Family Travelers Share their Favorite Playgrounds around the World

This post is part of our playground series on the world’s best playgrounds.

Part of traveling with children is looking for activities to run off some energy after a long drive or flight or walk through a museum. One of those activities is a playground! They are generally free and are a good way to kill time, or let kids run around!

I’ve asked some family travelers to share their favourite playgrounds around the world!

You can click on the links to get more information on each of the playgrounds from the writers.

 

Mary from Bohemian Travelers chose a playground in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Pertains Towers Playgrounds, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petronas Towers Playground, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The playground in front of the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur is perhaps the biggest playground I have ever seen.  The back drop of the towers, water play area, age divided sections, and attention to safety make it one of the nicest spots to stop and let kids of all ages romp around!”

Terumi from An Emerald City Life chose a playground in Seattle, WA, USA

Artists at Play at Seattle Centre is right under the Space Needle!

Artists at Play at Seattle Centre is right under the Space Needle!

High climbing structures makes this a great park for older children

High climbing structures makes this a great park for older children

Artists at Play is an amazing new structure at Seattle Center. It seems geared for older climbers-maybe 5-12-and the height might be a little terrifying for parents who watch kids swing high above their heads. But my kids love it and there are lots of other playthings in the park for smaller climbers and it feels like a lot of effort has been made to get kids to think creatively in their play here so I’m very thankful for this playground.
Karilyn from No Back Home chose a playground in Mumbai, India
Airplane Playground, Mumbai, India

Airplane Playground, Mumbai, India

India is not a place most would think of for awesome playgrounds, so it is funny that one of our favorite playgrounds in the world is in Mumbai. In the northern suburbs tucked away from the tourist zone sits one of the most unique and eye catching parks. Entering the gate, you are welcomed by a small garden where senior citizens practice their daily asanas on the grass and where kids frolic on a life sized Air India replica airplane.

This is airplane number two for this park. After the last one was taken down, no one believed another one would be built. But Voila!

This one is even better. Made out of concrete, this one is here to stay. With stair entrances on either side, rows of seats and a pilot seat of course, this is a traveling kids dream come true! Acting as passengers, the adults can sit and chat while the kiddos conduct seat belt checks, announce take off and landing and have fun being in charge.  The playground also has the regular fare of swings and a play structure, but this is the real gem that kids come for.

Inside of the Plane

Inside of the Plane

As is common in India, the garden charges a nominal entrance fee (a few cents) and is only open in the early morning hours and late afternoon/evening. This is a perfect remedy for visitors with early morning jet lag! The playground is ideal for all children as long as the younger ones have supervision while on the plane structure.

Bethany from Flashpacker Family chose a playground in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Pirate Ship, Luxembourg City

Pirate Ship, Luxembourg City

The Giant Slide, Luxembourg City

The Giant Slide, Luxembourg City

We found the most amazing playground in Luxembourg City at Parc de Monterey, right in the heart of the city. This wonderful playground had swings, sand pits, a splash zone, an enormous wooden pirate ship and the tallest slide you’ve ever seen. It’s a must visit if you’re in Luxembourg with kids! Best for ages 4+ as there is a lot of climbing activitiy (but still swings and sand for young ones).

 

Eileen from FamiliesGo! chose a few playgrounds in the USA and one in Paris, France
Pier 6 Brooklyn

Pier 6, Brooklyn, NY

Pier 6 in Brooklyn, NY has a huge water feature with rocks, sprinklers, streams and pumps, a huge sand area, a climbing area and swings. It as stuff for all ages. But more for age 5 and up than for toddlers/preschoolers.

Clemy Jontri Playground, Virginia

Clemy Jontri Playground, Virginia

Clemy Jontri Playground in Virginia (i want to say Fairfax) outside of Washington, DC is huge. With a carousel and all kinds of things to climb and run around and swing on, including a maze. It’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest playgrounds in the US adapted for special needs kids.

Hester St Playground, New York

Hester St Playground, New York

The Hester St. Playground in NYC is on the Eastern edge of Chinatown and you can see the influence in the way they designed it. It’s not huge but it’s only a few years old and nicely done. it’s right near all the good dim sum and Canal Street shopping. so it’s a handy play break for tourists.

A Glimpse of the Ithaca Children's Garden, New York

A Glimpse of the Ithaca Children’s Garden, New York

The Ithaca Children’s Garden in Upstate NY is cool. It’s supposed to be “free range” (although no parent is ever more than 5 feet from their kids from what i could see). But it’s all hay bales, tires, ropes, wood planks, mud puddles, a good climbing tree, and the kids build their own play space. There is an actual garden in the warm weather, bench swings, and also a HUGE stone tortoise to climb on. Your kids will get filthy and probably wet, be forewarned.

Jardian Luxembourg, Paris, France

Jardian Luxembourg, Paris, France

The Zipline at Jardian Luxembourg, Paris

The Zipline at Jardian Luxembourg, Paris

You have to pay a couple of Euros to go into the playground at the Jardian Luxembourg in Paris. But it’s worth it! Slides, play houses, climbing structures and a zipline keep kids busy all day. Local Parents sit on benches outside the fence and only pay for their kids, which i recommend with kids 7 and older or so. The cafe has pretty good coffee.

 

Julie from Road Trips for Families chose parks in Michigan, Oregon, and Texas, USA
Tunnel Park, Michigan

Tunnel Park, Michigan

Tunnel Park, Holland, Michigan

The Tunnel Park playground is one of our favourites in Michigan. The equipment is funky, modern, and different enough to keep both toddlers and big kids happy. Perhaps the best feature isn’t the playground, but that it is located at the bottom of a Lake Michigan sand dune. Steps lead up to the top (and offer sweeping views of the Great Lake), but running down is a summertime right-of-passage. Bring flip flops – you’ll never get all the sand our of your shoes!

RiverPlay Discovery Village, Eugene OR

RiverPlay Discovery Village, Eugene OR

RiverPlay Discovery Village, Eugene, Oregon

RiverPlay Discovery Village is located in Eugene’s Skinner Butte Park, which runs along the scenic bank of the Willamette River. A history lesson as much as a chance to play, the playground was designed in theme with elements relating to Eugene’s people and places. For example, kids can take a ferry ride across the Willamette River, play in a Kalapuya summer dwelling, ride a stage coach, and dig for fossils. The playground has a water element aptly named the Rain Circle, as well as a rock structure that randomly releases a stream of water down into the sand pit.

Zilker Park Train, Austin Texas

Zilker Park Train, Austin Texas

Zikler Metropolitan Park Playground, Austin, Texas

Zikler Metropolitan Park is to Austin as Central Park is to Manhattan. A popular spot for a stroll and Sunday picnic with your family, kids love watching the Zikler Zephyr passenger train pass below the bridge leading to the playground area. Partially shaded, the playground features traditional slides and climbing structures mixed among whimsical additions including an antique fire truck. If you go in the heat of summer, bring your bathing suits and towels. You don’t want to pass up a dip in the Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed aquifer with a year-round average temperature of 68 degrees.

Keri from Baby Globetrotters chose a playground in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Pirate Ship, Abu Dhabi

Pirate Ship, Abu Dhabi

Toddler Slide, Abu Dhabi

Toddler Slide, Abu Dhabi

Tire Swing, Abu Dhabi (I love the urban scene in the background!)

Tire Swing, Abu Dhabi (I love the urban scene in the background!)

The Family Park on the Corniche is ideal for city dwellers in Abu Dhabi and visitors alike.  Centrally located near major tourist attractions including the Corniche beach front and the World Trade Center Souk, this is a wonderful little oasis in the desert capital of the UAE.

Not one play park but six little parks joined together there’s something for all age groups and interests.  Very small tots will like the little swings and slides in the toddler park, whilst bigger kids love the pirate ship and big tire swing.  During the very hot summers the splash park is the perfect place to cool down.

 

What is your favourite playground around the world? Let me know in the comments!

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Lindsay is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and very recently discovered she loves to write.

23 thoughts on “Family Travelers Share their Favorite Playgrounds around the World

  1. Cherri Megasko

    These are awesome! A few weeks ago I took my two (toddler) grandsons camping for the first time. Our saving grace was a really nice playground right across from our site. It kept them from getting board and provided a safe place for them to expend their pent-up energy.

  2. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    Keeping energetic children of all ages properly exercised isn’t necessarily the easiest thing when traveling. This is a great collaborative post. How surprised I was to see a playground that I know from my own childhood in West Michigan! You’re right, running down the sand dunes and climbing back up to do it all over again makes for happy (and tired at the end of the day) kids! I think when next we visit back home, I’ll head for the dunes myself.

  3. Trisha Velarmino

    I don’t have kids yet but this is a fantastic list! My favourite in your list is the one in Luxembourg. It’s good to expose children to a different kind of concept of a playground (based on my experience as a teacher). Thanks for sharing, Lindsay!

  4. Lesley

    Fantastic list! My brother and I were just talking about this idea a few days ago. We visited Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, NB, Canada last month and the playground was massive, fun for all ages and packed with cool things. It was one of my favorites ever. It got us thinking about the best in the world and here it is :)

  5. Heather Widmer

    This is great! I love all the creativity that has gone into your highlighted playgrounds. The one in Seattle is really cool, the kiddos would definitely burn off energy at that one. I’d love to bring my niece to these places, maybe even jump on the swings myself :)

  6. Veronika Tomanova

    HI! Great compilation of playgrounds around the world! I had no idea there were so well designed places for children around the globe. Especially the one in Mumbai – what a great idea to make it out of a plane!

  7. Jenna

    I don’t have kids, but this will give me some great suggestions for when my brother and sister-in-law start traveling with their kids! Thanks for sharing so many great options. I think the Artists at Play at Seattle Centre sounds so cool–it would be one I’d like to play on myself! :)

  8. Dawn Kealing

    Okay, hands down I would have to say Luxembourg wins for coolest playgrounds! The pirate ship is AMAZING!! Even though I’m not a child anymore I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to contain myself around it.. hehe. ^_^

  9. Terumi

    That airplane playground in Mumbai looks amazing! I love hearing about playgrounds from all over the world! It is fascinating to see how kids are encouraged to play.

  10. virginie

    Hi, as a Parisian Mom I love Luxembourg Garden’s PlayGround in Paris (most of all it’s old style merry-go-round). Rome, where we live is not at the top for playgrounds but parks are so beautiful! A little nice one, with playground and a terrace to have a capuccino enjoying an amazing panoramic view: Villa Balestra (Parioli, Rome)

  11. Ynah CA

    Love seeing kids having fun when they travel. Great list! I wonder how am i going to keep up with kids energy when its my time to do the same hehe

  12. Kate and Mike

    Wonderful list! We would like to contribute also. We nominate All of Paris in general and specific playgrounds there. Our website has an infographic with pictures. You can also find it on our Pinterest site. We would also nominate the Princess Diana Memorial Playground near Kensington Palace in London. Our daughter adored it when she was 5.

  13. Laura Barta

    So many good ones! I have two favorites though that could go on your list.
    1. Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, London. I have such a fond memory of being exhausted while traveling with the kids and finding this playground. We took a tourist break to just be a family at a playground.
    2. I’m just back from Denmark and there’s so much beautiful public design there. My favorite playground was the Brumleby Playground with 3 twisted houses that you can climb through.

    It’s really encouraging to see so many wonderful playgrounds!

  14. @thetravelingfam

    What a cool list! We’ll have to check out Tunnel Park when we head to Michigan next month. Our favorite so far has been Tapiola Park in Astoria, Oregon. It has a gorgeous view of the bay and the play structures are all miniature versions of the sightseeing attractions in Astoria.

  15. Pingback: City Breaks with Kids; How to be great city explorers - Baby Globetrotters

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