and preparedness. Always actively supervise your children on any playground.

This means pay attention to them, and don’t be distracted by your phone or conversations. For younger children, you may need to be within arm’s reach. Be aware of the surroundings at all times.

Check the playground before you let your kids play. Look for hazards like broken equipment, sharp edges, loose bolts, etc. Dress your children in appropriate clothing. You don’t want them getting too hot or too cold while playing. Be sure your kids get plenty to drink so they don’t get dehydrated.

Teach your children how to use the playground equipment safely. Teach them to follow the rules, take turns, and respect the property. Don’t let them run of the slide backwards, cut in front of other kids, etc.

Be a good role model for your kids and respect the playground equipment yourself. Be aware of the age and size of other children using the equipment. Younger children need more space to play safely.

You don’t want them to get trampled by older, bigger kids. If you follow this advice your kids and other kids will be less likely to get hurt and more likely to have an enjoyable experience.

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