The Best Fox Valley Parks for Spring (with the Rubber Ground)

playground and slides at Appleton Memorial Park

After a Wisconsin winter, spring finds us ready for all things outside as soon as possible. Some parks can be muddy in these early warm days, but we have some amazing parks in the Fox Valley with rubberized playground surfaces that keep knees and bottoms dry and free of mud. 

  • Arrowhead Park, Grand Chute
  • City Park, Appleton
  • Derks Park, Appleton
  • Erb Park, Appleton
  • High Cliff Park, Sherwood
  • Jones Park, Appleton
  • Lions Park, Grand Chute
  • Memorial Park, Appleton
  • Pierce Park, Appleton
  • Riverside Park, Neenah
  • Town Center Park, Grand Chute
  • Van Lieshout Park, Little Chute
  • Washington Park, Neenah

Oshkosh Parks

  • Menominee Park, Oshkosh
  • South Park, Oshkosh
  • Stoegbauer Park, Oshkosh

Find more information about these Oshkosh Parks on our sister site, Go Oshkosh Kids!

Worth the Drive Parks

Find a Park with Rubber Ground Near Me

Find a Little Free Library Near Your Destination Park

Arrowhead Park, Grand Chute

This park is a hidden gem located in a neighborhood off of Casaloma drive. The boardwalk is a fun nature trail for kids.

At-A-Glance

  • 5000 Aster Ln, Appleton (West of Casaloma Drive)

Park Highlights

  • Musical instruments
  • Climbing features
  • Nearby pavilion with shade for picnics or watching kids play
  • Small hill for running (or rolling) down and great views
  • Basketball, volleyball, tennis courts
  • Boardwalk trail
  • Catch and release fishing pond

Nearby Things to Do

  • Fox River Mall, 4301 W Wisconsin Ave, Appleton
    • Starbucks and Crumbl Cookies are not far!

City Park, Downtown Appleton

City Park has lots of green space to run and a beautiful fountain to check out in warm weather. There is plenty of space to have a picnic and the park is close to fun things to do and see downtown. A visit to this park can be a destination for a lunch or snack break on a mural hunt or a stop after a visit to the Building for Kids.

At-A-Glance

  • 500 East Franklin Street, Downtown Appleton
  • appletonparkandrec.org
  • Pets Allowed – Appleton parks allow leashed dogs on trails only
  • On-street parking available
  • Bike racks available

Nearby Things to Do

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream 

  • Copper Rock, 210 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee, blended coffees, and tea
    • Bakery and gelato
  • Brewed Awakenings, 107 East College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks
    • Bakery
    • Menu with vegan and vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch
  • Acoca, 500 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot, cold, and blended coffee drinks
    • Hand-dipped ice cream, bakery, and breakfast and lunch menu
  • Seth’s Drive Thru, 323 East Washington Street
    • Little dive through or walk up quite near City Park
    • Full coffee and tea menu and limited bakery options
  • Fika Tea, 207 West College Avenue
    • Boba and craft teas
  • Doughlicious, 322 West College Avenue
    • Blended iced coffees, boba smoothies, SnoBiz Shaved Ice, ice cream, and edible cookie dough
  • Crazy Sweet, 514 West College Avenue
    • Candy shop with hand-dipped ice cream, fun ice cream creations like a Cotton Candy Burrito

Derks Park, South Appleton (Darboy area)

Affectionately known as Target Park, this little gem is surrounded by green space and is nestled far enough away from the road to feel comfortable with younger kids. It is always a great option for stopping after running errands to get out some wiggles before heading home or to use as an incentive for a smooth shopping trip.

At-A-Glance

  • 3220 East Guyette Street, Appleton
  • appletonparkandrec.org
  • Pets Allowed – Appleton parks allow leashed dogs on trails only
  • Parking lot available, on-street parking is allowed and gets you closer to the playground
  • Bike racks available

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

  • Starbucks – Three locations: 3420 East Calumet (in front of Target), 1800 South Kensington Drive (inside of Target), W3226 County Road KK (in front of Kohls)
  • All Tied Up Floral Cafe, N474 Eisenhower Dr, Suite L
    • Drive through and outdoor seating available for a full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks and Chocolate Shop hand-dipped ice cream, sundaes, and shakes.

Erb Park, Appleton

Erb Park is one of many parks in Appleton that has recently received a fun makeover. It is really fun for older kids and is one of the rare spots that our teen will get in on the action with our grade-schooler. There are great climbing features, lots of swings, and plenty of off playground opportunities for fun.   

At-A-Glance

  • 1800 N Morrison St, Appleton, Wisconsin
  • appletonparkandrec.org
  • Pets Allowed – Appleton parks allow leashed dogs on trails only 
  • Parking lot available at the main entrance
  • Bike racks available

Park Highlights

  • Toddler play structure and swings
  • Adult and baby swing
  • Slacklines and climbing features
  • Spinning and bouncing stand alone
  • Interactive music feature
  • Umbrella shaded benches
  • Corn hole court area (bring your own bean bags)
  • Ping pong table (bring your own paddles and balls)
  • Outlet/charging station
  • Tennis courts

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

  • Whisk and Arrow, 1915 N Richmond Street
    • Drive through bakery, coffee, espresso, and drinking caramel and chocolate
  • Happy Bellies, 2107 N Richmond Street
    • Gluten-free bakery, coffee
  • Dairy Queen, 1813 N Richmond Street

Jones Park, Downtown Appleton

This gem Downtown Appleton got a complete make-over in 2019 and has fun play structures with cool climbing features. Lots of green space for picnicking. There are lots of things to do nearby and murals in walking distance.

At-A-Glance

  • 310 West Lawrence Street
  • Jones Park Review
  • Pets Allowed – Appleton parks allow leashed dogs on trails only. 
  • Parking lot available off of Water Street, parking ramp located on Lawrence Street, and on street metered parking
  • Bike racks available

Park Highlights

  • Structures for big and little kids
  • Unique playground features including climbing and balancing areas
  • Music features including large chimes
  • Set down in a valley far from streets
  • Shady areas 

Nearby Things to Do 

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

  • Copper Rock, 210 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee, blended coffees, and tea
    • Bakery and gelato
  • Brewed Awakenings, 107 East College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks
    • Bakery
    • Menu with vegan and vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch
  • Acoca, 500 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating.
    • Full menu of hot, cold, and blended coffee drinks. Hand-dipped ice cream, bakery, and breakfast and lunch menu.
  • Seth’s Drive Thru, 323 East Washington Street
    • Little dive through or walk up quite near City Park
    • Full coffee and tea menu and limited bakery options
  • Fika Tea, 207 West College Avenue
    • Boba and craft teas
  • Doughlicious, 322 West College Avenue
    • Blended iced coffees, boba smoothies, SnoBiz Shaved Ice, ice cream, and edible cookie dough
  • Crazy Sweet, 514 West College Avenue
    • Candy shop with hand-dipped ice cream, fun ice cream creations like a Cotton Candy Burrito 

Memorial Park, Appleton

Another Appleton park that was overhauled recently. The update took place in 2020 and the universal playground was replaced with new accessible equipment. 

At-A-Glance

  • 1620 East Witzke Boulevard
  • Memorial Park Review
  • Pets Allowed: Appleton parks allow leashed dogs on trails only. 
  • Parking lot available with a short walk over a bridge to get to the playground. 
  • Bike racks available.

Park Highlights

  • Universal Playground
  • Double swing for babies and adults to use together
  • 2 other playgrounds including another accessible for all playground at Miracle Field
  • Miracle Field is a small baseball field that also has a rubberized surface
  • Fishing pond – those older than 16 need a license outside of designated days
  • Great park for kite flying
  • Scheig Center nearby the playground features a StoryWalk

Nearby Things to Do

  • Super Bowl – Sign up for Kids Bowl Free and your family members under 16 can access passes for 2 games each day of the summer. Adults can add passes for a small fee.
  • Butterfly Garden

Lions Park, Grand Chute

This park is great for little ones, though there is a large sandbox and sand play area that cannot be avoided if you prefer to skip sand play. 

At-A-Glance

  • 3155 Longwood Lane, Grand Chute
  • grandchute.net
  • Parking lot available very close to the playground.
  • Bike racks available.

Park Highlights

  • Easy to keep an eye on kids at this small playground. 
  • Lots of open green space for playing games, running, kite flying, and picnicking.
  • Large sandplay area including a raised table. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Houdini School’s playground is just across the green space and is huge
    • There are lots of cool features but the surface is woodchips 
  • Bubolz Nature Preserve 
    • 1835 E. Edgewood Drive

Pierce Park, Appleton

Pierce Park is another that reopened in 2020 with a completely refreshed playground. There are really great features that are not available at other area playgrounds. This playground is set far away from the street though there is a small through road and parking lot near.

At-A-Glance

  • 1035 West Prospect Avenue, Appleton
  • Pierce Park Review
  • Pets Allowed – Dogs on leashes are allowed only on trails in Appleton parks
  • Parking lots available very close to the playground
  • Bike racks available

Park Highlights

  • Zipline!
  • Unique play structures and equipment including climbing structures, merry-go-round type features, surfboard and saucer style swings
  • Trail throughout the park
  • Disc golf course
  • Fun moon sculpture for a perfect Insta Worthy capture
  • Ample off street parking in multiple lots

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Ice Cream and Coffee 

  • Copper Rock, 210 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee, blended coffees, and tea
    • Bakery and gelato
  • Brewed Awakenings, 107 East College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks
    • Bakery
    • Menu with vegan and vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch
  • Acoca, 500 West College Avenue
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full menu of hot, cold, and blended coffee drinks
    • Hand-dipped ice cream, bakery, and breakfast and lunch menu
  • Seth’s Drive Thru, 323 East Washington Street
    • Little dive through or walk up quite near City Park
    • Full coffee and tea menu and limited bakery options
  • Fika Tea, 207 West College Avenue
    • Boba and craft teas
  • Doughlicious, 322 West College Avenue
    • Blended iced coffees, boba smoothies, SnoBiz Shaved Ice, ice cream, and edible cookie dough
  • Crazy Sweet, 514 West College Avenue
    • Candy shop with hand-dipped ice cream, fun ice cream creations like a Cotton Candy Burrito

Riverside Park, Neenah

This Neenah playground is often called “Rocket Park” for the rocket ship style play structure. The surface is not rubberized but is a plastic turf style. This is a great park for big kids, it can be tricky to navigate for toddlers and young preschoolers. 

At-A-Glance

  • 500 East Wisconsin Avenue, Neenah
  • Riverside Park Review   
  • Pets Allowed: Leashed dogs are allowed in Neenah Parks.
  • On street parking available near the playground. 
  • The bathrooms are a distance away from the playground, so it might be good to hit them before playing. 
  • There is open water nearby.          

Park Highlights

  • Zipline!
  • Tall and long tube slides
  • Lots of green space for running, playing games, and picnicking
  • Plenty of shaded benches
  • Sand play area

Nearby Things to Do

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

  • Broken Tree Pizza, 124 West Wisconsin Avenue
    • Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and unique pizza menu
  • Dairy Queen, 450 South Commercial Street
    • All of the usual Dairy Queen treats and a menu of hot sandwiches and snacks. But the real star is their popcorn. Get a big bag and thank us later. 

Town Center Park

This was a new park to Grand Chute in 2019 with plans to continue to grow. It has fun natural themed equipment and structures and is a fun spot for all ages!

At-A-Glance

Park Highlights

  • Rock wall
  • Small spider-web climber, twist rope climber, and rock climbing walls make this a great park for kids that love climbing
  • Paved walking trails
  • Lots of green space for running, playing games, kite flying, and picnicking

Nearby Things to Do

Van Lieshout Park, Little Chute

This Little Chute park is a great destination for younger kids. In 2020, the adjoining tot lot was resurfaced with rubber and the play structures and swings were replaced.

At-A-Glance

Park Highlights

  • Fun climbing and slide features
  • Paved walking trails
  • Picnic areas
  • Small hill for rolling down

Nearby Things to Do

Nearby Ice Cream and Coffee 

  • Seth’s Coffee, 106 East Main Street
    • Indoor and outdoor seating
    • Full hot and cold coffee drinks menu, tea, lunch items, and hand-dipped ice cream

Washington Park, Neenah

This Neenah park and playground got a major overhaul in 2019 including a splash pad, so put this one on your list to return for a summer visit.  

At-A-Glance

  • 631 Winneconne Avenue, Neenah
  • Washington Park Review
  • Parking lot and on-street parking available.
  • Pets Allowed: Leashed Dogs are allowed in Neenah Parks.

Park Highlights

  • Lots of fun climbing features including a spider web climber
  • Music features including large scale chimes
  • Small and large play structures available
  • Adult sized fitness equipment area
  • Paved trails for walking
  • Murals at the pavilion
  • Lots of greenspace for running, playing games, and picnicking

Nearby Things to Do

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

  • Broken Tree Pizza, 124 West Wisconsin Avenue
    • Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and unique pizza menu. 
  • Dairy Queen, 450 South Commercial Street
    • All of the usual Dairy Queen treats and a menu of hot sandwiches and snacks. But the real star is their popcorn. Get a big bag and thank us later. 

High Cliff State Park

High Cliff added a playground to the park in 2021. The playground makes a perfect kid friendly stop before or after a hike exploring.

At-A-Glance

Nearby Things to Do

Nearby Coffee and Ice Cream

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