Magazine article Newsweek

Serious Fun

Magazine article Newsweek

Serious Fun

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephanie Schaerr

Taking your children to the playground is a good way to fool them into getting exercise. But all playgrounds were not created equal. TIP SHEET found five that go well beyond the obligatory slide, seesaw and swing set.

Berkeley Marina Adventure Playground, Berkeley, Calif.: Boats that don't float, flat tires and old playground equipment are all popular toys at this low-tech, high-energy park. Here, kids build new things out of donated junk. The playground staff has been giving kids hammers, paintbrushes and free rein to do whatever they want (as long as they play safe) since 1978. "We're like the Old West before the sheriff came to town," says Patty Donald, playground coordinator. Something bigger is at work, too. Educational programs about reducing, reusing and recycling are producing environmentally aware youngsters.

Clemyjontri Park, McLean, Va.: If your child has special needs, this park is your mecca. The $5.3 million complex was designed to be completely accessible to all children. It's one of the only playgrounds in the country with a wheelchair-accessible carousel, and it also has a 132-foot-long wheelchair drag strip for racing. But that doesn't mean it's no fun for everyone else. The colorful play structures and interactive features ensure this park's success as a playground haven for all. The unusual name? A composite of the first names of the land donor's four children.

River Play Discovery Village in Eugene, Ore. …

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