Best Playgrounds and Play Structures in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Looking for cool play structures in southeast Michigan in 2018-19? We've compiled a list of the best playgrounds and most expansive play areas 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

Eastwood Beach Playground at Stony Creek Metropark

  • Address: 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-781-4242
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. April-October, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. November-March
  • Cost: $10/park vehicle entry

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.

Playground at George George Park

  • Address: 40500 Moravian Road, Clinton Township
  • Phone: 586-286-8000
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (or dusk) year-round

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.

Playscape at Macomb Corners Park

  • Address: 19449 25 Mile Road, Macomb Township
  • Phone: 586-992-2900
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk year-round

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.

Playscape at Dodge Park

  • Address: 40620 Utica Road, Sterling Heights
  • Phone: 586-446-2700
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

This local park closed last year to undergo a mulit-million dollar update that’s set to give new amenities like a skate park, community center, soccer field, splash pad, a huge open-air play structure for kids and more. Check out the newly-renovated space when it re-opens on June 28, 2018.

Playscape at Lake St. Clair Metropark

  • Address: 31300 Metropolitan Parkway, Harrison Township
  • Phone: 586-463-4581
  • Hours: April-October: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m.-11 p.m. weekends; November-March: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
  • Cost: $10/daily vehicle permit

Ahoy, mateys! This jumbo Metropark delivers lots of play-structure fun for kids, featuring – you guessed it – a climb-on pirate ship, complete with the crow’s nest lookout at the top. Find a separate area for younger kids, too.

Playscape at Pollard Park

  • Address: 55550 New Haven Road, Chesterfield
  • Phone: 586-949-0400
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

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.

Oakland County

Barnum Park

  • Address: 1101 Pierce St., Birmingham
  • Phone: 248-530-1800
  • Hours: dawn-dusk daily

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.

Dennis Dearing Jr. Memorial Park

  • Address: 2058 Phillips Road, Auburn Hills
  • Phone: 248-370-9353
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

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

Manitoba Park

  • Address: 4220 Manitoba Road, Auburn Hills
  • Phone: 248-370-9353
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

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.

Paradise Peninsula

  • Address: Waterford Oaks, 2800 Watkins Lake Road, Waterford
  • Phone: 248-858-0916
  • Hours: dawn-dusk, April 1-Oct. 31

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.

Playscape at Catalpa Oaks County Park

  • Address: 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
  • Phone: 248-424-7081
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk

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. Older kids can enjoy a wave slide, many climbers and spinning stuff while the younger kids can have fun on slides and climbers.

Playscapes at Frienship Park

  • Address: 3380 W. Clarkston Road, Orion Township
  • Phone: 248-391-0304
  • Hours: dawn-dusk

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.

Red Oaks Youth Soccer Complex Playground

  • Address: 29601 John R Road, Madison Heights
  • Phone: 248-589-2294
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

Complete with slides, towers, a coaster climber and scientifically engineered Fibar-brand mulch, this play area is a kid favorite. It’s officially for ages 5-12 but with a rock climber and other features, tots and adults can have just as much fun.

Play Structure at River Woods Park

  • Address: 300 River Woods Drive, Auburn Hills
  • Phone: 248-370-9353
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

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.

Wooden Playground at Booth Park

  • Address: North Old Woodward Avenue and Harmon Street, Birmingham
  • Phone: 248-530-1800
  • Hours: dawn-dusk daily

This park boasts a 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.

Washtenaw County

Playgrounds at Independence Lake Park

  • Address: 3200 Jennings Road, Webster Township, Whitmore Lake
  • Phone: 734-449-4437
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk year-round (9 p.m. in the summer)
  • Cost: $6/vehicle entry (Washtenaw County residents), $10/vehicle entry (non-residents)

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 two water slides, a water play structure and more. Also enjoy disc golf, sand beach and boat rentals.

Playscape at County Farm Park

  • Address: southwest corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Platt Road, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-971-6337
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk year-round

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 Park and Water Park

  • Address: 7660 Stony Creek Road, Ypsilanti
  • Phone: 734-484-9676
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk year-round
  • Costs: $6/vehicle entry (Washtenaw County residents), $10/vehicle entry (non-residents); extra fees for water park

This 363-acre accessible park offers outdoor fun year-round! 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). There’s an accessible playground area with a wheelchair-accessible elevated sandbox, 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.

Timber Town Park

  • Address: M-52 and Sibley Road (half mile from downtown Chelsea), Chelsea
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

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.

Wayne County

Donald F. Kosch Village Playground at Greenfield Village

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily April 14-Oct. 28; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday Oct. 29-Nov. 25
  • Cost: Admission to Greenfield Village ($28/adults, $21/kids; discounts when you buy online)

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.

Kids’ Row

  • Address: Belle Isle Park, Jefferson Avenue and East Grand Boulevard, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-821-9844
  • Hours: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. year-round

Its bright colors, bouncy turf, giant slide and “double-decker merry-go-round” (encased in netting) all make this oasis a Detroit fave. 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.

Play Planet at Tattan Park

  • Address: 1901 N. Carlson St., Westland
  • Phone: 734-722-7620
  • Hours: dawn-dusk year-round

This gargantuan play structure has enough to keep your kids busy for hours. With a space theme, it packs lots of slides, towers, ramps and climbers into five acres of land, complete with picnic and grill amenities for lunch.

Playscape at the Waterford Bend Recreation Area

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

Parents can enjoy the scenery of Middle Rouge River while chilling in a large, sheltered picnic area and watching kids play. This interesting Scandinavian-influenced, U.S.-made structure almost resembles an art museum sculpture. It’s great for climbing, jumping, sliding and more. 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-10 p.m. year-round

It’s 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.

This post was originally published in 2014 and is updated regularly.


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