Even if your visit to Alaska’s Playground doesn’t include kids, including a stop at the new community playground in Soldotna should definitely be a part of your itinerary here on the Kenai Peninsula.
The Soldotna Community Playground is located at Soldotna Creek Park in downtown Soldotna on the Sterling Highway. Located on the banks of the Kenai River, the park is home to such popular events as the annual Kenai River Festival and Soldotna Progress Days, as well as community picnics and events, but the highlight is the dynamic playground that was built by local volunteers in 2010.
The playground’s focus is on various elements that define our region – including a tribute to the important watershed of the Kenai River that is integrated into a climbing maze. The murals that accompany this component of the playground reflect the higher mountain ranges and wildlife of the area, the prolific sport fishing on the Kenai River, and the active commercial fishing influence that comes into play as the waters flow into Cook Inlet.
You’ll also find an eagle’s nest, a bear’s den, a fireweed firepole and even an interactive jungle gym that pays homage to the many area residents who are employed in the resource industries of Alaska – depicting an oil rig.
While tiny tots enjoy it for the many pint sized features it has, including a small dory and salmon tunnel, the reproduction of “old” Soldotna is a tribute to the homestead days of the area.
Additionally, the cultural influence of the Alaska Natives of the area can be found not only in the illustrations of indigenous wildlife with the Dena’ina names displayed next to them, but also in the grand welcome that greets visitors: “Nagh Nduninyu” (“Welcome”)
With 10,000 sq. feet of entertainment, from an airplane to a whale’s tail, there is always something to keep your kids busy and to feast your eyes on at this unique playground.