Playground Guide: Rideout Park Playground in Concord

By Kathryn Camgemi, Contributing Writer January 1, 2023

Rideout Park Playground
61 Laws Brook Road

Concord MA

Date/Time Visited:  Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:30a.m. and multiple times on weekday and weekend afternoons year-round.

Bathrooms:  2 restrooms with two stalls each, including an accessible one, within an enclosed structure with a sink and hand-blower. There is no accessible door button and no diaper changing table. Open seasonally.

Parking:  2 lots. Ample parking in the lot located off Laws Brook Road and a smaller one that accommodates approximately ten cars on Conant Street.

Shade:  Full sun in the morning, partial to full shade in the afternoon.

Benches/Tables: Three picnic tables and three benches located directly at the playground; a pavilion near the restrooms with three picnic tables; two additional picnic tables at the edge of the ballfield/tennis courts.

Additional Features:  Tennis courts, basketball courts, ball field, partial walking path with benches and garden features, water fountain, and a free 30 SPF sunscreen dispenser at the restrooms.

Steps away from the bustle of West Concord center, Rideout Park is the perfect spot to set up a picnic and let the kids play for a few hours. On the most recent day we visited, the sun was out and the temperature was an ideal 70 degrees. Predictably, the playground was packed with more than 20 children and their caregivers all enjoying the beautiful day!

The main playground structure is divided into two sections based on age; the area for 2-5 year olds features two small slides and sensory friendly features, including a rain stick, Braille-teaching clock, a periscope, kid-sized picnic table, and a couple of wooden animals carved into the tree-shaped foundation. It’s always cute to watch the children say “hello” to their friends, Squirrel and Raccoon!

For 5-12 year olds, there is a winding slide, a fire pole and steeper steps for them to scale. The two sections are joined by a net-like cage; new visitors should keep an eye on younger kids who may be unable to climb down the net or fire pole. This also happens to be a blind spot depending on where you are sitting, so parents should scope it out before letting kids roam.

There is a variety of other equipment here, too, including several types of swings: one infant/toddler bucket swing, four standard swings, one accessible swing with a locking feature, and one group swing. 

A climbing net and a turn-and-spin feature are popular with the older kids, while most of the smaller children gravitate to the sandbox with its pull-back digger, a neat gravity-driven sand dispenser and a scattering of plastic toys, or to the baseball diamonds to dig. There are also plenty of ride-on trucks and cars for them to use. The surface of the play area is made from impact-absorbing rubber, not mulch or other loose material, which makes it fairly level with the adjoining ball field and easier for kids to play on.

Most of the picnic tables and benches at the playground are under mature leafy trees for sun protection during the summer. They were occupied by the time we arrived, so we set up at the newer pavilion located a short distance across the ball field and near the restrooms. This shaded structure worked out great since the play area was currently in full sun; my six-year-old enjoyed the break while we ate our lunch.

The playground itself is part of a larger recreation area that includes tennis and basketball courts and three baseball diamonds. The fields are extremely active on weekends and weeknights during the spring with Little Leaguers. A partial walking trail also winds around from the main parking lot. While most spots of the park are fenced-in, the playground itself is not; parents with little runners may find themselves chasing after them as they tear across the ball field. This is also a dog friendly destination, so while most owners keep their dogs leashed around the playground, we have encountered unleashed dogs running through it in the past.  

To wrap up our fun time at Rideout, we usually take a short, leisurely walk down the street to Nashoba Bakery for a light snack or to Reasons To Be Cheerful for an ice cream cone. And, if you have a young train engineer like I once did, keep an eye out for the MBTA commuter rail at the far end of the park as it leaves from West Concord station. Little ones will be wowed by the sights and sounds of the train rumbling past!

Born and raised in Boston, Kathryn Camgemi now lives in West Concord with her husband and their young son. A writer of both fiction and non-fiction for thirty years, she has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Reader's Digest, among others. She has been secular homeschooling her son with additional needs for four years and strongly believes all children can succeed given the right environment. She writes periodically about their homeschooling journey at  You can also find her at her Facebook page, A Homeschooled Life

Check out more local playgrounds in our Parks & Playground Guide! 

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