Highlights: Penguin Park has its flaws, but it was definitely our favorite when we had a young toddler. It’s littered with Little Tikes ride-on vehicles and dump truck toys in various states of disrepair for the little kids to push, ride and fill with bark mulch even when they’re too small to enjoy the other equipment. The park is pretty busy (similar to Drummond in North Andover) and there are almost always some kids there, which makes it a favorite for my preschooler. We’ve had a lot of friendly conversations with strangers here, and people tend to look out for each other’s kids since there is inexplicably no gate on the fence.
Bummers: New structures and swings were added in the last year, but the picnic tables remain in shambles and there is only one bench. (Not a big deal for helicopter parents, but this Mom likes to let her kid off-leash and sit down whenever she gets the chance.) The parking lot is also edged with street garbage left by the town plows, which dump massive piles of grimy snow there in the winter. I seem to recall there still being a sad little gray snow pile there in June last year.
What’s Nearby: Downtown Andover, Mr. Takeout (pizza/subs), Shawsheen Luncheonette.
Enclosed: Yes, but there is no gate at the entrance.
Seating: Two picnic tables, one bench, one ledge built around a tree
Parking: Dirt/gravel lot.