Our kids love a good playground, throw in the adjective ‘adventure’ to describe a playground, and they’re onto it. We have an ‘Adventure Playground’ not far from our Adelaide home. In the school holidays it’s crawling with small folk, pepped up on adrenaline, but when those kids are at school, our ‘unschooled‘ kids just about have it all to themselves… Heaven for the kids, and mum! Adventure playgrounds are the really cool ones with huge slides, climbing frames that dubiously pass ‘safety inspections’, wooden forts with a fireman’s pole and flying foxes. Sadly due to modern ‘safety inspections’ and general mollycoddling of kids, these days, adventure playgrounds are a rare and sacred space for children. A recent visit to our local St. Kilda Adventure Playground, north of Adelaide, had us wondering, “Where are the coolest Playgrounds on the planet?”
Yes, there are two St. Kilda Adventure playgrounds, both sharing such an unfortunate name! Ours in Adelaide is near the outer northern suburb of Salisbury, on the coast, in to be honest a rather ugly destination. If you’re not a local fisherman, or a family looking for fun, there really is no reason to visit St Kilda, but please don’t let that put you off, because the playground is AMAZING. The slides are huge, and really fast, especially if you bring soft cloth to sit on, the kids can also gather speed on the flying fox, and their imaginations will run wild on the fort, in the maze and on the pirate ship.
Very cool Pirate Ship
The St Kilda Adventure playground in Melbourne was designed to be like a big ‘back yard’ for the local children, many of which are living in nearby high-rise blocks of flats. The local children also contribute to the colourful decorations on the play equipment.
JAPAN – Takino Hillside Playground, near Tokyo
Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Parkis a Japanese national government park located in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The park covers over 395.7 hectares of hilly country and ranges which is separated into six zones: the Mountain Stream Zone, Central Zone, Lodging Zone, Forest Experience Zone, Nature Observation Zone, and Preservation Zone (not open to the public). During the winter season, the park operates as the “Takino Snow World”, providing visitors with a wide variety of winter outdoor activities.
PERU – Ghost Train Playground, Lima
When a planned electric train line was never completed, locals built this playground out of recyclable materials, constructed underneath the abandoned support columns. There are amazingly high swings, climbers, and a flying fox (zipline), mostly made from old tires, to make a thrilling playground for the young, and young at heart.
MALAYSIA – City Centre Park, Kuala Lumpur
The park was designed to showcase a heritage of tropical greenery by integrating man’s creation with nature, set in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. It features many combinations of man-made design such as cements, water features with natural features such as trees, shrubs, stones and wood. The combination of trees, shrubs and sculptures were arranged to provide color and form to the park. Features include: A 10,000 square meter man made lake with water fountains, jogging track and foot path, a Mosque and the a children’s playground with a public pool.
UKRAINE – Khmelnytskyi City Park
This bright and colourful playground is the stuff that fantasies are made of. Imaginative creatures can be climbed on, crawled through and slid down in this tree lined city park.
DENMARK – The Monstrum Playgrounds
There are many Monstrum playgrounds all over Denmark. The creators, Ole Barslund Nielsen and Christian Jensen, believe that great playgrounds should reflect the world. Their aim is to allow children to feel the excitement of being in danger and losing control for a moment. The belief is that this is the feeling required to learn to take risks in life in order to gain success, and feel great personal satisfaction when you are back in your comfort zone.
GERMANY – Britzergarten Playground, Berlin
This amazing play space in Berlin includes a water playground, mud structures, a giant world map, wildlife and fairytale style play areas.
Our Global Adventure is very much for our children, and we hope to explore lots of ‘Adventure Playgrounds’ on our travels in between monuments and museums. We’ve added the ones listed above to our wishlist, can you suggest any others that should make our Coolest Playgrounds on the Planet list?