Unless you had crazy parents who locked you up inside all day, all of us have enjoyed the freedom and wonder that make playgrounds magical. But it goes without saying that some playgrounds are far more spectacular and imaginative than others. Here are a few of the coolest playgrounds you’re ever likely to enjoy.
Clemyjontri Park, Virginia
Finding a playground designed for handicapped children is hard. It’s even harder if you’re hoping to find one that their abled-bodied friends can use and enjoy at the same time. Enter Clemyjontri Park, a playground specifically designed to provide fun for children of all ages and ability levels. Some of the swings offer higher backs to provide extra support to those who need it. Wide, graceful ramps allow those in wheelchairs full access to the park’s amenities. And in the middle of the two acre park sits a massive carousel.
Belleville Park Playground, France
While this playground may not be as accessible as the Clemyjontri Park, it is still unique in the number of challenges it offers to children of all ages and ability levels. The most famous and most popular attraction in the park is the massive climbing course, which incorporates the ground’s natural slope and offers a variety of inclines for children of all different climbing abilities. For those that prefer more traditional play structures, there is a large jungle gym/playhouse at the top of the hill as well.
Takino Hillside Park, Japan
This amazing Japanese park was designed to help get kids interested in nature again. Of course, many of the play structures are unlike anything else on Earth, but hey, getting kids to use their imagination is never a bad thing either. The main theme for the playground is nests and the most famous (and most gorgeous) attraction in the park is the Rainbow Nest Dome designed by Fumiaki Takano and fabric artist Toshiko Macadam. But there are plenty of other fun play zones at the park, including bouncy hills made from plastic and foam, delightfully odd playhouses designed to look like massive beehives and more. In the winter, the entire face of the park changes when it is converted into “Takino Snow World,” which offers guests fun winter play options like snow shoeing, sledding and skiing. Images Via The City of Sapporo's Website
If, as a youngster, you were a big fan of tire swings and tunnels made from old tires, then you’d probably love Nishi-Rokugo –which literally means Tire Park in Japanese. Practically all the playground equipment here is made from tires, including slides, swings, dinosaurs, bridges and more. In fact, the concrete slides that require tires to ride down are even popular with adults. There are over 3,000 tires in the park, including some loose ones for kids to stack and climb themselves.
St. Kilda Adventure Playground, Australia
One of the most popular playgrounds in all of Australia, St. Kilda features playground equipment shaped like a submarine, a wooden castle, and, most famously, a beached pirate ship. It also features a wooden maze and an amazing view of the ocean that is brimming with sea life, including cute and playful dolphins. Image Via Peripitus [Wikipedia]
The Fruit and Scent Park, Sweden
Tired of trying to convince your kids that fruits can be just as much fun as their Fruit by the Foot? Well then, perhaps a trip to the Fruit and Scent Park would help them see the light. Here you’ll find a slide shaped like a banana, swings that look like cherries, a see-saw that resembles an orange slice and a whole watermelon jungle gym. If nothing else, at least it will teach them to play with their food.
Water Playground in Tychy, Poland
These days, water playgrounds are fairly common, but this one stands out for its clever design and amazing, color-changing LED lights that transform the fountains from a refreshing way too cool off on a hot day into a gorgeous nighttime water show. The park was created in the shape of a peanut in order to work with the natural landscape and to avoid removing any trees, which also ensures the play area is always nice and shady. The actual water structures were chosen so there would be ample variety in the park and the bright colors make them almost look like the background of a Dr. Seuss book, which seems particularly fitting, seeing as how at night the whole thing seems like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
MONSTRUM’s Many Amazing Park Creations
When it comes to amazing playground designers though, there is one name that truly stands out above the rest. Denmark design firm MONSTRUM creates some of the most amazing and delightful play structures in the world. Unfortunately, if you want to check out some of their work, you’ll probably have to travel to Sweden or Denmark as that’s where they focus their efforts. Here are a few of the group’s best works: The Blue Whale, Sweden This massive blue whale, seaweed and six smaller sharks entertain the children of Gothenburg as they can climb inside and on top of the world’s largest mammal. To get back down, they can just go on the slide on top of his back. Roly Poly, Denmark On the other end of the spectrum, the Roly Poly playground is sure to make you feel tiny, as it is made to look like a giant version of the forest floor. Aside from offering a fun and unique play environment, the playground is also educational, as it offers a number of placards featuring fun facts about roly polies. The Giant Spider and Mushrooms, Denmark For those that can’t get enough miniaturization, the Giant Spider and Mushrooms is also a fun option, offering children the chance to climb inside of a giant spider playhouse equipped with LED lights for eyes so he even glows at night. Underneath the spider is a large web that allows children to climb on and around the spider’s body. The mushrooms provide additional play equipment and the largest one even features a slide. The Brumleby playground, Denmark This playground is designed to reflect the history of the neighborhood in which it is located. The playground is made up of three small houses –all painted to look like the local housing complex, but built with a Seussian tilt to make them more fun. The park features seesaws, monkey bars, climbing areas and a rope bridge. The Towers of Copenhagen in Mini Size, Denmark Here’s another great playground designed to incorporate the local history. Five of Copenhagen’s most famous buildings are represented in the park, including the Town Hall Tower, Our Saviour’s Church and the Exchange Tower. There are electric play options allowing kids to play electronic catch over the buildings as well as more classic playground equipment including climbing walls, rope bridges, slides and more. The playground even features a small planetarium. Personally, my favorite playground ever is the Koret Children’s Quarter in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It has a concrete slide that you can race down on a bit of cardboard, a spinning merry-go-round, plenty of new and innovative playground equipment and a classic 1914 carousel. What about you guys, what was/is your favorite playground? Did it have any special features or do you just have plenty of good memories there?