Different people look for different things in a playground. My criteria might not be in line with what you value most. You might go to a playground I've rated high and hate it. Or vice versa. But even a bad playground is better than sitting at home in front of a screen. Get out there and have fun.
To get a sense of what the "overall score" means to me, here's a rough guide:
Here's a look at the ratings you'll see for each playground, and the questions I ask myself when rating a playground:
Name of park.
Overall score out of 100. Just like in school.
Does the equipment balance fun, challenge, and safety?
Is there a variety of equipment?
Is the playground in a pleasant setting?
Is there adequate shade?
Adequate seating for adults who are tired or lazy?
Accessible by transit?
Is there parking nearby?
Are there any x-factors that make this park special? (Ex: shared toys, close to other amenities or attractions, exceptional layout, neighbourhood quirks, etc.)
List of features that most people might look for. The numbers indicate the age range the equipment is rated for.
If the overall score is over 90, this super-special gold star indicates that it's got the Danforth Dad seal of approval. In other words, this park is worth going to, even if it's far from where you live.
If the star is purple, and it says "hidden gem," that means that the park is kind of a neighbourhood secret that's worth your time - and because it's not found on a major street, you might not know about it unless you live in the immediate area.