260 Mill Rock Road, Hamden, CT
Our quest to find new and exciting places this summer brought us to Villano Park and Splash Pad in Hamden, CT. The former Mill Rock Park has been been completely transformed into a state of the art park complete with tennis courts, basketball courts, awesome playgrounds, baseball fields at Rochford Field, and splash pad. I grew up in Hamden and attended the middle school across the street (it’s since been closed). It’s really nice to see the town developing this part of town into a beautiful space the whole community can be proud of.
Villano Park is a newer park in the Newhall section of Hamden. It is well maintained and clean. There is a small parking lot and free street parking on the nearby roads. I didn’t notice any restrooms on sight but to be honest I forgot to look. There are plenty of covered areas and benches throughout the area.
The splash pad at Villano Park is located between the playground and basketball courts. It is surrounded by well maintained landscaping and large rocks perfect for sitting. The area is not fenced in, so if you have little ones who like to wander off you’ll have to keep a closer eye on them. There is a covered area for parents to find a little break from the sun while still watching children play.
Hours: Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day – 11 am – 7 pm
The splash pad is made up of a few large overhead sprinklers in the shape of butterflies and leaves. There are also a bunch of ground sprinklers that alternate sprouting up and surprising the kids with a gush of water. The splash pad is not huge and thankfully it wasn’t too crowded when we visited during the week. It also opens later in the day than many of the other splash pads so perhaps more people visit after lunch and naps.
Since it was so hot during our visit my kids alternated between playing on the playground then running back to the splash pad to cool off. The playground was one of the best public play areas I have visited (and I have seen plenty!). There were two main areas of different ages. The playground for older children was a made up of ropes to climb up, through and around. There were slides, a balance surf board, balance swing, monkey bars, and music toys.
BONUS: The whole park was made up of that squishy ground, grass, and pavers – no woodchips or sand. This made my life a lot easier and my car a whole lot cleaner.
I loved that the toddler area mirrored many of the same elements as the older kid’s playground. The toddler playground, dedicated toward children ages 2-5, also has climbing ropes and slides except at a much lower and more age appropriate scale. This made it much easier for my 3-year-old to feel included while his older sisters explored the other side of the playground.
Villano Park is a great addition to the Hamden community. I would highly recommend a trip to visit the all-new playground and splash pad this summer.