Awesome Metro Detroit Playgrounds to Explore with Kids

Looking for cool play structures in southeast Michigan in 2023? We've compiled a list of the best playgrounds for a fun day in the park.

Looking for new adventures and bolder structures for your kids to climb and explore outdoors? Impress them with some of these fun playscapes, but also check out the unique activities and details they offer for the entire family to enjoy.

Take a look at this list of the best playgrounds and play areas in metro Detroit, the Ann Arbor area and beyond for a day full of adventurous entertainment.

Macomb County

Bradenburg Park 

This 17-acre park is located on the shoreline of Anchor Bay. It features children’s play areas, an ADA accessible playground, an enclosed splash pad, picnic areas throughout, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a 500-foot pier you can fish from and more.

Dodge Park 

This local park recently underwent a multi-million dollar update to provide families with new amenities like a skate park, community center, soccer field, splash pad, and a huge open-air play structure.

Eastwood Beach Playground at Stony Creek Metropark

A climbing geometric dome — featuring a web of thick ropes fastened with sturdy metal clasps at every point — is at the center of this park, which opened in 2012. It also offers a modern spin on old-school playground merry-go-rounds, along with swings, tunnels, slides, climbing walls and a resistance-controlled “elevator” element. There’s a separate spot for toddlers; the main area is geared at ages 5-12.

Fort Fraser at Steffans Park

This wooden playground is located in Steffens Park and was built to resemble a historical fort. It features lots of places to climb and hide, slides, swings, rings, tunnels, monkey bars, bridges, sand a more. Kids can use their imagination here when exploring. The space is enclosed and only has one entrance.

George George Memorial Park

George George Park is a 30-acre community park that was once part of Moravian Golf Course, filled with trees, hills and green fields. In 2008, a man named James George donated the park to the city in honor of his father, George George. Today, a big playscape structure in natural deep green and brown colors offers climbing, swinging, jumping and other features for kids from toddlers to teenagers to enjoy. Also, features an adaptive swing and the playscape is ADA accessible.

There are biking and walking paths for families and pets to enjoy. Their covered pavilion is available to rent. There are benches and picnic tables throughout and public restrooms (open seasonally).

James C. Nelson Park

This local park is ADA accessible and features a playground, nature area, mult-purpose field, pavilion and picnic areas, sand volleyball court and a soccer field. It is 36.6 acres large and features smooth, paved trails as well.

Kenneth D. Kirkum Memorial Park

This park in Mount Clemens was formally known as, “Wilson Park.” It features a larger play structure for older kids and a playscape that’s great for the toddler ages. It has a free little library so you can also grab a book while you’re there.

Lake St. Clair Metropark

The park is also known as, “Metro Beach.” It features a huge playground, which has a play structure for children ages 2-5 and another for children ages 5-10. There are also swings with bucket seats for compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Parents can work out on the fitness equipment or rest on the many benches while their kids play.

Macomb Corners Park 

Installed in 2004, this 94-acre park site includes a top-notch play structure that continues to please. The tree house-themed playscape has 1,200 square feet of slides, a rock wall, beam bars, a swing set and rubberized recycled turf. Other park amenities include soccer and football fields, sand volleyball courts, lighted ball diamonds, inline skating and a concession stand with a variety of picnic areas.

Pollard Park

Local volunteers helped make this 128-acre park possible. Various colorful structures serve up challenging climbs, swings and slides – ranging from big to small, straight to loopy. Also, a bevy of ladders includes spirals, ropes and more. Other park amenities include lighted baseball diamonds and lighted soccer fields.

River Bends Park 

Kids will enjoy the barrier free playground that has a rubberized surface allowing better accessibility for wheelchairs and walkers. It also has three pavilions, disc golf course, fishing, plenty of trails and much more.

Shadyside Park

This park is located off Clinton River Drive along the banks of the Clinton River. It’s a 41.6-acre park with playground equipment, horseshoe pits, a double basketball court, skateboarding, picnic pavilion, a handicapped accessible pier with a boat and canoe launch and more.

Waldenburg Park

This park is approximately 17-acres and features a children’s play area, basketball court, picnic pavilions, restrooms and a nice walking or biking trail. This playscape is ADA accessible and features wheelchair ramps.

Looking for even more playground fun in Macomb County? Check out these exciting parks in Sterling Heights

Oakland County

Barnum Park 

Walk along Barnum Park’s crushed stone path, through a garden sanctuary and tree-lined promenade to reach a spacious playscape and an outdoor ice rink, when in season. 

Booth Park

This park boasts a wooden playscape built with help from community residents. With 20,000 square feet to play with, it packs a punch! A lookout tower mimics the city’s old fire station, a misting wheel sprays water and an artificial turf allows year-round “sledding.” There’s also a play trolley, patio with chairs, tables and umbrellas and a giant gravel labyrinth for kids. 

Catalpa Oaks

Catalpa Oaks has two playgrounds — one for ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. The play structures feature a contemporary twist that’s simple, fun and addicting. The playscape has swings for all abilities. There are also five soccer fields, a baseball field, a softball field and a pavilion.

Dennis Dearing Jr. Memorial Park 

This fireman-themed tot-lot for kids, ages 2-5, comes with swings, picnic tables and open-play space. 

Friendship Park 

There are two play structures at this spot for kids of all ages. The first is the “Dragon’s Den”, an ADA compliant playscape full of slides, tunnels, bridges and more for kids ages 5-12 to explore. The second, “Let Them Play” is a 100-percent wheelchair accessible structure for all ages.

Innovation Hills 

This 110-acre park includes a 3-acre inclusive, nature-themed playground. It has a treetop climber that provides multiple levels of fun with several slides. It also has swing and an astro-turf hill. Pets are allowed here on a six-foot leash. There are two sensory gardens, picnic tables, Little Free Library and restrooms.

Manitoba Park

A play structure and sand volleyball court comprise this park, and there are benches where parents can watch their kids or relax and read a book.

Normandy Oaks Park

Watch your daring little ones take on the intensive climbing course followed by a long slide down from the top. There’s a splash pad, restroom, soccer fields and a natural habitat area for local wildlife, too. 

Paradise Peninsula 

Built to mimic Michigan’s natural landscape, this universally accessible play area has an “up north” vibe and lots of fun in store. Find a challenge course, tree fort, log cabin, sand dunes and ground surface designed to look like Michigan’s Great Lakes. This detailed structure meets the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements to encourage kids of all levels of ability to get out and play.

Red Oaks Youth Soccer Complex Playground

This play place is complete with slides, towers, a coaster climber and spider climbing element. It is officially for ages 5-12 but with a rock climber and other features, tots and adults can have just as much fun.

Riverside Park

This park features modern play structures, a walking path along the Clinton River, swings, a splash pad, a canoe launch, picnic tables and barbecue grills for the perfect family day.

River Woods Park 

Located along the Clinton River and next to the Auburn Hills Skate Park, this playscape is fully equipped with slides, swings and tons of climbing fun. Kids also have the options of playing basketball, football or even going fishing. Families can have a cookout in open picnic areas equipped with barbecue grills.

Scarlet’s Playground 

This playground is located at the 106-acre park, Dodge Park #5. It features include double-wide ramps, shaded play decks and tunnels, zip lines, swings, sensory play equipment, teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds, climbing structures, special slides that don’t create static electricity, a learning wall with braille letters and more.

For a day of play in Rochester Hills, check out these amazing playgrounds for kids of all ages

Washtenaw County 

Gallup Park 

This 60-acre park features bridges and walkways, picnic sites, canoeing and kayaking areas and three play structures. 

Independence Lake Park

Here you’ll find a large, handicap-accessible play structure with slides, bridges and more, as well as a track ride and a climbing rock. There’s a separate swing area, too. The park’s Blue Heron Bay universally-accessible spray park (additional fees) has water slides, a water play structure and more. Also enjoy disc golf, sand beach and boat rentals.

Nelson Meade County Farm Park

This farm-style play area has swings, a net climber, rubberized turf and two 24-by-20-foot shade structures. Be sure to hit the slides, rock wall and check out the toddler area featuring a John Deere tractor climbing structure.

Rolling Hills County Park

This 363-acre accessible park offers outdoor fun year-round! There’s an accessible playground area, interactive music features, slide and monkey rings. Other park amenities include an 18-hole, disc-golf course, five miles of mountain bike trails, areas for softball and horseshoes, and during the winter, sledding and cross-country skiing are permitted on the rolling hills. In the summer, families can float in the lazy river, slide down three 30-foot high water slides or splash in the waves at the water park (additional fees apply).

Timber Town Park 

Built in 1996 by Friends of Timber Town and renovated in 2007, this unique spot is a small version of the city of Chelsea. The 12,000-square-foot playground has a wooden climbing structure, clock tower, bridges, slides, sandboxes, climbing wall, water zone, theater and a train depot. Plus, there’s a police car and a water-shooting fire truck.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out these exciting playgrounds in Ann Arbor

Wayne County

Belle Isle

Kids Row Playground features one-half acre of bright colors, bouncy turf, giant slide and “double-decker merry-go-round” (encased in netting). It’s got slides, climbers and towers, as well as cool animal statues, situated on a half-acre expanse and featuring up-to-standard safety. Belle Isle ADA Playground is over a half-acre and features slides, ziplines, a merry-go-round and climbing areas.

Also, be sure to check out the Belle Isle Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle Nature Center and Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservancy while you’re at Belle Isle. The Giant Slide is also a hit!

Donald F. Kosch Village Playground at Greenfield Village 

Opened in 2013, this cool playground offers fun for children of all abilities. It’s designed to look like a 1930s construction site and has a mix of new play features and historical artifacts that have been transformed into play features. There’s a water tower made for climbing with a slide, a construction pipe tunnel, a rock climbing wall, water and sand areas, an old Model T you can climb into and on top of, interactive steam shovel and more.

Levagood Park

The Red, White and Blue Playground is a two-in-one. With one structure a little lower to the ground for toddlers and the other taller for kids ages 5-12, both have a lot of features to climb, slide and hang on. There’s even a big blanket of pea gravel on the ground to prevent injuries. 

Lower Huron Metropark

This space-themed accessible playground will have kids (and adults) ready to blast off! The playground is broken out into various zones (Earth, Mars, Venus, and the surrounding Galaxy). Children ages 2-5 will experience the planet Mars with a unique composite play structure with various climbers, slides, play spaces, and lookouts. This area also has a dome climber, group spinner, tot swings and harness swings. It also has benches, picnic tables and shade structures that surround the playground.

Mariner Park

This park features a playground, football/soccer area and fishing dock. Visitors can relax and watch the sailboats go by. Also, be sure to check out Windmill Point Lighthouse, located at the park.

Merriman Hollow Park

This playscape is great for older and younger kids alike. It has different types of ladders, bridges and hammocks to hang out on. It even has an animal scavenger hunt on it.

Robert C. Valade Park

This park is formerly known as Atwater Beach. It features a sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas for parents to relax and watch their kids play. Children will enjoy playing on the colorful playscapes and at the children’s musical garden.

Rotary Park

This 196-acre park and nature preserve features a half-mile walking trail, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a lending library tree, park benches, multiple playscapes designed for kids of all abilities and more. Some of their fun play structures include, “OmniSpin,” “Friendship Swing,” “Oodle Swing,” puzzles and climbers. They have a tandem swing and ADA swings, too.

Tattan Park 

This beloved park will be reimagined as “Mission to Mars” and will feature a space themed structure with towering rocket ships, lunar rovers, slides and zero gravity play activities. Plus, it will have ADA accessible surfacing and sensory play options. The project is slated for completion in spring 2023 and the city plans to refurbish and move the old Play Planet structure to the Lincoln-Johnson Field in Westland’s Historic Norwayne District. The $3 million update also includes a major project to change the H20 Zone Splash Pad into a dinosaur theme.

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.


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