READERS' PICK: Located at the center of the Sam Hughes neighborhood, in what some consider the heart of Tucson, Himmel Park has not one but two excellent, old-fashioned playgrounds. The north playground is located behind the Himmel Park branch of the Tucson-Pima Public Libraries. It has convenient parking, shade from large, leafy trees, stone picnic tables and traditional playground equipment. This equipment includes swings, slides and climbing structures. The atmosphere is pleasant thanks to green, grassy hills and clean sand. The west playground is located just south of the pool and near the large, fenced locomotive. This playground has much of the same types of equipment as the other, but does boast the most awesome slide in town. It's high, steep, and one can fry an egg on it six months out of the year. The west playground has a nice little area for the small fry as well as big, sturdy, old equipment for big, sturdy, old kids and their parents. Himmel Park's playgrounds are very popular with nearby daycare centers and preschools. In fact, on any given day one can observe an adult with a line of tots trailing behind as they head to the monkey bars. This scene may make a trip to Himmel remind you of the book Make Way For Ducklings.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP -- TIE: McDonald's, locations citywide; and Reid Park, see Best Park or Plaza, page 14.