The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and the Voice of Play asked our membership to help us feature some of their favorite projects, sharing “great playgrounds” of all shapes and sizes.
Join us as we continue our journey to see the exciting, colorful and creative projects our members have shared with us! These playground submissions span the globe and we hope they inspire families to visit a “great playground” in their community. Click here to view the previous feature from IPEMA member PLAYTIME, LLC and check out the next submission below!
GameTime is an IPEMA member with a knack for play, sustainability and accessibility. Their goal since day one has been to help communities design environments for all people to play in – no matter their age or ability. Be sure to learn more about how GameTime’s play innovators, play experts and play researchers are helping play. There is certainly a lot happening now at GameTime!
Freedom Park – North Carolina and Red Bug Lake Park – Florida
It’s time for some colorful fun in the sun in this Charlotte, North Carolina play area! In this installation, GameTime utilizes their ShadowPlay panels to create vibrant colors all over the playground. The acrylic panels cast colorful shadows on the ground while the sun is out, and as the sun goes up and comes down, the colorful patterns change position. Kids not only have fun catching the different shadows throughout the day, but they also learn basic scientific principles of light, color and astronomy. Children also get a feel of a colorful playground with the ShadowPlay panels at Red Bug Lake Park (pictured below) in Winter Springs, Florida.
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital – Alberta, Canada
At this playground, it’s fit for everyone and inclusive for those of all abilities! Staff at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton wanted to create a unique area in their hospital for their patients and families to play and rest. There are no boundaries when it comes to play, so the play area in the hospital is designed to be inclusive for all—patients of all ages, children and adults alike, can take a turn on the accessible whirl and swings, climbers and other equipment that promotes socialization and group play. Additionally, there is a fitness area designed for the adult patients who are not only recuperating, but regular patients who need rehabilitation. Both the play and fitness areas are in the same space, encouraging patients to interact and realize how important and powerful play is. The natural setting helps to promote calmness and well-being, too!
Hugh McRae Park – North Carolina
Funded by a local governmental agency that manages mental health and more, Hugh McRae Park in Wilmington aims to bring an inclusive playground to communities across North Carolina, as part of a statewide initiative. With inclusivity and disability guidelines utilized, the playground features ramped access throughout, ground level play activities and rubber safety surfacing. Not only is this playground equipped with swings and zip lines for everyone’s abilities, but it also includes an outdoor fitness area for adults – allowing visibility of the playground while working out yourself!
Knabe Park – California
Kids will be transported to the seven seas of piracy when playing at Knabe Park, located next to the ferry station on Catalina Island off of California’s coast. The surrounding bay only adds to the pirate-themed atmosphere, where a sunken ship swing, a beach volleyball area, basketball court and more help every visitor or family enjoy a picturesque view while at play.
Lake Sammamish State Park – Washington
Nature enhances the Lake Sammamish State Park located near the foot of Mount Rainier in Issaquah, Washington. PlayWorx, the custom playgrounds division of GameTime, was able to design a playground that reflected the deciduous forest and wetland vegetation of the surrounding area, the nearby Great Blue Heron rookery and even the salmon that live in the Issaquah Creek! This playground once again combines multigenerational activities like the Expression Swing, which allows a child and adult to swing at the same time facing each other, and motion play events like rotating nets and zip lines for everyone, no matter your age.
Lakeside Park – Texas
Art meets playground structures at the Lakeside Park in Woodlands, Texas. Built using IONiX play structures, which combines the beauty of an outdoor art installation with scientific research to create a unique play experience, this park promotes physical activity for beginners to advanced climbers, with vertical climbs and overhead angled apparatus. This special play equipment helps to support the growth and development of a child’s physical, social and cognitive skills, and the Shadow Play panels cast colorful shadows on the ground.
The Challenge Course and Fitness Park – Indiana
The Challenge Course and Fitness Park at Riverside Park in Indianapolis, Indiana was made to provide active recreation for kids and adults alike. The Challenge Course has 11 obstacles that are similar in design to those featured in obstacle course races and TV shows, as well as professional-grade timing systems and a timed 40-yard dash for two competitors. Since this installation, the Indianapolis Parks department reported that the park has seen a significant increase in use, showing that families are enjoying a fun, competitive atmosphere! In addition to the obstacle course, an adult fitness park is positioned adjacent to the course, designed with equipment that creates a well-rounded workout for those 13 years of age and older. This goes to show that new and traditional venues of play can help the community with both health and fitness goals!
Rynerson Park – California
Another park that has no limits as to who is on the playground! Rynerson Park, located in Lakewood, California, is separated into three different areas: one area for kids ages 2-5, one area for kids ages 5-12 and a fitness area for adults that borders the two play areas. Both playgrounds for kids have products that are designed to encourage physical activity based on the PlayOn! Youth Fitness Curriculum, which incorporates six elements essential to physical play: swinging, sliding, spinning, climbing, overhead climbing and balancing. The fitness park for adults and children 13 years of age and older, allows adults to exercise, while keeping an eye on their children in either park.
Santa Ana Play Trail – California
Santa Ana Play Trail is part of the Santa Ana River Trail in Santa Ana, California, that stretches from Huntington Beach to Anaheim. Two miles of the trail, near Anaheim, are dedicated play pockets for kids and families to learn more about animals and their habitats. Each pocket of play, such as spinning leaf sets, welcome signs and talking tree stumps, has an informational sign to educate the visitors on the animal and/or habitat, while also providing fun activities for all ages. These special pockets of play are part of the PlayTrails collection from GameTime, ideal for public trails or greenways.
The Rockpile Playground – Alabama
Inspired by the 1918 Wilson Dam constructed along the Tennessee River, the Rockpile Playground in Muscle Shoals, Alabama is a cool place to play on any summer day! The Wilson Dam created the Wilson Reservoir, which is known as the Smallmouth Bass Capital of the World. As you can see, this playground doesn’t miss any details when trying to recreate the past – the slides replicate the cascading waters from the dam and the bass are “caught” in the river. Even the slides in the tree reflect the tree line!
Thanks for sharing your special projects with us, GameTime!
Did you miss the deadline to submit your “Great Playground”? If you are a member of IPEMA and would like to have your playground featured, please contact Lesley.Sillaman@havas.com with your “Great Playground” submission (photos encouraged!) and you could be featured in an upcoming blog post.