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!

play:groundNYC – Governor’s Island, New York

Play:groundNYC is the first wild playscape in the New York City area. The 5,000 square foot space follows other Adventure Playground formats—designed as a junkyard of sorts and filled with “trash”—which means kids are free to build, wreck, move, dig, create and take chances at their own pace and level. There’s an area just for the tiniest adventurers (a mud kitchen that requires parental supervision), and there’s a junk play area for kids ages six and up (supervised by play-workers). The only “rule” is to wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Check out our insider’s guide to find out more.

Good to know: play:ground is seasonal and will close on Oct. 1 until Spring of 2018.

Online: play-ground.nyc

photo: courtesy play:ground


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

— Kate Loweth & Gabby Cullen