Coolest Playgrounds

Today I was reading an Article on Shine by Yahoo about the coolest playgrounds in the USA. Those playgrounds definitely look cool even though I haven’t been to any of them. In thinking about it, I thought this would make a great reader feedback topic. What is the coolest playground your child has ever been to? What do they think is the coolest playground in the Ann Arbor area?

Dinoland USA Playground
at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For us, I think the coolest playgrounds my daughter has been to are at Disney World. Both the Boneyard in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground in Disney’s Hollywood Studios are much loved attractions. It took me a few trips to be comfortable spending over an hour on the playgrounds when I could be making “better use” of my time on rides. I eventually had to come to realize that it wasn’t a playground but an attraction.

The Boneyard playground is HUGE and tall. On warm days, there are water areas where your child can end up drenched. But one of my daughter’s favorite features is the multi-story twisty tube slide. Plus, it is themed as a dinosaur dig site, so my dino-loving kid is in heaven. The ramps between different areas are a great place to stand to have a birds-eye view of your kid as you can see a large area. My daughter hasn’t even explored the excavation area where kids can dig through special no-stick sand to uncover fossils. She has seen the area, but it was when she hated sand and refused to go in. I did not know about the no-stick sand until writing this article.

“The Battery Slide” as named by my daughter

While the theming of the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure is definitely dated, my daughter loves it. It is a bit nerve-wracking as a parent though since there is one section where your child goes up and there are at least 4 slides that your child could come down which cannot be watched from a single location. There have definitely been a few occasions where we had to locate my daughter when she came down a different slide and then wandered to another area. Her favorite part is the “battery slide” which is actually a roll of film. Having been brought up in the digital camera (and now iPhone camera) era, she has no concept of what a roll of film is. Last winter, she and I watched the movie and it was quite amusing to see the changes in technology (computers, telephone, etc.) since the film was released.

Locally my daughter’s favorite playground is “The Rollerslide Playground”. It is awesome, it has a slide of rollers that she loves. The park features an awesome rock formation (plastic) and a huge rocking boat that even the adults can comfortably sit in. It has a large handicapped accessible ramp, while also featuring two different wobbly bridges, lily pad type platforms, and many more interesting features. The only downsides – a lack of shade (we have eaten our snack under the play structure platforms) which makes some of the slides too hot to be used in the middle of summer days and lack of water fountain or restroom facilities (it does have a port-a-potty) can be overcome by planning shorter trips during the early morning or evening hours. Having trouble finding “The Rollerslide Playground” on the map? Try looking for Ford Heritage Park on Textile Rd in Ypsilanti Township.


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Other parks I considered: County Farm Park with the gardens, Gallup Park with the river and fishing pond, and Allmendinger with the old fashioned merry-go-round. I went with Ford Heritage Park because my daughter always says it is her favorite park.

So back to my questions, what do you/your child consider to be the coolest playground in Ann Arbor? What is the coolest playground you’ve ever taken them to (or been on yourself)?


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