For the past two years, Sanayeh Garden, one of the few public parks in Beirut, has been under renovation. We were so excited when it finally opened back up a few weeks ago. It’s a five minute walk from our house, it’s free, and it’s green… what more could you ask for in the middle of urban Beirut??
The garden is more than 100 years old, and it was so nice to see that the developers kept the old trees and the basic shape of the park intact. It’s just been restored.
The landscaping is beautiful.
There has always been grass, but now there are sprinklers to keep it watered and regular maintenance keeping the grass trimmed and pulling weeds.
There are three playgrounds. They are high quality and really nice, but honestly a bit disappointing. Maybe it’s because we’ve spent the last year researching how kids play and building our own playground… but the choices of playground equipment don’t make much sense for a playground geared at all ages.
While the old playground was falling apart to the point of being dangerous (once when we were there the entire swing set collapsed onto the dozen or so kids that were swinging/playing/climbing on it!), it was much more appropriate for young kids especially. I don’t miss the sand, though!
I absolutely LOVE the new bike and walking paths! Can’t tell you how many times I had to snatch up a small child to save them from being run over by a crazy kid on his bike. No more! And the guards wandering around the park were quick to direct anyone trying to use their bike in the rest of the park to the bike lanes.
And the fountain that used to be just a huge empty concrete dish…
…is now full of water! There’s supposed to be a fountain in the middle, but we haven’t seen it turned on yet.
It’s still crowded in the afternoons and on the weekends, but that’s nothing new!
Sanayeh, we are so glad you are back! Even with your silly instructions!