Playground installations are more than just structures of fun - they're vibrant canvases of childhood imagination and physical development. These carefully crafted spaces serve as bustling hubs where laughter intertwines with learning and where friendships are built through shared moments of exploration.
From towering slides to intricate climbing structures, these installations are the core of our communities, inviting children and their caregivers to embark on endless quests of play. Below are some of the latest playground installations that have been added to communities near you in 2023. Hopefully they will serve as inspiration for your upcoming playground project!
McCauley Park – Nixa, MO
McCauley Park is over 8,500 square feet of inclusive play opportunities! It is a National Demonstration Site for both Play On! and 7 Principals of Inclusive Playground Design. It features custom towers, a custom steel roof over our GT Wave inclusive net climber and Lappset’s YALP Interactive Play! Sona Arch interactive play piece, two separate ramped 5-12 and 2-5 structures, ADA accessible sidewalk surrounding the perimeter of the playground.
Moving beyond minimum accessibility guidelines, this park intentionally addresses the development of the whole child, aligns with evidence-based design principles of the whole environment, and ultimately benefits the whole community by providing a meaningful destination for individuals of all ages and abilities to play together.
Southeast Metro Park – Del Valle, TX
Southeast Metropolitan Park located in Del Valle, TX is a community friendly park with athletic fields, playgrounds, exercise trails, and a little-known two-mile primitive hiking trail with views of the countryside and the city skyline.
In the 1950’s, a Mosasaur Dinosaur Fossil was found nearby Southeast Metro Park in Onion Creek. The design of this playground showcases the Mosasaur as the center piece and incorporates other aquatic and plant life from the cretaceous period. The Mosasaur Fossil is on display at the Texas Memorial Museum at UT Austin.
Also included in the project are two GFRC Sea Turtles, Inclusive Whirl, Whirlin' Robin, Sprout Climbers, Wavy Grass, Sensory Walls, Sphere Steppers, freestanding roll-on Glide, Swings and hillside play components. Hillside play features are slide, banister rails and cargo climber. The Mosasaur project is completed with PIP safety surfacing.
Central Park – Wood River, IL
The Wood River Parks and Recreation Department, with funding from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, installed a new one-of-a-kind all-inclusive playground with poured-in-place rubber surfacing at Central Park in Wood River, IL.
The large inclusive structure includes two completely enclosed towers, two tube slides – one being a spiral slide, various climbers including the splitter climber, stepping pods, overhead events, sensory wave link, various activity panels and musical play components. Along with the play equipment, the project included a fitness challenge course with artificial turf and timing system for families to enjoy and stay healthy together. The park funding also included benches, concrete sidewalks and borders.
Newark Park – Newark, MD
Newark Park playground is a farm themed playground honoring the location of an old John Deere store. This playground features a 5-12 barn themed play structure with a spiral slide, silo, custom tractor climber and cornstalk climbers. The play space also includes an inclusive seesaw, spin-with-me and swings. A custom interactive animal panel offers children a unique play experience. This playground is completed with engineered wood fiber (EWF) safety surfacing and a sway bench under a nearby shade tree.
Harbor Drive Wellness Park – Lake Ridge, VA
Harbor Drive Wellness Park is a custom play and fitness project in Prince William County. Located off Minnieville Road in Lake Ridge, the long-awaited Harbor Drive Park is the first dedicated wellness park in the county's Occoquan District and provides residents with universal fitness equipment accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities.
Situated on 2.5 beautiful acres, the Harbor Drive Wellness Park includes the county's first fully accessible playground, meadows, a pollinator garden and a looped walking trail. The project includes custom freestanding flower shades, play equipment featuring honeycomb climbers, roller table, caterpillar climber, butterfly climber, dragonfly seesaw, arch saucer swings and custom honeycomb pattern poured-in-place safety surfacing. The play area is nicely fenced with the wellness area outside to include several fitness stations.
Pirate’s Wharf – Quantico, MD
Pirate’s Wharf is a large nature themed playground with lots of play activities. This playground design includes one GameTime play structure for ages 5-12 with a large GFRC Treehouse, integrated shade, TriNet, GFRC log climbers and balance beam, mushroom stepping pods and a boulder functionally linked.
The play space also includes a Whirlwind Seat and swings including adaptive seats. Children can enjoy finding the hidden animals included in the GFRC Treehouse. The playground is completed with engineered wood fiber (EWF) safety surfacing.
Lafayette Square Park – St. Louis, MO
Lafayette Park was dedicated in 1851 as the first public park in the City of St. Louis. This 30-acre park was set aside from the St. Louis Common Grounds in 1836. It is considered by many to be the oldest public park west of the Mississippi River.
Most recently, they have added a new GameTime playground to the park. It includes two play structures, a freestanding VistaTwist Tower net climber, sensory wave climber, Sensory Cove climber cozy spot and swings. The 2-5 age play structure has various climbers and a slide for age-appropriate play.
The 5-12 age play structure includes stainless steel slides, climbers with graduated challenge levels, the popular river rock climber, wall ladder climber, and other activities to keep children active. The playground is completed with poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing.
Woodland Veterans Park in Shawnee, OK
Woodland Veterans Park was completely recreated from an existing park to include large established trees bringing the feel of nature to downtown. Although this is a downtown pocket park, it offers a lot of play value with its freestanding GameTime equipment including a large net climber, Merry-GO-ALL, TriRunner, outdoor musical instruments and trending playful landscape feel.
The playful landscape mound features a net climber, shade, slide and crawl-through tunnel. A unique play space recreating interest, beauty and fun activities for the community. The park also includes an outdoor amphitheater, walking trail and stage style overlook on the large playground.
Plan Your Playground for 2024
As you can see, 2023 was a big year for Cunningham Recreation! We are proud to continue our efforts in providing commercial playground equipment and park products to communities across the U.S. If you’d love to see your community being more active in 2024, contact Cunningham Recreation today. We can discuss your vision for an upcoming project and provide you with a free quote!