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 outdoors 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 Kiev 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 all together, 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 play and experimentation amongst people of all ages and backgrounds and leads participants and spectators to become aware of each other and their environment.
Ultimately, it creates a lively place for playing and having fun in the center of the city. It’s a swinging good time!