Roaming Roanoke: Addy Grace Playground

This week’s blogging destination is a playground – Addy Grace Playground in Daleville!

The warm November weather has us wanting to spend time outdoors while we still can. We wanted to go somewhere we have never been before. I searched for ideas and landed on the Addy Grace Playground. It turned out to be the best decision to go there! All three of my kids loved it and didn’t want to leave!

The Addy Grace Playground is next to the Botetourt YMCA building. It is open to everyone regardless of YMCA membership. The best part of the playground is that it is an all-abilities playground! The playground was a dream of the Garner family for their daughter Addison Grace. A sign posted at the playground says, “Addison Grace Garner is the sole inspiration for the creation of the playground you are about to enjoy. Addy’s mom and dad, James and Jennifer Garner, know the importance of inclusive play and desired a place, here in Botetourt County, where their daughter, her siblings and friends could come together and play, regardless of their abilities, side-by-side in a safe environment.”

The Addy Grace Playground has so many fun activities, slides, things to climb on, spin on, and jump on! The entire playground is a farm theme, and has tributes to several local farms. My two older kids saw their favorite activity from Layman Family Farm, the bee line zipline and went straight to it. They were so excited! Another big hit was the spinning activities. Even my one-year-old could join the older kids on some of them. She laughed and laughed! All of my kids enjoyed the slides and look-out places up top of the structures. 

The Addy Grace playground was designed by many professionals including occupational, physical, and speech therapists to make sure everyone can enjoy it. There is no mulch. A soft surface covers the playground to make it easy for all to move around. All of the play items are low to the ground to make it easy to move from a wheelchair or the ground to the activity. The ramp in the middle is wide for wheelchairs. The playground sign states, “the population we hope to reach is much greater than we ever imagined, reaching well beyond age and ability to provide genuine opportunities for play.”

There is no cost to play at the Addy Grace Playground! It follows the YMCA hours. Restrooms are inside the Botetourt YMCA building but access might be limited during the Covid pandemic. Plenty of parking is available in the YMCA parking lot (you can park next to the playground). There are signs reminding everyone to please remember to wash or sanitize hands during the Covid pandemic as people are not sanitizing every play item after each use. A fence surrounds the playground so you don’t have to worry about kids running into the parking lot or away from the playground.

This playground is for all ages! My kids ages 6, 5, and 1 all had a great time! Other families had older children and teenagers there who all enjoyed it too! There are plenty of ways for parents to play with children too!  

We had so much fun at the Addy Grace Playground and my kids are ready to go back! It was our first visit and I’m sure we will go many more times in the future! Thank you to the Garner family and Addy Grace Foundation for having the vision for this, fundraising, and bringing it to reality! Thank you to all of the donors who made this playground possible!

Do you have a place for Roaming Roanoke to visit the fall and holiday season? Let me know your suggestions!

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Angela Evans

Angela Evans is a former tv reporter turned stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Cody have three children. They moved to Virginia in 2018. When she’s not Roaming Roanoke, she is probably drinking sweet tea, reading a book or dancing.
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