Inclusive and accessible playgrounds have come a long way in Calgary and area over the last 10 years. Playgrounds with accessible flooring have become more common and recently, playgrounds are being designed that not only allow access for people with mobility challenges but are places that kids with diverse needs and abilities can enjoy and play with their friends.
A great inclusive playground not only allows children access to a playground but considers their experience when they get there. This can involve many kinds of features, including swings and bouncers with back support, quiet zones, outdoor musical instruments, steps and ramps, play equipment at ground level, different textures, shade, and pathways.
Here is my list of the 10 best inclusive playgrounds in Calgary and area:
1. Shouldice Park Playground in Calgary
Montgomery - 4900 Monserrat Drive N
Shouldice Park Playground is one of the best inclusive playgrounds in Calgary. Kids of a wide range of ages and abilities will love exploring this playground. It is in a great park next to the river with multiple picnic spots, a seasonal washroom, and connected to a pathway system. The playground features accessible flooring and an extensive ramp system. It has tons of options for swinging, spinning, and bouncing, including two accessible swings and a tandem swing where two people can swing facing each other.
2. Hidden Hut Inclusive Playground in Calgary
Hidden Valley - 10504 Hidden Valley Drive NW
This playground is excellent and well thought out. It provides exciting and inclusive play opportunities for kids of all ages and abilities. The ramp system is high, goes right up to the top, and there is room to turn around along the way. There is accessible flooring throughout with two different colors/textures, which helps with navigation.
3. Applestone Park Playground in Calgary
Applewood - 188 Applewood Drive SE
Not only is Applestone playground one of the best inclusive playgrounds in Calgary, but it is also one of the best playgrounds in the city - period. There are two different playgrounds at this park with accessible flooring. The tall rope spinner and saucer swings are great for anyone who can transfer. With an extensive ramp system, interesting activity panels, musical panels, sunshades, and excellent ground floor accessibility, all children get to play.
4. South Glenmore Park in Calgary
90 Avenue and 24 Street SW
South Glenmore Park is one of Calgary’s earliest inclusive playgrounds. The Park has lovely views of the Glenmore Reservoir and has a spray park and pump track on the west side. Recently, it has become even better with the addition of a new inclusive climber, ground-level merry-go-round, and a musical park located a short distance down a paved pathway.
5. Thorncliffe Greenview Playground in Calgary
5600 Centre Street N
This playground uses visual, auditory, and tactile features to help make a great playground for all kids. It has some cool inclusive features, like an accessible zipline and a tandem swing with an accessible seat.
6. University Commons Park Playground in Calgary
University District - Kovitz Lane NW and Thirsk Street NW
This eye-catching playground strives for accessibility, inclusiveness, and exciting play opportunities for everyone. It includes things like accessible flooring, a ramp system, an accessible tandem swing and spinner, tactile and musical features, a saucer swing, a sway fun rocker, and a roller slide.
7. Ramsay Inclusive Playground in Calgary
Ramsay - MacDonald Avenue SE and Bellevue Avenue SE
This Park has two play spaces located on a hill connected with an accessible pathway. It has a ground level merry-go-round, a four-seater bouncer with back support, ground level music features, and a climber with a ramp system. It also has an awesome view of downtown.
8. Riverside Park in Okotoks
N Railway Street
Riverside Park has a fenced inclusive playground with a large-covered picnic area. The playground features a ramp system, a roller slide, two saucer swings, and a tandem swing with an accessible seat.
9. Centennial Park in Cochrane
William Street and Pope Avenue
A few years ago, this playground had some improvements done, including accessible flooring, musical features, spinners and bouncers with back support. The main climbing structure is being replaced and promises to be even more inclusive.
10. Nose Creek Park in Airdrie
Main Street S
The Park is lovely with a pond, creek, and pathways to explore. There are two playgrounds that have accessible flooring, and the school-aged climber has a small ramp system with activity panels.
Inclusive parks on the horizon
More new and inclusive parks are coming to Calgary soon, including Edworthy Park, North Glenmore Park, Elliston Park, and Sandy Beach Park.
Now let’s all play!
Dana searches out the best places to play, eat, and learn with her kids in Calgary, across Alberta, and beyond. Her three kids also contribute their unfiltered opinions to her reviews. To explore more, visit calgaryplaygroundreview.com and follow her on Instagram.
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