If Tacoma has a green heart, it beats at Wright Park, located in the middle of it all at 6th and I St. We are lucky enough to live on a bus line that will get us to this lovely spot in about five minutes.
Wright Park is of the older generation of city parks, where Greek revival statues and WPA era buildings spot a bucolic landscape reminiscent of much larger cousins in New York and San Francisco. Currently, there is a plan to remove some of the features that have marred this view since the late twentieth century, and replace them with structures that better reflect the park's history and original design.
For now though, the park features a great little playground built in 2003, with a better variety of equipment than some of the others Metroparks hasn't got around to renovating yet. This afternoon, there were four or five other families enjoying the great day at a time when many other city parks are often empty.
In the summertime, there's a free wading pool that stays shady and comfortable even on the hottest days. (Included in the master plan is a plan to replace this with a splash park, but it looks as though that is not happening this season.) We often pack up a swim noodle and hop on the bus for some good splashy fun. Metroparks runs a playground program there in the summer, open to kids ages 7 and up. They don't promise to keep track of their comings and goings but they do monitor the wading pool and have a few activities for the kids to do. In past years, the pool has been open for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the afternoon. (Check the Metroparks website for more information in the summer months.)
After the playground, we like to stop by the W.W. Seymour Conservatory. This place is always beautiful (and completely free) but seemed to be especially gorgeous today. The Conservatory is a small place, packed to the gills with luscious flowers and exotic plants. The smell from all those flowers in such a small space is amazing.
Today, the girls had one burning question - what do they do with all of those massive Ponderosa Lemons when they are ripe? The guide was happy to tell us that they slice them open, remove the seeds, and turn them into more Ponderosa Lemon trees. You can purchase a yearling for 10 dollars in the gift shop. Metroparks is also planning on expanding the Conservatory soon, I hope it stays just as beautiful.