Whether you are road tripping with little ones this summer or just in the mood for a young-at-heart adventure, there are incredible playgrounds to check out all over the United States. Scheduling in a visit to a cool playground can be a great way to convince (bribe) kids to go to an art museum or historical sight beforehand. Dissipating some energy also makes dinner or lunch at a restaurant that much more tolerable.
Here are some of our favorites from sleek to wacky to innovative. What did we miss? Please let us about know your favorite playgrounds in the comments below.
Photo by: City Museum
MonstroCity, St. LouisBuilt out of found objects, this "post-Apocalyptic" structure is part of the eclectic
City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.
Photo by: Flickr/Chimey Bleu
Kamakana Playground, Kona HawaiiLocated on the Big Island, this playground boasts a zip line, model train and ship, climbing structures, and incredible views. For those who prefer to exercise their brains, there are chess tables built into lava rock.
Photo by: Fairfax Gov.
Clemyjontri Park, Fairfax County, VAThis huge playground was conceived to allow children of all physical abilities play side by side. Its thoughtful design makes it accessible to those in wheelchairs, who use braces, or have developmental disabilies.
Photo by: Yerba Buena Gardens
Yerba Buena Playground, San FranciscoThis playground is built on the rooftop of the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco. It features a 25-foot slide that whooshes kids to a spongy rubber play pit.
Photo by: New York City Park Hopper
Nelson A. Rockefeller Playground, NYCThere are 500-plus playgrounds in New York City and this one is arguably the best. Climbing structures, sand tables, and a cute pedal merry-go-round encourage children to interact and have fun together.
Photo by: New York City Hall of Science
Science Playground, QueensThe playground at the New York Hall of Science is the biggest of its kind in the country. Explore sound, light, and mechanics or just swing and climb on the park's innovative equipment.
Photo by: Waltarrrr/Flickr
La Laguna Playground, San Gabriel CAHistoric La Laguna Playground is populated by 14 concrete monster sculptures instead of traditional equipment. Built in a sand-filled lagoon, it was designed by Mexican artist Benjamin Dominguez. Preservationists saved it from demolition in 2006.
Photo by: City of Berkeley
Adventure Playground, Berkeley CAFor families who are more "Mad Max" than "Madeline," the Adventure Playground recalls a far away time before personal injury lawyers were invented. Saw, hammer and paint your own play structure.
Photo by: Austin Parks Dept.
Imagination Playground, AustinArchitect
David Rockwell designed this "playground in a box." Kids can use creativity and foam blocks to build their own idea of a playground almost anywhere.