Search icon

Travel + Fun

03rd Feb 2020

10 amazing playgrounds that will make your kids forget ALL about iPads

In a tech-obsessed world, playgrounds have never been more important.

Trine Jensen-Burke

Few things get my kids more excited than new playgrounds.

We often set out on little drives or adventures, trying to discover new parks and playgrounds, both in Dublin, where we live, but also whenever we travel or visit new places.

And I love that they love playgrounds – the being outside, the running around, the being childish and carefree and having fun – playgrounds capture the essence of childhood, I think. And especially today, in a world where children increasingly spend more and more time glued to devices and game consoles, I think throwing on some outdoor clothes and heading to the nearest playground has never been more important.

And if you fancy heading even further afield, these 10 are pretty much the coolest playgrounds in the entire world – just show them to your kids, and we think they’ll agree:

1. Brumlebyen, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Brumleby playground consists of three houses, a baker’s shop, and an ice-cream booth. The surface around the houses is cast rubber. A the-ground-is-lava snake has been set up next to the small village. Two of the snake bends give room for a swing set with a bird’s nest swing and two common swings.

2. ‘Playground,’ Hell’s Kitchen, New York, USA

“Playground,” an adorable sculpture (by artist Tom Otterness), also doubles as a jungle gym. Located in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood.

3. The Playground at Parque Gulliver, Valencia, Spain

A giant Gulliver lies sprawled on the ground at Parque Gulliver. But far from just being a statue, his body is actually a place to play, and the children, like Lilliputians in the book, “walk” on his body.


4. The fortress City, Brønshøj, Denmark

The Fortress City in Denmark is an amazing adventure land children will love to explore. A castle, streets and a town — where children can run, play, hide and pretend.

5. City Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The sky is the limit! In St. Louis, Missouri, this four-story play sculpture outside the City Museum is made from reclaimed materials, and children can play in sky-high tunnels, fire trucks, airplanes, long slides and there is also two enormous ball pits you can dive into.

6. Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Parents might be interested to learn about the history of Austrian crystal company Swarovski, but to kids, we are willing to bet that it is the playground that makes it all worthwhile. Because get this: The four-story play tower features a trampoline with mountain views, rope swings, a 45-foot-tall climbing net, and slides.

7. Water Playground, Tychy, Poland

To kids, not much is as entertaining as water, and at the Water Playground in Tychy in Poland, that is what the designers have figured out. In fact, we’ll go as far as saying this is the perfect playground for children, especially on hot summer days.

The main motive for the design was to create a water playground within the landscape, and the shape of the field is like a swimming pool — even the bottom colour is blue — surrounded by wooden benches. Within the playground are aquatic toys and flower fountains that spray water.

8. ‘Woods of Net,’ Hakone Open Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Just outside of Tokyo, Japanese fibre artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam has created the “Woods of Net” pavilion at the Hakone Open Air Museum. 

The colorful crochet structure, with limbing and swinging structures, was hand-knitted by Horiuchi MacAdam over the course of a year.

9. Neptune Park Playground, Saratoga Springs, Utah, USA

Calling all daredevils: In Saratoga Springs, Utah, you’ll find Neptune Park Playground, a 30-foot climbing pyramid that is taller than most two-story houses – and is one of the biggest playground structures of its kind. The woven ropes that stretch across each level are for climbing — and catching anyone who falls.

10. Bounce Below

At Zip World in northern Wales, a Victorian slate mine has been converted into an underground playground with giant trampolines and bouncy nets connected by walkways and slides.

Yup, that’s right – a playground under ground. The space has multiple levels, and will no doubt be of interest to kids of all ages.