Playgrounds offer a special space for kids to be kids. But a few of them rise above the rest. Here are some truly unique, must-visit playgrounds around the Milwaukee area.
Richard E. Maslowski Community Park
2200 W. Bender Rd., Glendale, WI 53209
Discover Glendale’s newest family park featuring a playground, community room, family restrooms, snack bar, amphitheater, War Memorial, and baseball fields. Get your ice cream treats, hot dogs, and snacks! Or enjoy an award-winning Sprecher Rootbeer or Craft Beer at the Sprecher Brewing Outdoor Oasis open throughout the summer with the David Hobbs Honda for the People Community Room. The accessibility playground is the largest in the area and accommodates children of all abilities. See the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin War Memorial illuminate at night showcasing heroes from all branches. Music concerts bring generations together at the Johnson Controls Community Amphitheatre. Visitors can now take the Oak Leaf Trail to the park via the new Boardwalk Trailhead, located at the west-end of Bender Road.
2. A Playground at Malone
Malone Park, 16400 W. Stigler Parkway, New Berlin, WI
This playground is accessible to children of all abilities, and its design was a truly collaborative effort. Even the students at New Berlin schools got to submit their designs and ideas. It was built during a Community Build Day by hundreds of volunteers. The design is whimsical and colorful. You'll find an accessible merry-go-round, all-access swings, monkey bars at varying heights, interactive sound stations, plus tons of nooks and crannies to explore.
3. Cathedral Square Park
20 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
4. Dream Park
2820 14th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140
The 15,000- square-foot Dream Playground opened in October of 2015 as the City's first fully accessible playground. More than 3,000 volunteers worked to raise support and construct this amazing playground.
The mission of the Kenosha Dream Playground Project was to develop a safe, fully inclusive, accessible playground that allows children of all abilities to play together, learn from each other, value each others differences and find the strength to overcome challenges -- thus creating a truly integrated environment where compassion and acceptance can be found.
Highlights of the playground include:
2 bird nest swings
Wheelchair swing (requires a key to operate – contact Public Works at 262-653-4050 for more information)
Adaptive side-by-side swings
Braille and sign language alphabets
Poured-in-place flooring for easier maneuverability
Separate play areas for ages 2-5 and ages 5+
The playground incorporates elements of the Kenosha community, such as:
Lighthouses and ships
1960s Rambler replica
Jelly bean-shaped stepping stones
5. Fort Cushing Playground
This playground in Cushing Memorial Park in Delafield is a completely enclosed fort with sandboxes, swings, slides, towers, ramps, and plenty of secret spaces to explore. Relax on a bench and let your kids be kids! Enjoy the surrounding park and pack a picnic.
6. Fox River Park
W264 S4500 River Rd., Waukesha, WI 53189
This very special Waukesha County Park includes a 30 foot slide, plus a playground behind the slide that features natural materials. There are also many trails to explore. It costs $4.00 per car or you can use your Waukesha County Parks pass.
7. Harbor View Plaza
Great Lakes Research Facility, 600 E Greenfield Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Harbor View Plaza is the first waterfront public park in the Harbor District, located at the east end of Greenfield Avenue in front of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. The Plaza opened in July 2019.
The plaza includes a play structure for children, a water play area and water feature, and a canoe/kayak launch and dock. The play structure is designed to look like the shipping containers synonymous with ports around the world. The water play area allows children to explore water flow and cool off on hot days. The canoe/kayak launch and dock allows visitors to get to the water’s edge and provides the only public canoe/kayak launch and docking south of the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee’s inner harbor. It is the first major investment in what will eventually be a continuous network of Riverwalk and waterfront parks spanning much of the western shore of the Harbor District.
8. Hart Park
7300 W Chestnut St, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
You'll find a nature-themed playground, splash pad, skate park, colorful public art, and plenty of walking paths & open space.
9. Kayla's Playground
Franklin Woods Nature Park, 3723 W. Puetz Rd., Franklin, WI
10. Imagination Station
700 S. Main St, Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Imagination Station is huge, universally accessible playground in Oconomowoc. It is located in Roosevelt Park and features rubberized surfacing, therapeutic swings, multi-sensory activity structures, musical components, one entrance and exit for added safety, and more!
11. Lake Vista Park
4001 E Lakeside Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154
Lake Vista Park, near the shores of Lake Michigan, offers beautiful walking trails, brand new playground equipment for all ages (including a zip line!), and a new picnic pavilion with restrooms.
12. Mequon Nature Preserve Natural Playground
8200 W County Line Rd, Mequon, WI 53097
There’s a brand new Natural Playspace at Mequon Nature Preserve! Everything is made from rocks, logs, or wood. There is a Bring-Your-Own Hammock Station, a shaded area perfect for a picnic, a turtle and a dragonfly structure, log balance beams, step-up stairs, and some wood beams for climbing. There is also a small observation tower overlooking the prairie. It is located right behind the education building and near a pond with a trail system. Mequon Nature Preserve is free and open sunup to sundown all year long.
13. Possibility Playground
Upper Lake Park (Port Washington)
Possibility Playground was built with children of all types of physical abilities in mind, and has been used by thousands of children and parents to blend the line between learning, therapy and playtime. It sits in Upper Lake Park in Port Washington with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. You can enjoy the charming downtown of Port Washington and visit the marina or lighthouse while you're there.
13. Wind Leaves at Discovery World
500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Created in 2006 by nature artist, Ned Kahn, Wind Leaves is a series of soaring aluminum columns that rotate with the wind. Located right outside Discovery World, the Leaves are covered with thousands of stainless steel disks that swirl and ripple with the wind, creating a kaleidoscope of reflections from the lake, the sky, and the city. The Wind Leaves are surrounded by musical benches that can be played like xylophones and a musical sculpture that you can play by dropping pebbles into it. After you're done exploring there, you can check out the nearby fountains and take a stroll through Lake Shore State Park.
Did you know?
Milwaukee Recreation will be serving meals at these playground sites beginning June 22 (unless otherwise noted) for kids ages 6-17. At this point in time, and in the interest of keeping our staff and customers safe, the sites will be grab-and-go meals ONLY. There will be no structured play opportunities.
An interactive playground map is available at MilwaukeeRecreation.net/playgrounds.