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!

Westmoreland Park Nature Play Area – Portland, Or

Westmoreland Park Nature Play Area opened in 2014 as part of the Portland Parks and Recreation’s Nature Play Initiative. Your little ones can climb on boulders, traverse logs, dig in sand and use cut pine branches to make forts and caves. The park opening went hand-in-hand with the restoration of the Crystal Springs Creek wetland so be sure to check out the play creek for the kids. There’s also a giant grove of sequoia trees and a picnic area. Get more details from our insider’s guide here.  

Good to know: Going during the winter season? Bring your own water because the drinking fountains will be off.

Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/westmorelandparkandnatureplayarea

photo: Kerri Logan via Flickr


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

— Kate Loweth & Gabby Cullen