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Best Playgrounds in Southeast Michigan

Family fun in the sun is a breeze in metro Detroit, the Ann Arbor area and beyond with these cool amped-up outdoor play spots. Get the 2013-14 details here!

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Playscape at County Farm Park

  • Address: Washtenaw and Platt roads, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-971-6337
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk year-round

Old MacDonald might have had a farm, but it hasn't got anything on this dream-like homestead playground. With animal feed troughs, a 25-foot working windmill, red-and-white-trim everything, play sheds and rubberized turf designed to look like growing crops, it's the most barnyard fun kids can have without actually visiting the real deal.

There's standard equipment like slides, a tunnel, a rock wall and a climber that will keep kids busy, but it's also got two 24-by-20-foot shade structures – in the shape of a butterfly and a flower – to add whimsy aplenty. A fresh toddler area is a standout, featuring a play John Deere tractor, horse and bumble bee spring riders, straw bail climbing blocks and a ton more moving elements – plus some nifty water features.

Timber Town

  • Address: M-52 and Shelby Road, Chelsea
  • Phone: 734-475-1145
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

According to park's advocacy group, Friends of Timber Town, the playground's got something to offer every active youngster. Built in 1996 as a mock-up of the city of Chelsea, the 12,000-square-foot playground has a clock tower, theater and a train depot, as well as a police car and a water-shooting fire truck added during a 2007 remodel to honor two of the city's fallen heroes.

Wayne County

Kids Row

  • Address: Belle Isle Park, Jefferson Avenue and East Grand Boulevard, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-628-2081
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. year-round

We can't decide what we love best about this king of all playgrounds. There's its half-acre expanse and up-to-standard safety. And, of course, the bright colors, bouncy turf, giant slide and its "double-decker merry-go-round" (encased in netting, so kids can't fall off.) And let's not forget the centrally located family comfort station – and concession stand.

But ultimately, the one element that sets it above all others is its location. Part of the city of Detroit on Belle Isle, Kids Row is a hidden oasis glimmering in the midst of our industrial metropolis. It's in the heart of downtown, yet it's close to the beach. It's got the old standards like slides, climbers and towers, as well as some pretty cool animal statues. It's great for kids 2-12, but it's got enough to keep older kids entertained for hours.

Play Planet

  • Address: Tattan Park, Carlson Street and Orr Drive, Westland
  • Phone: 734-467-3200
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

"My daughter loves it. She calls it the rocket-ship park," says mom Michaele Eckridge of the enormous Westland play structure. The gargantuan space-themed playscape is a tangle of slides, pods, towers, ramps, climbers and basically enough red and purple equipment to keep your youngster occupied for hours.

Playscape at the Waterford Bend Recreation Area

  • Address: Hines Park, Six Mile Road between Northville Road and Edward Hines Drive
  • Phone: 734-261-1990
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

Parents can chill in the large, sheltered picnic area while watching their kids play on the structure and enjoying the pleasant scenery by Middle Rouge River. This interesting play structure was imported from Belgium – and almost resembles a sculpture you'd find at an art museum. Its pieces are good for climbing, jumping and sliding. There's even an old-school tire swing.

Red, White and Blue Playground at Levagood Park

  • Address: 801 N. Denwood St., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-943-2410
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

This patriotically colored structure is actually a two-in-one. According to Dearborn deputy park director Eric Peterson, one structure is a little bit lower to the ground for smaller tykes, and the other is taller for 5-12-year-olds. It's got lots of climb-y, slide-y, hang-y parts and a blanket of pea gravel, so even the most accident-prone kids will have a hard time hurting themselves.

Old to new | New to old
Aug 1, 2011 02:49 pm
 Posted by  jellokites

St. Clair has a nice park, Greig park/Imagination stations on Carney just north of Fred Moore.

Aug 12, 2011 01:49 pm
 Posted by  lunamartinmi

Great list! Thanks!

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