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!

Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone – Ithaca, Ny

At the Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone inside the Ithaca Children’s Garden, when it comes to unstructured, natural play—anything goes. There are locust logs, straw bales, river clay, cardboard, sand, shovels and other materials, all of which invite little explorers to play, destruct, work together, solve problems and have fun. A recent addition the the garden, the Anarchy Zone is a combo of nature play, city farms and adventure playgrounds. Kids have so much fun digging and moving and making, they don’t realize they are working, too!

Good to know: There are 11 other exhibits at Ithaca Children’s Garden.  

Cost: Free

Online: ithacachildrensgarden.org/hands-on-nature-anarchy-zone

photo: Ithaca Children's Garden via Facebook

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

— Kate Loweth & Gabby Cullen