Every child deserves to experience fun on the playground and barrier-free playgrounds offer that opportunity to kids with disabilities.
Barrier-free playgrounds, like the 10 on this list, are designed with accessibility in mind and feature various modifications that make it easier for those with physical or developmental disabilities to navigate and enjoy.
For example, walking spaces in a barrier-free playground are free of mulch or woodchips, which can get stuck in wheelchairs, and many offer sway swings sets that have backs or seat belts to protect kids who need more support than a standard swing typically offers.
In addition, parking lots at these playgrounds offer ramps and the restrooms often have larger stalls or changing tables made for older people.
If you are looking for a barrier-free playground in metro Detroit or Ann Arbor to take your child to, check out these local spots suggested by Let Kids Play.
Boundless Playground at High Point School
- Address: 1735 S. Wagner Road, Ann Arbor
The Boundless Playground is for students from infancy to 25 years of age. Striving for the interaction of all children, this inclusive park has teachers, therapists, and health professionals on site for a safe experience. Park is only available during school hours.
Dad Butler Playfield
- Address: 2034 East Eight Mile Road, Detroit
This barrier-free play area has a wood chip and rubber combination surface with climbing structures and slides. Older children and toddlers each have separate play spaces with monkey bars, musical devices, a rock wall and more.
Delray Community Center Boundless Playground
- Address: 420 South Leigh St., Detroit
The park has balance testers, rock walls, climbing, and an array of different swings. A tire swing and an ADA swing are included for more inclusivity.
Lodge Playground at Marshbank Park
- Address: 2805 Hiller Road, West Bloomfield
There are two universally accepted playgrounds in Marshbank park with soft, padded rubber surfaces. Sensory play panels are located throughout to encourage inclusivity and normalize diverse play styles.
McKinley Barrier-Free Park
- Address: 31500 Grove Street, Fraser
McKinley Barrier-Free Park has a comfort station that has an adult-size changing table as well as an accessible parking lot with no curbs. The surface is wheelchair friendly and a sensory garden allows connectivity with nature.
Paradise Peninsula Playscape
- Address: 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
This sweeping 13,000-square-foot park was named for its Michigan themes of lakes, dunes and forests created with colorful rubberized surfaces. They also have climbing areas, an “up north woods” cabin, raised sand play and marsh with cattails.
Play 4 All Boundless Playground
- Address: 5100 Woodward St., Wayne
Located in Soroptimist Park. With a small, rubberized toddler area combined with regulated traditional swings, this playground is accessible to children of all ages. It features a unique fish theme and sway fun for those who have difficulty with traditional swings, too.
Play Farm at Inglenook Park
- Address: 20901 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield
With farm-themed play equipment such as tractors and animal cut-outs, this park is accessible by way of design and structures. With a Sway Fun Glider and multiple swings (ADA and tire), children can climb, swing, run and slide safely.
- Address: 180 Commerce Road, Commerce Township
Named after a Michigan girl living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Scarlet’s Playground features a ramp for accessibility as well as a foam surface. With inclusive swings, zip lines, sensory play equipment, special non-static slides and a braille wall, this park is well thought out and fun.
Wing Lake Development Center Playground
- Address: 6490 Wing Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills
- Hours: Contact for details
This boundless playground is a part of the Wing Lake Development Center, which prides itself on refining developmental skills and increasing independence. With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, progress is monitored through play.
Do you love any other barrier-free playgrounds in metro Detroit or Ann Arbor? Tell us about them so we can add them to our list and don’t forget to check out the Special Needs section of MetroParent.com for even more activities and resources for parents of kids with special needs.
This post was originally published in 2020 and is updated regularly.
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