Wow! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Bored of the usual playground facilities?  Then check this one out!

The Adventure Playground in Berkeley is a special place, unlike any other park we’ve experienced.  The structures are all built by children (with parental and staff supervision), using provided tools (hammers, nails, saws, and paint).  This place encourages serious creativity!  It’s best for kids seven and older, but for younger children who aren’t ready to use tools and build, the structures are fun to play on (with close parental supervision… think about the nails!).

Here’s the history of the park, copied from the City of Berkeley website…

The concept for Adventure Playground originated in Europe after World War II. A playground designer studied children playing in the at-the-time “normal” asphalt and cement playgrounds. He discovered that the children actually preferred playing in the dirt and lumber of the post-war rubble. He realized that children had the most fun designing and building their own equipment and manipulating their environment. Following this concept, Berkeley’s Adventure Playground was opened in 1978.

Super fun!  There’s a reason this playground has been called a top-ten playground by National Geographic and one of the top-five playgrounds in the United States by Newsweek!  We’ll come back here often.  My son can’t wait until he can play on the zip line when he’s six!

Interested in going?  The Adventure Playground is located in Shorebird Park at the Berkeley Marina.  Admission is free for families, but any group that includes more than five children must make a reservation and pay an entrance fee. Children older than seven may be dropped off for a fee.  Understandably, a waiver must be signed before being allowed to enter.  For more information, visit the webpage… www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/adventureplayground/.

13 Comments

  1. This is so cool – I had no idea it existed. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. A Nature Mom says:

      You’re welcome. We’re lucky to have something like this in the area!

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  2. What a great place! Really, it’s a great idea I’ve not seen duplicated! The photos are so fun, and I can’t imagine any child not finding it just wonderful! 🙂 Debra

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    1. A Nature Mom says:

      I agree! I believe there is a playground similar to this down in Huntington Beach (Los Angeles area). But I’m not sure about anywhere else…

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  3. Sohee says:

    Wow! This is an amazing playground. I love the concept. I wish my daughter were old enough to go there and play and be creative. Until then, it will be on our wish list. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Yes, I’ve been waiting a few years to finally check this place out. It’s really designed for older kids (older than my 5-year-old). However, we were there on Sunday, and I was surprised to see that more than half the parents there had kids younger than mine. The 2, 3, and 4-year-olds were having a great time… just not using the saws and hammers!

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      1. Sohee says:

        Hmmm…We will have to give it a try soon, much sooner than I thought. Yay!

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  4. Alex Jones says:

    The more natural and raw the materials the more the child seems to love playing with it.

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    1. A Nature Mom says:

      So true. Also, children thrive in an environment where they are given freedom to build and create. It’s rare these days that children are given the opportunity to use hammers and saws. And to allow them to climb on structures built by children?? Unheard of. People have become so fearful. This is a wonderful place.

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      1. Alex Jones says:

        Good to see such places exist.

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  5. Pam says:

    I bet the children love it!

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    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Seemed to me they were all loving it!

      Like

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