Are you planning to travel and want to find the best playgrounds for you and your family to visit across the country? From New York to California, there are amazing playgrounds across the United States, and you don’t want to miss a single one. We love discovering new playgrounds in every new city, state, or country we visit!
However, because there are so many parks across the nation, it’s hard to find the best ones to go to. When you search ‘Best playgrounds around me’ on the internet, there will be hundreds of options that pop up. Whether you are looking for the coolest playgrounds in the world, the coolest playgrounds in America, kids’ playgrounds, or playgrounds for older kids, there are so many to choose from that it can easily become overwhelming.
To help you figure out which parks are the best of the best and the ones that you should not miss, we have compiled a list of the 20 best playgrounds in the United States that will be great for you and your family. If you’re ever in any of these states, be sure to check out these unique playgrounds.
Below are the top 20 kids’ playgrounds and best playgrounds in that world that can be found in the United States:
1. New York Hall of Science Playground: Corona, New York
One of the best playgrounds in NYC is the New York Hall of Science Playground. The New York Hall of Science Playground, otherwise known as the NYSCI, is a stem off of the New York Hall of Science. The New York Hall of Science was founded in 1964-65 and has grown over the years to be one of the most interactive and innovative science exhibits for children and parents alike.
The NYSCI was designed to serve the communities of New York by providing them hands-on learning experiences in the science and technology area. While there are many areas and places within the NYSCI, one of the most popular is the science playground. Within the science playground, there are:
- Fog Machines
Through these different elements of the playground, locals and tourists can learn all about motion, balance, sound, sight, and machines. The park is open Monday-Friday from 9:30 am-5 pm on the weekdays between March and October and 10 am-6 pm on the weekends. In November, the playground is open from 9:30 am-4 pm on weekdays and from 10 am-4 pm on weekends. Admission is only $5 per person.
2. Woodland Discovery Playground: Memphis, Tennessee
If you and your family are heading anywhere near Tennessee, we highly recommended that you make a pit stop at the Woodland Discovery Playground in Memphis. What makes this playground so fun is that it was designed by kids so that kids would love it. Little theorists and landscape architects worked together to make this place special for kids of all ages.
When planning a trip to the park, make sure you plan what you want to do when you get there since there are so many options. Below are some options at this playground:
- For kids
- On foot
- On wheels
- In the trees
- On horseback
- For dogs
- On the water
- In the open
- For your taste buds
- Gift shop
The hours of this playground are from 9 am-5 pm daily.
3. World of Wonder Playground: Athens, Georgia
The World of Wonder, otherwise known as WOW, park and playground in Georgia is one that will leave you saying wow. The playground is one that children of all ages love because of its ten slides, including its highest three-story slide.
This park also features an Augmented Reality play area where you can dive into the gaming experience of AR. Some other features of this park include:
- Ten Slides
- Biba Activated Playground
- Dynamo Apollo Spinner
- Robe web climber
- Swinging area
- Central plaza
- Lawn play areas
- Walking path
The best part about this park is that it is designed to suit families, those with impairments, and parents who need a break. The park is open Monday-Friday beginning at 8:00-sunset and Saturday-Sunday from 9:00 am-sunset.
4. Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground: Fort Wayne, Indiana
This playground that is located in Indiana is Indiana’s very first boundless playground, meaning that it is the first playground in Indiana that is designed to be truly inclusive of many children. This means that those children with physical or mental impairments can still enjoy themselves here.
No child will ever feel left out again at this playground. There are activities for children of all ages and abilities so that even those who are often left out have a place to enjoy themselves and belong. Some primary areas of recreation at this park include:
- Alpha Pod (2-5 years)
- Beta Pod (2-12 years)
- Gamma Pod (5-12 years)
The park is open every Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm so plan to make the most of your time at this all-inclusive park.
5. Project Playground: Juneau, Alaska
Alaska is much more than snow and cold weather. In fact, there are a lot of amazing places to go and see, one of them being the Project Playground. The Project Playground is a proposed playground that was planned for years before being put into action.
The community works together to make sure that the playground stays maintained and well-kept. While the Project Playground has had little fanfare recently, it is being brought back into central view, so take a trip to it if you have the chance to.
6. Tatum’s Garden: Salinas, California
If you want to visit and inclusive and eye-opening park that allows children of all needs and abilities the chance to have fun, Tatum’s Gardens is the way to go. The park’s vision is to allow children of all abilities to have an abundant play.
This playground was created and inspired by a young girl names Tatum Bakker who suffers from Spina Bifida. Because of her, the community created an entire playground to allow her to have fun just like every other child does.
This park is large and includes a variety of different things to do. It was designed by experienced designers and architects to ensure that the park lives up to everything it could possibly be.
7. Preston’s H.O.P.E.: Beachwood, Ohio
Yet another United States accessible and equal opportunity park is the Preston’s H.O.P.E. park that is located in Ohio. It is a free park that is funded by donations given by the community and otherwise.
This park is 60,000 feet large and features a variety of things for children of all ages to do. Some most exciting and popular exhibits include the:
- The Imagination Village- make-believe houses
- Raised Walkway
- Play Theatre
- Sand Area
This park is open from 8 am-8 pm daily and is accessible to children all the way from preschool to school age.
8. Brooklyn’s Playground: Pocatello, Idaho
Brooklyn’s Playground was formed because play is essential for the development of all children. Because of this, this playground is designed around all children, even those that have physical and mental impairments.
This playground was built off of a volunteer effort so that all children can come together, interact, and grow with one another through play. They are currently taking donations to make this playground all that it can be for the children of the community and beyond.
9. Rural Studio Lion’s Park Playscape: Greensboro, Alabama
Rural Studio, or Lion’s Park Playscape, is a unique take on a park and playground. Rather than focus on the little pieces of the environment, this park places an emphasis on the bigger aspects of the environment.
To do so, rather than focusing on physical activity equipment, this Alabama playground decided to place more emphasis on mental stimulation as well as development. Through this, they foster creativity, competition, and challenge and teach them valuable skills that they will use later in life.
Some of the exhibits that can be found at this park include:
- A maze of galvanized drums
- Used for shapes, sounds and more
- Kids can run through them
- There are various activities to do with them
10. Castle Park: Winter Park, Florida
This playground in Florida will make you feel like you are in ancient times. With the primary play area being made of a large wooden structure, you and your children will be transported to a much earlier time.
This structure is not only appealing to the eye but also allows for a lot of imagination and playtime for the kids. It features swings and slides along with various other areas to play in.
The hours for this park run from 8 am to dusk and the recommended age is from 5 to 12 years old.
11. Kamakana Playground: Kona, Hawaii
What better place to adventure than the beautiful and tropical islands of Hawaii? While visiting Hawaii, if you and your children need a fun and adventurous sight to see, head over to the Kamakana Playground in Kona.
This playground has been described as if it came straight from a storybook with its uniquely shaped tables, tribal carvings, and Hawaiian canoes. Below are some of the most eye-catching features that make this park and playground so special:
- Wooden castle
- Massive slide
- Tire swings
- Whale sculpture
- Separate area for smaller kids
- Ocean views
- Walking paths
- Tennis courts
- Horseshoe courts
This park is open every day from 6 am to 8 pm.
12. Hope Park: Frisco, Texas
Nothing says hope more than a beautiful and unique park where your family can bond, interact, and have fun. As with other parks that have been mentioned in this article, what makes this park so special is that it was built with the intent for every child to be able to play, no matter what the age or disability.
This is no ordinary playground, however, as it has different areas and things to do. Below are some featured areas to play in the park:
- Tot Lot (2-5 years old)
- Big Kid Lot (5-12 years old)
- Friendship Park
This playground is safer than others due to the face that the surface is made of rubber. Some fun activities that children can do here include the following:
- Climbing walls
- Sensory area
13. Panhandle Playground – San Francisco
When you travel to San Francisco, be prepared to see a lot of unique and different things. That is what it is known for, and the Panhandle Park is no exception. Panhandle Park is funded and supported by the LetsPlaySF! Campaign.
In coordination with them, they have created a park that includes a sandbox in which children can dig for treasures. On top of that, this park also has climbing surfaces, swings, and an area for both younger and older children.
When this park was being built, they wanted it to blend into the area which is surrounded by trees, so everything in the park is made of natural materials.
14. Artists at Play – Seattle
Seattle brought creativity and imagination to life in this playground. Rather than being an average playground with just slides and swings, this playground is free to the public and was designed to inspire children to be more creative and get inspired.
This park focuses on the following areas of art:
- Musical Instruments
- Sound Swings
- Play Mounds
Through these, children can still have fun while also reaching the goal of being more creative and intuitive in the arts. Now, it has grown to be one of the most popular places to visit with a family in Seattle, so don’t miss out!
15. Shane’s Inspiration Griffith Park – Los Angeles
Shane’s Inspiration is described to be an inspiration and a ‘beacon of light’ for the community it serves. As with a lot of the other parks that we have touched on in this article, this park is an accessible park for all types of children. What makes it special, however, is that it was the first Universally accessible playground in the Western United States.
The following are the different things that children can do at the park no matter whether or not they have physical or mental impairments:
- Jetway cruising
- Space shuttle
- Sail away
This park continues to grow and inspire children to have fun and not be ashamed of their scars, illnesses, impairments, or anything else for that matter.
16. Esplanade Playground – Boston
One of the best playgrounds in Boston is the Esplanade Playground. The esplanade Playground is not just one playground, however, but is instead three full playgrounds. Each of the playgrounds is built to be used all year long with a variety of ages.
This playground is not only built for children to play on but was also built to help children gain upper body strength. To do so, this playground features activities such as climbing, sliding, zip-lining, and more. There are also more complicated and challenging things for older kids such as fire poles, monkey bars, and so on.
17. Watkins Regional Park- Wizard of Oz Theme – Maryland
If you or your family are fans of The Wizard of Oz, this is definitely a must-see. This playground is built entirely in tune with the theme of the Wizard of Oz. To get to the playground, you must first follow the yellow brick road where you will find the farm, the poppy field, the Emerald City, and more.
It is a fun and interactive playground that not only allows children to play and have fun but also immerses them into a storybook land. Some featured displays and play areas of the park include:
- Freestanding Play Areas
- Sitting Areas
18. KidzZone Indoor Playground – NJ
If the weather is dark and gloomy, but you still need a way for your children to run off their energy while traveling in New Jersey, don’t fret just yet because there is a great playground for you. The KidzZone playground in New Jersey is an indoor playground that your kids can enjoy for hours on end.
You can come here for fun, for a birthday party, and more. They open at 10 am every day and feature various things such as slides, trampolines, and more.
19. America the Beautiful Park Fantasy Playground – Colorado Springs
One of the best playgrounds in Colorado Springs is known as America the Beautiful Park Fantasy Playground. This park and playground have places to relax, places to play, and all kinds of spots for both kids and parents alike.
Some of the most popular elements and amenities that can be found in the park include the following:
- Walking paths
- Picnic area
- Quirks (interactive pieces)
20. Adams Playground Park – Chicago
One of the best playgrounds in Chicago is the Adams Playground Park which can also be called the Georg and Adele Park. Located on a 0.78-acre lot, this park has a variety of indoor activities for both children and adults.
This park was first established in the year 1902 and has been a central part of the community since. Some of the most popular features in the park include:
- Water spray feature
- Playground sandbox
- Picnic grove
- Playground fieldhouse
Overall, there is no more need to fret about what parks you should visit out of the hundreds of options. Instead, if you are planning a trip to any of the areas mentioned above, these parks and playgrounds are definitely ones that you should check out. Take the family, have fun, and be creative.
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!