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Florence Playground
18 Florence St, Somerville, MA 02145
Located between Washington and Pearl Streets, this public park contains both a playground and a full basketball court.More Visitors can also relax in the shade at one of its many benches and tables.
Albion Playground
108 Albion St, Somerville, MA 02144
This large park has a unique layout -- the playground and basketball courts are separated by a large, elevated expanseMore of grass. The result is park that lends itself to the needs of a diverse community with areas for children, athletes and those just wishing to sit in some green space, walk a dog or throw a ball around. There are picnic tables, water fountains and shady places aplenty, but toddlers should be helped around the sharp concrete steps that are all over this park.  
Harris Playground
66 Cross St E, Somerville, MA 02145
Large and sprawling, this playground also includes several basketball courts and a space that could be transformed intoMore tennis courts with the addition of a net. A huge orange jungle gym is the centerpiece of the sand-floored play area, along with swings and a few metal animals secured to the ground with large and comically bendy springs. A sizeable flat concrete expanse between the play area and the basketball court is popular with skateboarders. 
Otis Playground
Otis St & McGrath Hwy, Somerville, MA 02145
Ride the swings, run through the sprinkler, or imagine you're the commander of the big blue play fort here at thisMore small, convenient neighborhood play ground. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the stationary tables, but don't forget to clean up after yourself. The area is clean and well maintained. You can get to it from either side of McGrath Highway thanks to the bicycle-friendly pedestrian overpass.
Lexington Park
Lexington Ave & Hancock St, Somerville, MA 02144
Under huge, brightly painted gates and tall shade trees sits Lexington Park. There are multiple jungle gyms, child- andMore baby-size swings, several picnic tables and more than a few murals. An enclosed basketball court is popular with dog owners who wish to let their animals run off-leash, which is technically against the rules. Be aware that the playground has a woodchipped floor that prevents sand-filled shoes but isn't the softest surface to play on. 
Dilboy Field & Stadium
300 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Somerville, MA 02144

In 2006, a $7.7 million renovation of Dilboy Stadium transformed this once forlorn state-owned facility into aMore recreational showpiece. Football, soccer and track teams now compete in the gleaming 3,000-seat stadium on an immaculate turf field and an eight-lane international-standard track.

Meanwhile outside, you'll find the state-run DCR swimming pool, two baseball fields also used for soccer and football, two tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground and two free parking lots. All this comes wrapped up in Alewife Brook Reservation which runs alongside the area. Good to know: Pool admission, as at all Department of Conservation and Recreation pools, is free.

 

Michael E. Capuano Early Childhood Center
150 Glen St, Somerville, MA 02145

Opened in 2003, this pre-K and kindergarten school is not only a state-of-the-art facility, its cheery,More environmentally sustainable design has garnered national recognition. Their teaching emphasizes building intellectual curiosity and strong readers. With the help of the nonprofit Raising a Reader program, each week the school sends books home with students so they can develop the habit of reading with their families.

An active PTA and several community organizations support a number of after-school programs. The school's outside areas offer plenty of room for exercise on the well-equipped playground, new sports fields and blacktop area. Free breakfast is available for all students.

The school's stated philosophy is "to provide students with extensive, varied and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that will help them grow intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally."

Tufts University
Powder House Sq & College Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

When Charles Tufts donated the land around Walnut Hill in 1852, he envisioned a "Light on the Hill." A century and aMore half later, his vision seems to have come to fruition, as those few windswept acres now hold one of the nation's premier universities. With 10 schools ranging from the undergraduate college to the prestigious Fletcher School of International Relations, Tufts has certainly flourished from its humble roots. 

Though famous for its elite international-relations program, Tufts is more than esoteric foreign languages and future diplomats. Tufts holds several championship titles across its division, NESCAC. Its on-campus dining facility is ranked among the top three in the nation (usually losing out only to culinary schools), and its study-abroad program is consistently ranked No. 1 in the nation. 

Community resources: The university also offers many perks for area residents. Their Tufts Neighbors web page includes a calendar of arts, culture, and sports events, as well as lectures, that are all open to the public. They've made room on their campus for a public community garden, a playground, and the Tufts Playing Field park. Students volunteer in the community, and each year school staff donate to the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund, which supports programs in their host towns of Somerville, Medford, Grafton and Boston's Chinatown. Residents may use the school's library resources on site (but books may not be checked out). And watch for Community Day each fall. At this on-campus festival, residents are treated to live music and dance as well as school tours and good eats.  

Fun fact: After a generous donation from P.T. Barnum early in the school's life, Jumbo the elephant (allegedly Dumbo's friend) became Tufts' mascot, and his visage can be found all over the hilly campus.

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