When you're looking around for things to do during the cold late fall or winter months, and you keep running into "closed for the season," you look no further than Owensboro Parks & Recreation.

While certain parks' water features must certainly close for the winter, the playgrounds never do. And now, there will be two brand new ones for the kids to enjoy, and the plan is for them to be open before the end of November.

The New Moneeta Sleet Jr. Park Playground

Since 1976, Moneeta Sleet Jr. Park--under the name Max Rhoads Park until 2022--has been a fixture at 616 Walnut Street and, following the recent construction of a new picnic shelter, will continue its overhaul with a brand new playground:

Owensboro Parks & Recreation
Owensboro Parks & Recreation

Moneeta Sleet Jr. was an Owensboro native and Pulitzer Prize winning photographer for Ebony Magazine and spent years covering America's Civil Rights movement. A festival honoring his legacy was held at the RiverPark Center in early 2023:

The New Ben Hawes Park Playground

Oh, the memories I have of picnics at Ben Hawes Park...back when it was Ben Hawes STATE Park. At the heart of those wonderful memories are the various "rocket" slides we couldn't wait to climb up into when we were kids. Those slides are long gone, and now the equipment that REPLACED them is also being put out to pasture in favor of this new playground:

Owensboro Parks & Recreation
Owensboro Parks & Recreation

By the way, while I said those slides are long gone, I meant they're long gone from Ben Hawes Park. Thankfully, the biggest one was preserved and currently finds its home at Fish & Game in eastern Daviess County.

Both new playgrounds are set to open Monday, November 27th.

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