Get our newsletters

One-of-a-kind Doylestown-inspired playground opens


There were bubbles, lots and lots of bubbles, balloon animals, face painting, shaved ice and hundreds of families enjoying it all, as they waited for the main event.

The carnival-like atmosphere Monday at Doylestown Borough’s Broad Commons Park, marked the opening of the community’s newest, and likely its most unique playground.

With its Fonthill Castle-inspired climbing tower and embedded Mercer tiles, the play area tucked into the corner of the park was as big a hit as any Bryce Harper home run. Dozens of smiling children, ranging in age from 4 or so to 10 or 12, jumped, bounced and climbed as delighted parents scrambled to keep an eye on their kids.

“We love playgrounds and bubbles,” said one Warminster mom, who brought her two daughters to the grand opening.

“We’ve been excited waiting for it to open,” said Lauren Vernese, who had a little one in a front-facing bundle and another pulling her hand to get into the action on the playground.

The entirety of the playground is fully accessible and is designed for children of all abilities.

Local and state officials offered remarks at the highly anticipated event, which marked another milestone in the transformation of the borough’s Broad Street corridor.

“This will have a generational impact,” state Rep. Tim Brennan and former borough councilman, told the crowd. “It’s a value-driven project…with a strong sense of community.”

Borough council president Jack O’Brien noted the playground, and the larger park, represent decades of work and planning.

“This use to be a PennDOT maintenance yard,” he said, looking out over the sprawling green space.

All the park’s amenities, from the play area, to a picnic space coming next year, to plans for a small amphitheater, “are meant to be more supportive of the overall park, where the essence is the formal lawn,” said borough manager John Davis in earlier comments, crediting the borough’s deputy manager, Phil Ehlinger, with much of the park’s picturesque design.

The borough received a $250,000 matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to help develop the North Broad Street park. Chris and Whitney Chandor gifted $50,000 toward the approximately $450,000-price tag of the playground.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.