How to Plan and Design a Destination Playground
Destination playgrounds have the unique ability to bring a community together as well as draw in people from other communities. Because of their uniqueness, people are willing to travel to these destination playgrounds to provide their children with a one-of-a-kind play experience. Destination playgrounds typically incorporate a theme, honor local history, or include unexpected elements while providing a place for all ages and abilities to gather.
ABC Recreation alongside our playground supplier, Landscape Structures, works with Landscape Architects to create one-of-a-kind destination playgrounds. If you’re working with a client who is planning a large multigenerational or inclusive playground, contact ABC Recreations’ design experts! We’d love to hear your ideas and discuss how we can help bring your vision to life.
Below we discuss important factors to consider when planning and designing a destination playground:
Envision your Play Area
A great destination playground will complement your communities’ unique personality and be an attraction for years to come. Work with a Landscape Architect or ABC Recreation for help in laying out an efficient and exciting design that follows accessibility and safety guidelines to ensure you create a beautiful playground that is safe, fun, and comfortable for all visitors. Get started by defining objectives for your play area:
- What ages and abilities will use this play area?
- How many visitors will play at once?
- Are there unique historical characteristics, a color scheme or theme you’d like to incorporate?
- Do you need additional amenities such as shade, benches, or waste receptacles?
Analyze your Site
The characteristics of your site, including both natural and man-made elements, can greatly impact the design of your playground. will work with you to analyze your site to make the most of the natural topography, nearby trees and shrubbery, and existing walking paths to create a beautiful play environment. Consider the following when choosing your playground site:
- Will the slope and soil conditions of your site allow for proper drainage?
- Is there existing vegetation that can be incorporated into your design?
- Does your site receive high levels of wind or precipitation, or hot afternoon sun?
- Can the playground be located near existing amenities such as parking, restrooms and walking/biking paths?
Select a Theme
Now that you’ve envisioned your playground and assessed your site, it’s time to create a detailed budget and design a playground that will meet the needs of your community. ABC Recreation and Landscape Structures can help you design your own destination playground. Our approach to custom and themed playgrounds is as individual as your imagination. Everything in our design process is driven by your goals and singular ideas. Landscape Structures has created castles, aliens, sports themes, and more. Our Custom Design team is always full of great ideas to get you started. Be sure to consider other design elements:
- Do you want your playground to have a modern look, mimic the environment or carry out a theme?
- What freestanding play elements will you incorporate?
- Spinners, swings, or seesaws?
- How much challenge do you want to incorporate?
- What inclusive elements—ramps, transfer points, sensory play, music—will your design have?
- Do you want to add fitness playground elements in your design?
- Are you designing for future phases so it’s easier to enhance your playground down the road?
Install your Playground
Enjoy and Maintain your Destination Playground
When your destination playground is ready for public use, host a grand opening party to welcome visitors and thank all those involved in the process. Grand openings are a great way to celebrate all the work that went into creating the new play area. Be sure to complete regular playground equipment inspections as well as grounds inspections to ensure that the playground is safe to use. For more detailed information, view our blog on How to Maintain your Play Space all Season Long.