Imagination Island and Coaster Coffee

A nice fall afternoon calls for a run through the leaves. R, Auntie Chelsea, and I headed over to the Imagination Island, part of Northside Park. Before hitting the park, we went to Coaster Coffee, directly across the street. They have a small collection of toys, books, and puzzles for kids. The shop is local to Norfolk, and it operates as non-profit and gives back to the community by feeding the hungry, building community gardens, teaching art classes, and helping the unemployed. There is currently a toy drive going on. I wish that they were open on Sundays, but it is run by a church, so I get why it isn't. The toys were on a raised platform, which worried me a little bit for falling reasons, but it made me wonder if they ever have live music.

R LOVES smoothies. Like, he can drink a big one by himself. I got mango and Chels got lemonade.... R drank both. We sat for a little bit and let R play while we chatted. 

Coaster Coffee was nice enough to give our readers a coupon code! Use code TODDLINTW for 15% off from now until the end of the month. After a few minutes we headed over to the park to let R really run. The 62 acre park has playground areas, outdoor basketball courts, an indoor pool, a skateboard park, softball fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters, and hills that people ride bikes on and sled on when it snows. 

I actually lifeguarded at Northside Pool all through high school and college, so I've spent a lot of time on this property. For a weekday afternoon, the park had a good amount of families. The skate park was also pretty full. I like that the park has the ages kind of sectioned off with the different play structures too. There are three main play structures and two sets of swings. There is also a large pirate ship sandbox saved from the original park. 

The park was clean, and benches and trashcans were easily accessible. There are picnic tables in addition to the shelters, so a picnic lunch would have been awesome. Another perk of this park is that there is lots of shade, which is great in the summer. 
There are a few little walking trails around the park and fields where I've seen people playing games  like flag football or frisbee. It's a nice park to visit, and I like that it has a little coffee shop across the street to warm up on a cold day or get a cold drink.
Some FREE upcoming Norfolk Parks and Rec events for toddlers:
        December 21, Bees in the Winter
        January 18, Chesapeake Bay
        February 15, Ducks in the River
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.     
Location:  Lakewood Athletic Building, 1612 Willow Wood Drive
This is the perfect program for toddlers age 3-5 years old who are curious about nature and enjoy the outdoors. A specially selected nature-themed book, nature craft and adventure awaits! Adults must remain with their children. Call 757-441-5834 or email to register.