Villa Park Takeaway. Villa is the middle child of Olivette's three southern parks. Post renovation, it's the best playground for older kids. Features a splash pad. A great neighborhood park, it lacks all of the amenities and size of Stacey Park down the road. Dedicated parking. Standard park bathrooms. Pavilion with picnic tables for lunch or parties. Playground complete - can keep kids busy for at least an hour. Tip: Watch out for blackberries at the base of the crow's nest slide.
Park Experience Summary
While I'm biased to Stacey Park on the west side of Olivette because I live next to it, I have to say Villa is an excellent neighborhood park.
With the renovations of the past several years, they added the best slide in Olivette, a new splash area, and more walking paths. The new playground is entertaining for older kids, even though kids under four and maybe under five have trouble climbing up to the crow's nest.
The old playground has more fun slides and activities for younger kids, and the splash area will keep kiddos occupied in the summer.
Additional amenities in the park include a pavilion, picnic tables, BBQs, bathrooms, new walking paths, and a large field.
All in all, Villa Park is an excellent park and great for families. It's a huge benefit to all those who live within walking distance and must be helping their home values.
Also, this is the first time a stranger has ever asked me why I'm talking to myself and taking pictures at the park. She seemed to buy that excuse at face value.
Why else would you be taking pictures of an empty park, right?
Park Playground Breakdown
There are two main playgrounds here - the new crow's nest and the old standard playground.
The new crow's nest playground they built has some truly fantastic ways to climb up for kids, say, six and older. One side is a spider web, and the other has a steep mountain climb.
I've gotten to the top with my three-and-a-half-year-old, holding him like a football as I scaled the climbing wall.
That worked, but it was an awful idea. Don't do that.
After going down the side, he's the one who realized he could climb right back up. That's a much safer and more effective way to get him to the top.
Important Tip: Make sure there aren't any blackberries on the slide from the blackberry tree that hangs over the bottom. I've learned from experience that you'll have a blackberry butt if you're not careful.
The town also kept the old playground from before the renovations, and that's understandable. While it has no memorable characteristics, it's a solid playground with several slides, climbing ways, and fun little toys.
The old playground is where your younger kids will spend most of their time when they aren't climbing up the slide to the crow's nest.
The combination of the two playgrounds makes Villa "Playground Complete" - your kids can spend an hour here and not get bored.
The only other stand-alone apparatus is the swing set. It consists of three or four old swings from the pre-renovation days.
They accomplish what they set out to do - swing you.
Park Amenities And Miscellaneous
When you first get to Villa Park, there's a giant field on your right-hand side. The field is roughly the size of a football field and is perfect for throwing a frisbee or playing fetch with a dog.
On the left-hand side of the park, there's supposed to be a working splash pad, but I have never seen it working. The town added the splash pad during the renovations, but over the course of a birthday party, spring outing, and random passes, I've never seen it functional.
Despite this, I'm confident that the fountain operated at some point because the sign told me they turned it off.
Villa Park also houses a pavilion and a restroom. These weren't updated during the renovations but are practical and functional. The pavilion, albeit smaller than the Stacy Park pavilion, provides picnic tables, while the bathrooms are tidy and well-maintained.
Additionally, new walking paths were added during the renovations, with more entrances and exits into the neighborhood.
Parking At Villa Park
Parking at Villa Park is straightforward. There's a dedicated parking lot, and we've never had any trouble parking there for birthday parties.
Villa Park Receipt