Stage Fort Park Playground – 24 Hough Avenue, Gloucester MA

Highlights: This playground sits in a park that could provide an entire morning or afternoon of fun. There are two beaches, plenty of picnic space, and several places for scenic photo-ops.

Bummers: There was clearly an old metal playground here before the new one was built, and nobody has removed those pieces of equipment – such as the free-standing metal slide and the wonky ride-on spring animals – though it looks like they should.

What’s Nearby: Downtown Gloucester, Wingaersheek Beach, Good Harbor Beach.

Enclosed: No. It is a considerable distance from the road and parking lot, though.

Restrooms: Real bathrooms are located in the visitor center during the warmer season. I did not see porta-potties in the off-season but I also did not look very hard.

Seating: Several picnic tables line the edges of the playground and more are on the grass closer to the parking lot.

Shade: The equipment sits in full sun, but there are picnic tables and a few play structures over in the shade on the right side.

Parking: Paved lot. Parking fee is $10 weekdays, $15 weekends, Free in the off-season.

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