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In the spring, when the trees and flowers are all starting to blossom, you can meet joggers or walkers who are lacing up their colorful shoes and taking in the fresh air. Enjoy the sights and sounds of birds flying back from the south and the return of squirrels scampering across the fields.
If you’re feeling up to it—or feel like reviving your New Year’s resolution to get in shape—be sure to hit the various exercise stations in the park; you’ll be swimsuit-ready in no time after a few sets at each stop. Plus, it’s a great way to get your fill of fresh air and physical activity in one go.
Of course, an in-shape body pairs nicely with a sharp brain, so bring your chess pieces and play against a friend on one of several park-provided boards. Outdoor fun in Mattano Park in Elizabeth, NJ truly does run the gamut...and gambit.
The Mattano skatepark is another popular place for anyone with a board. Don a helmet and pads and prepare to grind and ollie with the best of them. With over a dozen ramps, rails, and stairs, there is room to practice every trick in the book.\
When the mercury rises and the kids are out of school, why not take them outdoors to burn off some of that energy? Mattano Park has four blacktop half-courts to practice basketball drills or join in a pick-up game with others looking to dunk, hook, or rain some threes. Plus, the two baseball diamonds also provide a good place for friends to practice their pitching, batting, or perfect their sunflower seed-spitting.
If you happen to arrive at the park and no one else is practicing their footwork on the soccer field, it might be the perfect place to test your aerial skills using the drone you bought yourself for Christmas.
For a more relaxing day at the park, there are plenty of mature trees provide shade for a picturesque picnic, family get together, or even a solitary spot to crack open your favorite book.
During the heat of the day, you’ll hear the screams and giggles of children playing in the splash pad area. A round ball is flanked by two bars, all which spray jets of water for kids to dodge or alter, giving them a chance to cool off and guaranteeing a good time for all.
Fall is football weather, and Mattano Park’s open fields provide the perfect place to run wind-sprints or cut diagonal routes as you and your buddies throw perfect spirals. Kids of all ages can climb, slide, and swing on the playground if they’re not too busy chasing each other through the trees and kicking up autumn leaves.
For a calmer, more peaceful time, head to the banks of the Elizabeth River which wraps around two sides of the park. Here you can listen to the sounds of splashing waves or search for the perfect stones to skip across the water’s surface.
If the cold has already crept into town when you arrive in Elizabeth and everything is covered in sheets of sparkling white, head to Mattano Park for an escape from the hectic roadways. Here, you’ll find a few acres of snow to enjoy crunching underfoot or to ball up and throw at your friends and family. Take stark black and white photos amid the barren trees or peek at the river, being careful not to get wet! Bring a thermos full of hot cocoa to sip while walking a full loop of the entire park, realizing that in a few months, it will be filled with joggers, skaters, birds, and laughter!