Summer is upon us. Which means playgrounds are officially open.
The play landscapes of today are a far cry from the rusty old slides and rickety see-saws you may have rollicked on as a kid.
The coolest playgrounds in the world are more than giant hunks of plastic and metal; they’re also magnificent works of art.
BUGA O5 PLAYGROUND: An intricate web of orange-and-white paths weave throughout manicured grass hills in this park designed to look like the bottom-side of a leaf. It was created in 2005 for the annual National Garden Festival in Munich, Germany.
BRUMLEBYEN: Three wobbly houses mirror the 19th century architecture of Brumleby, Copenhagen, where this playground is found. Children can climb up the curved walls, slide out of windows and scurry from house-to-house connected by suspended bridges.
WOODS OF NET: Children can jump, roll and crawl in this entirely hand-knitted net located at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan.
KAMANKANA PLAYGROUND: Constructed on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Kona, Hawaii, this tropical jungle gym features a volcano made of lava rock, picnic tables shaped like Hawaiian islands and a 20-foot zipline.
GHOST TRAIN PARK: Recycled materials from an electric railroad track in Lima, Peru makes incredibly cool tire swings and climbing structures.
IMAGINATION PLAYGROUND: Using sand, water and foam blocks, kids channel their own creativity to custom-build a playspace. The transformable playground, first tested in Brooklyn, puts a unique twist on traditional fixed monkey bars, see-saws and slides.
LANDAL MIGGELENBERG PARK PLAYGROUND: Nestled deep in the woods of Hoenderloo, Netherlands, this castle-like structure encircled by water clearly gets its inspiration from the surrounding environment.
PARQUE GULLIVER: The body of Lemuel Gulliver, the protagonist of Gulliver's travels, is transformed into a giant playing field of caves (his sleeves), stairs (his legs) and slides (his hair) in Valencia, Spain.
NISHI ROKUGO: Hundreds of tires sculpted into 27-foot dragons, robots, mountains and tunnels are the focal features of this playland in Tokyo.
MONSTROCITY: Four-foot wide Slinkies, aeroplane fuselages and wrought-iron netting create a post-apocalyptic scene at the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.
CLEMYIONTRI PARK: The two-acre, rainbow-coloured park in Fairfax County, Virginia is specially designed for disabled children, including swings with high backs and rubber flooring for wheelchairs.
THE SCIENCE PLAYGROUND: Children can study the law of physics experimenting with a giant lever or a 150-foot energy wave at the 30,000-square-foot outdoor space, which is part of the New York Hall of Science in Queens, N.Y.
CHILEAN MINERS PLAYGROUND: Industrial-like robots, aeroplanes and other structures fashioned out of metal scraps fill this park in Chuqui, an abandoned mining town in northern Chile.
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