Tag Archives: atlanta

The Quest for Playgrounds

We hit two completely different but exciting playgrounds on our southern travels, both worth a mention because I’m totally obsessed with playground design.  It’s just so exciting to find a playground that isn’t made up of the exact same set of a dozen different elements, just arranged differently or set out in different colors.

Chehaw Play Park in its old-fashioned wooden glory.

First, the play park at Chehaw, in Albany, Georgia, was a sprawling playground with lots of imaginative elements, including a boat and a rocket ship.  This was the sort of playground that I saw more of in my youth but which has been almost entirely replaced by prefabricated plastic and metal equipment.  I guess wood was deemed to not hold up well enough.  Another nice thing about this playground was how shady it was.  The planners had clearly planted trees and designed the space a long time ago with a shady future in mind, that was greatly appreciated by us on this day in the upper 90’s.  This is in complete contrast to the playground near by grandmother’s house (one of those prefab kinds of affairs) where there’s not a tree in sight.

Mushroom and BalletBoy on the "slide" made of tiny rolling wheels in Centennial Park in Atlanta. Check out those molded "rocks."

The second was the playground in Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta.  This is more of the prefabricated type of play equipment, but there were a few innovative additions.  Also, the otherwise flat space had been cleverly molded into rubbery faux hills and rocks.  I’ve been seeing these increasingly in parks, especially on a small scale.  I hope more playspaces decide to install them as they are so much more open-ended and interesting than just another slide.  Large sunshades covered the area.  Overall, worth the stop after we had finished our run through at the aquarium.