Somerset Park – Fraser, MI
As a mom of not one mobile toddler but two, my first instinct when walking into a new park is to scope out any escape routes. Sommerset Park in Fraser, located on the northeast corner of Masonic and Kelly, is completely fenced off from the busy intersection with just two entrances and exits. Only one is big enough for my ever wide double stroller, which is a must when traveling with two. We typically park at the Sommerset pool (a members only private facility located next to the park), load up the stroller and make the short walk into the park. Finding a shaded picnic table to set up camp is never a problem as the park is full of beautiful, large mature trees. The park itself is just the right size when trying to keep an eye on more than one child at a time and the basic layout makes it easy to see all areas from anywhere in the park. I have both a climber and a runner, so being able to see every square inch of the park is a definite plus.
The park features two playscapes, two sets of swings, a merry go round, a sandy volleyball court, and an old stationary charcoal grill. Although you’ll find a drinking fountain in the middle of the park, there are no restrooms or pavilions. There is also a paved path that runs through the middle of the park, which makes for a nice setting for walkers and bicyclists. The play equipment itself could use some updating as some of the pieces closely resemble items I played on as a child. The tall metal slide and merry go round, for instance, are pieces I haven’t seen since the late 80’s. The merry go round doesn’t work properly, as it leans from one side to the other as it spins. Adult supervision is definitely recommended. But the speed my little ones get on the tall metal slide sure brings smiles to their faces (and memories flying back for me).
My kiddos both enjoy the two playscapes the park has to offer but I have to imagine both pieces have seen better days. The largest of the two has a covered plastic slide with cracks and holes that are impossible to avoid. At first glance, the smaller structure appears as though a strong wind could take it down but upon close inspection still seems sturdy enough. Again, none of these issues seemed to detour my rowdy bunch.
All things considered, there’s no doubt that this park will remain our go to when we want to stick close to home but need to burn off energy. It’s enclosed, shaded, comfortable and just the right amount of play equipment that smaller children can enjoy without constant assistance. However, I do hope to see some equipment updates soon, if for no other reason than to ensure the safety of the park’s visitors.