10 Inspiring Playgrounds For Grownups | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
There’s a saying that goes”we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Apparently, it’s a quote by George Bernard Shaw (the man left so many quotes behind, it seems he only spoke in Wise) and who are we to question the great Irish playwright? Here’s our pick of educational, heartwarming, tough, and inspiring playgrounds for all ages that will make sure you never grow up!
Old school gaming in Rotterdam
Do you remember what a pinball machine is? We still remember the frustration of when we were kids. In Rotterdam, you can relive it all. The Dutch Pinball Museum not only exhibits the old machines but you can play on them as well. The younger readers amongst you might not even know this old-school device. Which makes this the perfect opportunity to get to know it. You can either play individually or against your friends – making it kind of a social outing.
“The loser pays the first round of beer at ‘De Kaapse Brouwers’ just around the corner.”
We can only agree to that. Not all playgrounds can just be about having fun. May the best win!
Explore a universe of active play in Chicago
A huge climbing wall, a massive jungle gym, a picnic spot, a children’s play area, and plenty more. The relatively recently opened Maggie Daley Park, a world of a playground in downtown Chicago, has something for the whole family. There is something special that our Spotter Ben likes about this park the most:
Originally opened in the winter of 2015, the elaborate ice skating ribbon stands out to me the most. It’s so much different than your typical ice skating rink. The ribbon meanders around the climbing wall with trees on the outside and an outstanding view of one of the best skylines in the world.
Reach the bottom flying in San Francisco
“Adults must be accompanied by children.”
For some spots, the stories behind them are as valuable as the actual physical locations and the experiences they can provide. One such spot is the Seward Street Slides in San Francisco:
“The slides were built in 1973 in this park that was originally slated for development. A 14-year old girl won a contest by designing the slides that have been enjoyed here for the last 40 years.”
Simple; charming; fun. Local Sasha recommends bringing some cardboard to make sure you slide down as effortlessly as possible, but you should be able to find some left around the slides, too. Probably one of the most fun playgrounds we’ve ever heard of.
Work out in the world’s most hardcore outdoor gym in Kiev
There’s no lack of outdoor gyms around the world – people can pretty much find a place to exercise in the fresh air in any major city. And generally, we wouldn’t classify gyms as playgrounds. So what makes this one located in Kyiv so special? Local Yuliya explains:
“This ‘fitness center’ first opened its nonexistent doors in the 1970’s thanks to gym enthusiasts. Most of the equipment is made from scrap metal, vehicle parts, and chains taken from machinery. Locals call it ‘Kachalka’, it’s huge (literally square kilometers), it’s undoubtedly unique and it’s absolutely free to use.”
“Of course, the best time to visit it is in summer. If you are not eager to show your own muscles, who else can you see there? All kinds of sports fans in fact: youngsters trying to follow some muscle-growing programs from Men’s Health, aged former champions who are still able to impress you with their gymnastic or powerlifting skills, elderly ladies, adepts at non-straining fitness approaches or real sun-tanned bodybuilders, some of them even in traditional Ukrainian Kozaks’ clothes.”
Make some swing music in Montreal
We bet you never thought swing music could ever be taken so… literally! This is a custom-made art installation known as 21 Balançoires or 21 Swings. Find 20 friends and you’ve got yourself a complete composition and orchestra. Local Nadia gives us the full lowdown:
With the arrival of spring in the city, this musical installation is mounted offering us a place to become a kid again, even if just for a few minutes.
Once you hop on the swing, the motion of each swing creates a musical note. When moving altogether, it can create a musical arrangement in which certain melodies occur. As it is explained by the creators, Daily Tous Les jours, this collaborative activity stimulates intuitive to play and experimentation amongst people of all ages and backgrounds and leads participants and spectators to become aware of each other and their environment.0
Ultimately, it creates a lively place for playing and having fun in the center of the city. It’s a swinging good time!
Never grow up in Bern
Spielplatz am Schützenweg is hidden in between two residential areas. We advise you visit to climb the treehouse, the rocket, the airplane and the pirate ship. Or to enjoy the slides and DIY-toys, the mini railway and the rusty old car wreck. But if you are still hesitant maybe start out with a drink at the community center.
Our spotter Sebastian gives us a valuable tip on how to enjoy the playground as an adult:
Pro-tip for non-parents: take a seat on the “deck” of the pirate ship, watch the scenery from above, from time to time loudly shout a random children’s name so that everybody hears – and you will not draw any attention at all.
Feel like a star in Malmo
Teaterlekplatsen is a themed playground where you can feel like the star in your own play! It’s one of the 20 themed playgrounds in the city. Spotter Johan. describes it as follows:
Theatre-themed Teaterlekplatsen is one of Malmö’s most popular playgrounds, infused with colorful elements from the stage and theatre, such as a ticket booth, a “carousel” made out of different sceneries and, as seen in the picture, a two-story castle, all very inviting! For me as a child it would’ve been a dream come true – we were always putting on plays, forcing our parents to watch! Where were playgrounds like this when I grew up?
Play with water in Hamburg
This big playground is an absolute favorite among the locals! But it’s not only for kids. Play until you are tired and then relax in the Japanese a few steps away. Our spotter Inga highly recommends visiting this spot:
Wanna feel like a child again? Come to the big playground at Planten un Blomen where I spent some of my childhood days checking the amazing equipment. If you want to have the stuff on your own, come in the early morning or late evening hours to play at the water play area and with some monkey bars. Wanna get in trouble with children? The busiest time is the summer and the holiday season during midday.
Build up courage in Zagreb
Does the idea of getting on a playground as an adult scare you a little? Well, at Trocadero you can start at the bar located right next to the playground. It’s the perfect spot to keep an eye on your kids. And after a few drinks, you’ll be living your best life on the playground in no time!
Spotter Iva gives some advice for when you actually visit with kids:
Bribe your children and have a beer while calmly watching the ice cream drip on the kids’ (and your) shoes. There are lots of parents around whose kids are (almost) as dirty as yours. Smile empathically and nod at each other in recognition. Proceed to have some more beer while your children fight in the far corner of the playground. Go home with a smile on your face and come back to Trocadero the next morning for a coffee.
Take a playfully break in Manchester
Platt Fields Park is located right in the middle of the student district Fallowfield. Students love this place to take a quick break from studying. Platt Fields wears many hats, depending on the day and season. On Saturdays, it’s the perfect place for a run. In summer multiple festivals take place and in autumn bonfires are hosted. But day to day it’s the perfect spot to just feel like a kid again. Our spotter Denise explains why she loves this spot:
The park’s permanent features include a standout BMX track, a ‘secret’ Shakespearean garden with hedges cut into mazes, basketball courts, an ancient ditch (seriously, it’s a top-notch ditch), and an eco garden dotted with imaginative environmentally friendly projects. It’s even home to the city’s only Gallery of Costume, housed in a quirky mansion (currently closed for renovation, sadly). It may have a scruffy, down-to-earth feel, but everyone knows that the best type of glamour is faded.