Tag Archives: Coffee

Hamilton playgrounds: Power Rankings

Playgrounds are a little like bars. They all essentially perform the same function but their design and overall appeal can vary markedly.

Here in Hamilton we have just about as many playgrounds as we do bars (still no bar/playground combo, yet)  but are they all the same?

We sent out Hamilton mother-of-three Angela Cuming into the wilds to compile the definitive Tron Playground Power Rankings for the winter of 2017.   

 

# 1 Steele Park

Corner of Cooke and Grey streets, Hamilton East.

SteeleParkPlayground

The Steel Park playground only opened in June but it’s already top of the Power Rankings because it’s just so darn wonderful.

It’s got a real community feel and a good mix of equipment, including those annoyed in-ground trampolines that kids love and parents desperately try and avoid falling into.

What makes this one so great, however, is that unlike a lot of other playgrounds it is actually near shops and cafes and stuff, and that means it is near COFFEE.

Yay: Being next door to Duck Island Ice Cream.

Boo: Being next door to Duck Island Ice Cream (try waiting until your kids are on one of those trampolines and sneak away).

 

# 2 Claudelands Park

Boundary Road, Claudelands.

IMG_6650

 

This is not a very fashionable or trendy playground and that’s why I love it so much because you are always guaranteed a good mix of parents who don’t want to parent that day and are happy sitting on one of the benches and letting their kids go nuts running around.

It’s a good place for a bit of hands-off parenting because it’s basically in the middle of a big field and your kids can’t run off anywhere or get up to mischief.

It’s actually three-playgrounds-in-one, with separate areas and equipment for babies and toddlers, primary school aged kids and bigger kids (and grown ups). There’s a flying fox and undercover tables and benches if you fancy bringing a picnic lunch, and it’s handily located right next to Jubilee Park if you want to combine a walk through some stunning native bush while you are there.

Yay: There’s a flying fox and you can watch grown men and women relive their childhood in varying degrees of success.

Boo: The genius who designed it decided to landscape the garden beds with millions of tiny little gravelly rocks. Expect at least one of your children to eat some of it.

 

 

#3 Potter Children’s Garden, Parana Park

Memorial Drive, Hamilton East.

ParanaPark

Small but perfectly formed, this park is like a Victorian fairy tale come to life, with bird aviaries, giant statues and sculptures for children to play with, gorgeous gardens and a front row seat of the Waikato River. There’s not a lot of traditional playground fare like swings and slides, but trust me you kids won’t mind.

Yay : The fountains and shallow ponds your kids can play in.

Boo: The fountains and shallow ponds the ducks like to play (and toilet) in.

 

#4 Hamilton Gardens

Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton.

HamGardensPlayground

If I could have designed a playground when I was seven years old this would have been it. It’s whimsical and wonderful with a giant stage, caterpillar statues, decorative bird houses and a wonderful giant worm to slide down.

There’s also an amazing tree house that only big kids can climb up into, giving parents a much-needed break from bored teens asking to be dropped off at McDonald’s while the little kids play.

Yay: You can bribe kids into leaving early by promising them an ice cream from the nearby Hamilton Gardens cafe (also sells coffee).

Boo: It is smack bang next to a car park so you have to be on red alert for wandering toddlers.

 

#5 Minogue Park

Tui Avenue, Forest Lake, Hamilton.

MinouguePark

First up, do not rely on your GPS to find this park because you will quickly enter Dante’s little know seventh circle of Hell: a tired and bored toddler in the back seat repeatedly asking where mummy is driving to.

But once you do find it this playground is pretty special, with a  mix of old school stuff like roundabouts and swings and cool new stuff like those great/annoying mini trampolines. There is also lots and lots of sand, plus this great big wooden structure that funnels water along a series of channels. It’s got a bike track that runs around the perimeter of the playground so a good option for older kids.

Yay: Because it’s a bit out of the way it doesn’t get as crowded as other playgrounds.

Boo: The bike track means you are constantly freaking out that a kid on a BMX is going to knock your toddler over.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

I really love buying presents for other people, or at least spending a considerable amount of time trying to search for the perfect present. I also really like coffee. Humble gives me the opportunity to do both. It’s perched just outside of café Fresca just off Kahikatea Drive. Café Fresca is a whole other post in itself but today I wanted to talk about humble and how fantastic it is! I first saw them in a feature in Blacklisted, a magazine that has started up in Hamilton ( check it out here https://www.facebook.com/blacklistedzine?fref=ts ) and I want everything all over the tables and walls of this little treasure chest of a store. They stock loads of really quirky kitchen wares, jewellery and the amazing green house soap range. Basically Humble is full of such unexpected things and occupies a really unexpected space so definitely going to try to shop more local from now on. #shoplocal

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Can You Believe It’s One Year of #lovethetron?

The one where we break with tradition and add a bit of a ramble to our #lovethetron roundup

There were many points this past week where stared at our phone/tablet/computer screens in utter awe and surprise. The first time was on Monday night, on the eve of our first birthday. Earlier that day it had hit us that we would be turning a year old on the 26th of November -i.e. the next day. Somehow, amongst our collective busyness of work, travel, exams, non-fatal seasonal illnesses and so on, our first birthday had sneaked up on us and we hadn’t even realised!

And yet, just hours after we had tweeted as such, we were overwhelmed with kind messages of well-wishes and love from Hamiltonians all over the Twitterverse. The amazing Miss @georgie_pienz concocted this beautiful creation below, and organised an open-invite fête at Milk and Honey. Then the Waikato Times published this lovely piece by Paul Barlow, reflecting on a year of the #lovethetron movement. To everyone who read, tweeted, turned up at Milk and Honey, or was just generally happy this week: thank you!

Hamilton is a wonderful place, and it’s only getting better. Over the past year, we have seen many lovers of the Tron (Tronphiles?) come out of the woodwork and wholeheartedly declare their passion for the city (Hat tip: Hamilton Mafia). We have also seen many, many skeptics convert and fall in love with the place. From people and culture, to sport and nature to art and food -we have seen more sides to this city than we can count. We have seen people delight over uncovering new secrets of the city (especially places to eat cake), and we have seen people bond and make new friends over a shared love of the city. While we can’t take any credit for any of this, we feel so privileged that so many of you choose to share your stories, thoughts and photos with us. #lovethetron is your movement. Happy one year Hamilton!

End Ramble

So cool! We are in love with @chamfy’s awesome mashup of the Casabella Christmas Markets (and the fact that @jessmolina makes a cameo appearance in it).

Love the look: @chamfy snaps these two super stylish ladies at the Devereux & Villiger stall at the Casabella Markets.

@jessmolina snaps Santa heading for some Thai food at the Casabella Christmas Markets!

@jessmolina snaps Santa heading for some Thai food at the Casabella Christmas Markets!

@elliepenelope soaks in the atmosphere under New Zealand’s tallest Christmas tree!

The O'Brien boys enjoy Hamilton's nightmarkets with dad @DarkroomJesse

The O’Brien boys enjoy Hamilton’s nightmarkets with dad @DarkroomJesse

Magical: @tarasutherland captures Hamilton Zoo at sunrise.

Fierce: @waikatotimes posted Bruce Mercer’s amazing pic of Oz the tiger settling into Hamilton Zoo.

Oz isn’t the only superstar at Hamilton Zoo. @KyleeBeee makes new friends with these cute lemurs.

Corrugated Zoo: @webtaniwha wanders through Jeff Thompson’s incredible exhibit at @waikatomuseum.

Gorgeous! @BSMphotography enjoys dinner, comedy and music at Clarence St Theatre.

Claudelands never fails to amaze us. This beautiful picture of Carnival Night from @jess_vandy.

Claudelands at night: this from @BSMphotography.

Claudelands at night: this from @BSMphotography.

@tracercooper finds treasure on the banks of the Waikato River

@tracercooper finds treasure on the banks of the Waikato River

Pretty in Pink: @skepmum enjoys a homemade lemonade at the new Chim Choo Ree.

We are suckers for pics of food, and this snap of @mexiconz on Victoria Street, from @webtaniwha definitely had us wanting.

The Doctor confirms that we are indeed the City of the Future, by dropping by the Tron this week. Lucky @hornykitten was on scene to snap the Tardis door opening.

From the Tardis to the inner workings of cyberspace: @hornykitten wanders into Te Awa and is confronted with lifesize Pinterest boards!

So wonderful that in the middle of a growing city, @TrishCrouchley can still enjoy peace and greenery on this riverside bike trail.

Burst of Brights: @wellreadkitty enjoys the colours of summer at Hamilton Gardens

Pretty! @Annabel_HM goes for an after-school wander through Hamilton Gardens.

So sweet: @webtaniwha has coffee amongst the flower pots at @fresca_chat!

Location Location Location: @jess_vandy's hometown of Raglan  is only a stone's throw from Hamilton city.

Location Location Location: @jess_vandy’s hometown of Raglan is only a stone’s throw from Hamilton city.

Cowtown Wowtown: Ending on a cute note -we absolutely love this pic from @waikatotimes of this boy and his prized pet calf at the Waikato A&P Show!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hazel Hayes daze

Morning rituals, afternoon wind downs or decadent lunches. I’ve been coming to Hazel Hayes since it replaced the much loved flapjacks of my childhood and it’s definitely a foodie haven, with a cabinet that makes you drool and a set menu full of champions like the hashbrowns and toast with spreads – in fact you can now buy their products to take home at the Hazel Hayes grocery next door! This Saturday they’ve got a market and we will probably be picking up some pâte, German rye and soda before heading down to the river to picnic, read books and dip our feet over the bank. Think sunny weather thoughts everyone! xx lovethetron

Tagged , , , , ,

A Cluster of Cafes

A melange of Mavis&Co, The district, Metropolis and Mr Milton’s Canteen. None of them are paying us or plying us with free cappucinos and these are merely a few of the players in the big, beautiful cafe culture that Hamilton enjoys.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,