Area parks are a great place to take the kids – and they’re free.

The weather is great, isn't it? The temperature is warming up into the 50s and 60s. I love it. My kids do, too. Sure they're very much looking forward to the dog days of summer, but a nice spring is a step in the right direction. Now, it's time to visit some of our favorite spots. We like free places, mainly because my 2-year-old, Ella, doesn't like to stay in one place very long.

Among our favorites are these five parks.

Reinstein Woods is one of our favorite places to visit this time of year. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Reinstein Woods, Honorine Drive, Depew

This is 292 acres of pure, peaceful nature. You'll find several trails, loads of birds, tons of trees and an awful lot of fun. You can walk as long as you'd like, bring a lunch and have a picnic, or come and go in just a few minutes. My kids love to look for wildlife and really just enjoy the peace and quiet of the preserve. The trails are dirt, but it's absolutely fine to being a stroller and stroll the park. Donations are welcome.

Glen Park, 5565 Main St., Williamsville

Glen Park is a walking park with a gorgeous waterfall and plenty of ducks to check out. The trails are all concrete, so strollers are easy to push. There are plenty of benches and lots and grass for a nice picnic. There are bathrooms, but they're a bit of a walk from the waterfall.
Huge sandbox, Canalside 
We LOVE this little beach! My kids will stay and play for hours. We have a sandbox in our backyard, but apparently it doesn't compare to this huge box. The beach is open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. You're along the water so the views are stunning. It can get a bit breezy so bring a jacket for the little ones. There are restrooms close by and always a few options for lunch or ice cream.
Akron Falls Park,  44 Parkview Drive, Akron
 This gorgeous park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is a 284-acre park with trails for biking and hiking. The centerpiece of this park is the amazing 40-foot waterfall on Murder Creek. There are several playgrounds for kids. They're pretty close to parking, so if you're not up for a long walk, it's no problem. The views are great, the price is great and time with your kids is priceless.

The 40-foot waterfall is the centerpiece of this gorgeous park. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

 Delaware Park
From the playground to Hoyt Lake, this is a no-brainer. Delaware Park is a wonderful place to bring your kids for an afternoon of fun. Besides, it's super pretty. Bring a blanket and have a picnic or check out the walking trails.  It's easy to spend a few hours here before you even know it. My kids love it here, mainly for the playground, but I love thinking about all of the history that has taken place in and around the park dating all the way back to the 1901 Pan Am Expo.  It's pretty and easy to get around with a stroller.
So there you go. A friendly reminder - there's still plenty of mud around, so you might want to put some boots and old clothes on the kids before heading out.

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