Playground Adventures: Shenley Brook End, Milton Keynes, IKEA and Intu

Following my adventure on Tuesday, I really needed to catch up with work so minus one short trip out for an hour or so Thursday ended up being a work day which by bedtime was stressing Jaxon out.

He’s 4 so couldn’t really explain to me how he was feeling. I’ve read a variety of articles and blog posts over the years to understand that misbehaviour can often be a sign of something else. So Jaxon being naughty etc. because he may have been feeling lonely because I was busy.

Anyway, on Friday morning while the boys ate breakfast – I cleared a couple of tasks off my to-do list so that I could free up more of the day – I decided that I may have to work into the evening or even on Saturday while the boys were out but that’s okay. Just have to do juggling when it comes to the holidays. I think in the summer I’ll book in one day a week with Grandma and Grandpa, maybe Nanny and Grandad can do something too. We’ll see what can done.

Once we’d dropped Chris at the train station to go on his adventure, we found somewhere to stop to look for a playground. Jaxon asked for a “hard: one but in the end, a “new” one had to do as I’m sure my definition would have been different to his definition.

On Instagram, I follow Laura aka MiltonKeynesKids who often posts about new/favourite adventures which often includes different playgrounds that Laura and her boys visit. (Her Instagram profile is here). Earlier in the week, I’d seen Laura post about her boys going to the Shenley Brook End playground again, so I went back on IG to find the information then we set about driving over to Milton Keynes. It’s on the far side of Milton Keynes from Bedford. (About the same time in the car as going to Ikea at Bletchley so that’s not too bad).

To get to the park, the postcode recommended is that for Cashmere Close (MK5 7FA), my sat nav brought me along Garthwaite Crescent and then the playground was on the left hand side. Jaxon was very excited to get out of the car and go to explore. He loved climbing around the castle and exploring the different levels. He wasn’t so sure about doing some of the climbing bits and did have trouble with the climbing wall on the right of the castle. He loved the slide although it was still a bit wet when he first went down.

Jaxon loved exploring the other areas of the park. He wanted to go on the big swing but decided against it when he got over there and realise the whole seat was really wet. It’s possible that had we come back closer to lunchtime it would have been dryer by then and he could have gone on it with no issues. Apart from the “baby”: swings, all the equipment is meant for bigger children rather than smaller children. Jaxon was able to do a lot of the different activities on the castle but I think if he was any smaller he would have really struggled. There didn’t seem to be any signs with age limits etc so I think the park is open to all children.

While he played I read this plaque about the enhancements that were made to the park as part of MK50 (50 years of Milton Keynes). I then joined in with him and attempted to play on a few of the pieces of equipment. We played for about an hour in total and then Jaxon asked could we do something else. I was determined that we were going to spend the day having fun so next, we headed to IKEA at Bletchley. This also meant that I could put our car on charge while Jaxon played in Smaland. I grabbed a hot drink and some breakfast in the cafe while he had a lovely time playing. He absolutely loves going to Smaland and playing there (which works for me because I go get a hot drink and if I bring my laptop I can work too!).

After IKEA, we headed to the main shopping centre. In the “new bit” (Now it’s Intu Milton Keynes), there’s a small soft play area that Jaxon regularly plays on if he’s been good while we’ve done any shopping we’ve needed to get done. I think on one trip Chris stayed with him there while I did the errands rather than drag them both round.

We’d got about an hour to kill before we needed to head back to Bedford and collect Chris from the train station but after about 20 minutes Jaxon asked to go. It was quite busy so I wondered if he’d just had enough of trying to be careful around the smaller children or something along those lines. We headed back to the car and then after a pit stop in Bromham to grab some lunch from the shop there we went to the station to get Chris.

All in all I think it was a good day and we both enjoyed ourselves. I’m definitely thinking about trying to make our way around more playgrounds at weekends (and as it happens as I wrote this post a friend of mine sent me a message asking for details about the Shenley Brook End playground and also about any others I know of).

If you’re a parent or look after children, do you have favourite playgrounds to take them to? Do you look for specific equipment? Jaxon’s favourites for a while were the swings but I think he’s back on the slides being his favourites.


  1. Lydia says:

    Hey Hannah,
    Glad that you finally found a perfect playground for your children at Shenley Brook End. As you noted, moods of children can determine what kind of fun they could enjoy. So perfect for a family outing.

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