Arts and Entertainment

The park’s the thing | Joker's Peace

The boardwalk at Silverdale Waterfront Park. - Bill Mickelson/Staff Photo
The boardwalk at Silverdale Waterfront Park.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/Staff Photo

People of the Northwest, well people in general really, remind me of sleep-deprived bears.

We live in what could very well be one of the most beautiful places on Earth (I haven’t yet seen them all) but once the clouds set in and the rain and snow start to fall, we all seem to crawl inside our caves, rue the gray and only come out when we must.

Even though sunshine is rarely abundant, it seems each year, that little late-fall, early-winter chill sends shivers up spines, inducing people into hibernation despite the fact that it’s probably not as cold as one may think.

Then again, what do I know? I’m a relatively new Northwest transplant who came from Wyoming (a place so frigid during winter you have almost no choice but to stay inside).

In any case, now the sun is back — park weather as I call it — and although most days you’ll still want to bring a jacket, here’s a run-down of a few places to go when you’re ready to get outside.

For comprehensive list of all the county-owned parks in Kitsap, visit www.kitsapgov.com/parks or call (360) 227-5350 during business hours Monday through Friday.

A GOOD PLACE FOR KIDS

Consider this parents of young kids or toddlers — your kids are driving you crazy running around the house or sitting hyperactively idle in front video games or television as cabin fever starts kicking in. You’ve got a ton of things to do but you can’t seem to get anything done because you’re so high strung.

The park can be a quite relaxing place in the right mind frame.

One of the coolest kids’ parks in the county is next to the county fairgrounds — Kitsap Kids Playground, also known as “The Castle Park,” located at 1200 Fairgrounds Road in East Bremerton.

What’s great about this park is it has about a million things to keep kids of all ages occupied. From the playground staple swings and slides to an anti-gravity platform, to many other bells and whistles (in some cases, literally).

Even cooler, the whole place is fashioned of a wooden castle-like design which should provide for an imaginative time.

Then, provided you can get the kids out of the gate, it’s home for nap time, leaving you free to finish up obligations.

A BRIEF GETAWAY

Sometimes the best remedy for cabin fever is a day-long get away, something that Kitsap’s location serves perfectly. An hour’s drive or boat ride in either direction will get you to the city or the Olympic Mountains, of course, but there’s a few great places to getaway without even leaving the county.

Consider Point No Point Lighthouse and Park in Hansville.

At least a half-hour drive from the county’s northern-most incorporated city, Poulsbo, it’s a mini-road trip to get there. Follow State Route 3 to State Route 305 into Poulsbo, take State Route 104 to the Kingston Corner convenience store, take a left on Hansville Road and follow all the way to what’s arguably the best beach in Kitsap.

That title, however, is disputed by Anderson Point Park in Manchester, another great place for a brief getaway to the south end of the county.

From State Route 3, take the Sedgwick Road exit to Banner Road, take a right on Banner and follow all the way to Millhannah Road, take a left and follow to the beach.

PARKS FOR A PARTY

Sometimes rather than the need to get away, cabin fever just puts you in the mood for a good old-fashioned party.

Kitsap’s parks can provide to that end as well all.

One of the county’s better known places to congregate is the Silverdale Waterfront park, the site of the annual Whaling Days celebration, located off Byron Street in Old Town Silverdale.

With a playground for the kids to play, ample benches and picnic tables to go along with ample sunshine, grills, a sheltered picnic area, beach access and trails right up the street at Old Mill Park, it seems this place has got it all.

Another park with ample space and amenities for giant get-togethers in West Bremerotn is the Rotary Evergreen Park, located at the north end of Pacific and Park Avenues. In addition to a kids playground, two sheltered picnic places and basketball courts, Evergreen is home to some of the most sprawling urban green space in Kitsap.

As the distributors of that drink in your hand say, enjoy responsibly.

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