Shaw Park - Tree Top Playground Anchors Great Community Park

4 stars Review Philosophy

Shaw Park Takeaway. The Gem of the Clayton Park Network. The Tree Top Playground rocks it, coming in with an 8.7 / 10 playground score for kids. With at least seven different slides and an innumerable number of entrances back up, it's Playground Complete. Your kids will stay busy for over an hour easily. One of the few rumble spinny slides in the area. A splash pad is available in the summer but is currently under construction.

It is one of the best playgrounds for kids in St. Louis and one of the better parks for adults.

There's a second, smaller playground on the west side, closer to the high school. High school sports park over there also, for baseball and softball. You'll also find the community pool with an awesome diving board within Shaw Park's borders. The tennis courts are in the southeast corner. Bathrooms spaced throughout, but they are closed over the winter. Parking in a big dedicated lot, but finding your way in can be tricky. Medium-sized pavilion with picnic tables for birthdays at both playground areas.

Shaw Park treetop playground


  • 2 Topton Way, Clayton, MO 63105
  • Website
  • Yelp - 4.8 stars - 25 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.9 stars - 76 ratings


Monday9 AM–11 PM
Tuesday9 AM–11 PM
Wednesday9 AM–11 PM
Thursday9 AM–11 PM
Friday9 AM–11 PM
Saturday9 AM–11 PM
Sunday9 AM–11 PM


Shaw Park Experience Summary

On a nice, sunny day in early April, we went to a friend's birthday party at the Tree Top Playground in Shaw Park. It's the kind of day you dream about for April, where it's warm enough to wear shorts and everything isn't covered in pollen.

We found our way to the playground through the Clayton High School parking lot. It's tricky navigating off Shaw Road to the parking lot. You have to overshoot it a good bit to find the correct one-way entrance.

Swinging around to the parking lot north of the Treep Top Playground, we could see a birthday party forming in the pavilion. Armed with our present, a box kit of kinetic sand that kids love but parents hate, we made our way over to the playground.

Shaw Park treetop park from lot

After dropping off the present in the pile, both kids made a mad dash for the rolly slide that acts as one of the main slides of the main playground.

I planted myself in the shade to watch. It's nice to finally have kids at the age where you know they won't fall off anything. You just have to keep your ears open more than your eyes.

After taking a roll down the rolly slide, they headed over to the namesake Tree Top playground. It's more of a jungle gym set for little kids but with a tree house theme.

The combination of the two playgrounds creates an overall 8.7 / 10 playground experience. The sheer number of combined ways into and out of the two is almost limitless.

The additional amenities the area offers include swings, monkey bars, and spinning discs.

Now if the town would just keep the bathrooms open in the winter, everything would be peachy.

Shaw Park map

Shaw Park Playground Breakdown

The majority of this review focuses on the Tree Top Playground. I'll go into details later on what other amenities locals have access to around Shaw Park, but the Tree Top is the big draw for parents bringing their kids.

I found the best place to park yourself as an adult is under one of the shady canopies on the side of the playground. In addition to the shade, there's a bench to rest your laurels. It's also located next to the circle swing you can toss your little ones around when they realize it's there.

Shaw Park Tree Top Playground

Shaw Park wood slide

The main Tree Top Playground rocks an 8.7 / 10 playground score. With a ton of slides, two different playground structures, an almost infinite number of ways to reset your slide, and a rolly slide, it's way more than Playground Complete. Your kids will be able to spend at least an hour on the playground, but never mind the other activities in the area.

The rolly slide is my four-year-old's favorite thing ever. It's the one where you go "ahhhhh" as you roll down. It vibrates your voice. This guy:

Shaw Park rolling slide

My older son is a big fan of all the different ways to climb back onto the playground. It includes a couple of small rock walls but also a series of tree-stump-looking steps to get back in. It's the kind of playground that requires you to use your imagination to get the most out of it.

Which I think is ideal for kids. My kids like these types of parks more than single-defined apparatus parks like O'Day Park out in Chesterfield.

Shaw Park slide

My sons like to go down the slides, race back up a ladder across the platform that connects all the slides, and back down another. It's a great way for them to get their energy out.

Shaw Park tree slide

Other Apparati

The second smaller playground unit is where the Tree Top Playground gets its name. It has a twisty slide made from a tree trunk and a set of "wood" steps leading up to it. The whole playground feels like a cross between a free fort, log cabin, and popsicle house. It's smaller than the main unit and would normally function as a little kid's playground if it wasn't so iconic.

Shaw Park twisty slide Shaw Park climbing stones

A big draw for my younger son is the splash pad. The last time we came was in the middle of the summer on a smoking hot, sunny day. He spent a good thirty minutes in his shorts and diaper, running into and across the splash pad. There's a sign that says it's currently under construction but should be done at some point this summer.

The playground has a set of six or so swings. Two of them include the whole five-point harness setup to really swing little guys. There's also a tandem swing. They follow those specialty swings up with four regular swings.

Shaw Park swings

There is a smattering of other one-off pieces of equipment. From memory, there's a big circle swing that holds two or three kids that you can push around in multi-directions. They have a couple of low-to-the-ground monkey bars. And finally, they have little circle discs you can sit on and spin yourself around.

Those make me obnoxiously dizzy, but kids don't seem to be as phased.

Shaw Park Amenities And Miscellaneous

Shaw Park serves as the hub of all of Clayton's outdoor activities. You can technically find the Center of Clayton indoor community center on the far west side of the park. It houses basketball courts, a pool, a rock climbing wall, and more. I went there for swim lessons for a few months last year.

Bookending the park on the east side is the outdoor community pool. It has a giant high dive, but more practically for you, a really nice water slide.

Down south, you'll find tennis courts and a smaller playground. I haven't been to that playground site.

My eight-year-old loves to climb the "One of Us" statue in front of the Tree Top Park. It would not be out of place in the Laurmie Sculpture Garden or Citygarden.

Shaw Park all of us Shaw Park art

Next to the Tree Top Playground are the pavilion and bathrooms. The town closed the bathrooms in the winter, and they remained closed until the beginning of April when we were there. The pavilion had four big picnic tables.

Shaw Park bathrooms

According to the map, a couple of other bathrooms are around the park. I know there's another pavilion, bathroom, and playground combo near Clayton High School.

Parking At Shaw Park

Shaw Park has two dedicated lots. They can both be a little tricky to find, and neither connects. The main parking lot serves the high school and Tree Top playground. You need to wind your way in from the Clayton High School entrance and then meander on over to the playground area. This lot allows you to access the smaller playground near the ball fields

It's free to park here.

Shaw Park sign

There's another parking lot on the south side, closer to the tennis courts. It's also free and provides access to walking trails, but there's not much for kids there.

Shaw Park Receipt

Shaw Park selfie in shade

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