Ann Arbor Mess Free Playgrounds

Ann Arbor Mess-Free Playgrounds

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I love this spring weather that we have been having this week! However, with melting snow and spring rains, things can get quite muddy on playgrounds. Since we don’t live walking distance to a playground, I don’t want to put my muddy daughter back into the car. This isn’t a problem at one of the Ann Arbor Mess-Free Playgrounds listed below.


Ann Arbor Area Playgrounds with Rubber Mats

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Ann Arbor Playgrounds with Mixed Surfaces

These playgrounds have a mix of surfaces that include both rubber mats or rubber mulch and traditional mulch. There are parts of the play area that can be accessed without using the mulch, but some parts of the structure may require going through mulch.

More Details on Mess Free Playgrounds

Back in 2016 before we first published this article on Facebook I solicited recommendations for playgrounds that are mess-free since they utilize rubber mats or chips under the structure.

Gallup Park

Then, my daughter and I took a mini-tour of some of the recommended Ann Arbor Mess-Free Playgrounds. And added the more-detailed descriptions below.

There are two mess-free play areas at Gallup Park.

Centennial Playground is a universal access playground that opened in September 2017. The entire surface is rubber mat. When I visited the playground, there was a mix of a middle school group and toddlers. I was struck by how much fun both groups were having – on some of the same equipment.

Centennial Playground at Gallup Park - One Structure

The front play area (near the canoe livery) at Gallup Park has rubber mats and no mulch. With a tire swing, a slide built into the hill, and some climbing structures, the play area is not very large.

Mess Free Playgrounds - Gallup Park - Tunnel and Slide

It is geared towards younger kids. My 10 year old definitely felt that she was too big for most of what was on the playground. She did enjoy the tire swing.

Gallup Park - Canoe Livery Play Area - Tire Swing

Gallup Park is at 3000 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor.


County Farm Park

Now, County Farm Park is an one of my daughter’s favorite playgrounds. However, I hated it when my daughter was a toddler and preschooler because the structure was so tall.

County Farm Park Playground Profile - Climbing

County Farm Park does have a lot of on the ground activities for young children, so if your child is content not to climb, they will enjoy County Farm Park.

County Farm Park Playground Profile - Bouncer

The park is a mix of rubber mats and mulch. Most of the play area is rubber mats. The swings, zip line, and the climber are over mulch. Note there is also a sand pit and tubs that can fill with water.

Mess Free Playgrounds - County Farm Park - Play Structure

In addition to the playground at County Farm Park, my daughter took a trip to the Perennial Garden. It was dry when we visited, but does have gravel paths. The last time we were at the park she and her friends spent a lot of time hanging out in the perennial garden since it was not as crowded as the playground.

Ann Arbor Mess-Free Playgrounds - County Farm Park - Perennial Garden

The main park entrance for County Farm Park is at 2230 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor and has an available parking lot.


Ford Heritage Park

Ford Heritage Park offers a combination of rubber mats and mulch. The rubber mats cover most of the play area with the mulch in the outer edges.

Ford Heritage Park

My daughter has always loved Ford Heritage Park. When she was younger, she called it the Roller Slide Playground.

Ford Heritage Park - Roller Slide

By avoiding the zip lines, log roll, and pedal balance, you can avoid the mulch.

Ford Heritage Park - Zip Lines, Log Rolling, & Pedal Balance

Ford Heritage Park’s address is 8399 Textile Rd, Ypsilanti. It is just east of Whittaker Rd.

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Veterans Memorial Park

The playground at Veterans Memorial Park is not large, but it does have a rubber mat.

Veterans Memorial Park - Playground

Veterans Memorial Park’s address is 2150 Jackson Avenue. There is also a lot on Maple, but I recommend the Veterans Park lot since it is paved. I believe the Maple Ave lot is gravel.


Fuller Park

Fuller Park offers a wooden play structure with a rubber mat.

Fuller Park Playground Profile - Structure

To reach the playground, there is a paved path directly to the playground from the parking lot. Don’t use the sidewalk near the pool or you will have to walk across the grass to the playground.


Olson Park

Olson Park lacks a traditional playground structure, but it makes up for it with a series of climbing structures.

Olson Park Playground Profile - Rope Challenge

My 11 year old was thrilled with the challenges of the climbers. There are easier sides to the climbers than she picked for younger kids.

Olson Park Playground Profile - Queen of the Mountain

The swings are on mulch and there is a sand area that might be messy on wet days.

Olson Park Playground Profile - Sand Digger and Funnel Table

The park also features paved trails offering a nice walking option on wet days.


Dr Harold J. Lockett Park

The playground at Ann Arbor’s Dr Harold J. Lockett Park (formerly Winchell Park) has both rubber mats and mulch. Both the structure entrance and bottom of the slides are connected to the sidewalk via rubber mats.

Winchell Park - Tuesday Playground Profile - Structure

Other Suggested Ann Arbor Mess-Free Playgrounds

Do you have another suggestion for an Ann Arbor area Mess-Free Playground? Add it to the comments or send it to me via email.


Playgrounds Beyond Washtenaw County

Are you going beyond Washtenaw County? Check out some playground options from our nearby friends. Some of the playgrounds in each list have rubber surfaces:

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