Take a break from the slide, monkey bars and teeter totter routine. These unstructured playgrounds bring play to a whole other level with zip lines, rope swings and giant logs to climb. Kids will use their creativity as well as their muscles to explore and build new worlds. Flip through the pics to find one near you!

aAdventure Playground – Berkeley, Ca

This incredible, half-acre "wild" play space has been open since 1979 and is one of most lauded playgrounds in the country. A mix between Neverland and Lord of the Flies, the entire space is filled with scrap wood, old spare parts, paint, zip lines and any other creative building material you can think up. Visitors can climb and build upon the unique, kid-designed-and-built boats, forts and other structures and can paint on anything in the entire park (except each other!). Based on European-style spaces, Adventure Playground encourages kids to think and play creatively. And that killer view of San Francisco? It only adds to the imagination.

Good to know: This play space is best for kids ages seven and over. Little siblings are welcome, but only with direct supervision from mom or dad.

Cost: Free

Online: ci.berkeley.ca.us/adventureplayground

photo: Patrick Buechner via Flickr


Know of an unstructured playground near you? Give it a shout-out in the comments below!

— Kate Loweth & Gabby Cullen