Wabun Picnic Area, Minnehaha Regional Park
Minneapolis, MN USA
Not only does this playground in Minneapolis, Minnesota, step back in time with its thematic nod to its origins as an auto tourist camp, but it also takes a giant step forward as the first inclusive playground within the city’s parks system. The 2- to 5- year-old area features a classic car with a finger maze on the grill, plus a Sway Fun® glider that’s been outfitted with a custom surround to make it look like a camper trailer. The PlayBooster® playstructure for kids ages 5 to 12 has wood-like siding and cobblestone features to capture the idea of simple cabins. Sturdy “tents” are perfect for hiding under and climbing over. An accessible scavenger hunt encourages kids to work together as they explore the play area.
- Age Ranges
- 2 to 5 Years
- 5 to 12 years
- Design Standards
- July 2014
- Design/CAD Files
- Project Price Range
Pricing for custom playground equipment varies. For international and exact pricing, please contact your local playground consultant.
- Contact Your Consultant
- About Color
Color is an important decision, and our playgrounds are available in many color options. Use our carefully curated palettes or work with our design team to create your own color combination. Contact your local playground consultant to learn more.
We offer the widest range of park and playground equipment to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage skill-building and create unique outdoor experiences. From our playsystems and freestanding playground components to themed designs, site furnishings and more, we’ll help you create a recreation space that welcomes your whole community.
Play Systems featured in this Playground
Ages 5 to 12 Years
The PlayBooster® playground structure, the original post-and-clamp system, combines exciting ground-level components with climbing events and overhead activities for kids ages 5 to 12. The PlayBooster family includes the interconnected cables of Netplex®, the contemporary Vibe®, the nature-inspired Tree House and the double-decker PlayOdyssey® Tower.
Product Categories featured in this Playground
Ages 2 to 12
Freestanding Play events add fun and excitement to new and existing playgrounds! Revitalize your current playground or create a playground design that’s completely unique using Freestanding Play components for kids ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12.
Play Styles featured in this Playground
We can help you create playground designs unique to your community! Everything in our custom design process is driven by your goals and ideas. Together, we’ll create a destination playground that’s as individual as your imagination!
Our nature-inspired playground collection is a natural fit when it comes to planning outdoor play spaces, combining the adventure and wonder of nature with the durability, safety and low maintenance of high-quality play equipment. Our team of artists will work with you to blend your new playground into its surrounding environment—making your outdoor play space a place where children and families gather.
We believe all kids are created equal. That’s why we create play environments using inclusive playground equipment that welcome kids and families of all abilities to learn, play and grow together. Our playgrounds feature activities that are age and developmentally appropriate, sensory stimulating and universally designed.
Playground consultant for this project
We’ve created a global network of local playground experts to be at your side, every step of the way. With an average of 20 years of experience, our playground consultants are knowledgeable and personable. They will guide you through product pricing and specifications, customization, financing options, community builds, on-time deliveries, maintenance, finding replacement parts, and service questions.
Travels Through the Past, Present and Future
Not only does this playground step back in time with its thematic nod to its origins as an auto tourist camp, but it also takes a giant step forward as the first inclusive playground within the Minneapolis Parks system.
Playground products shown in video may not be appropriate for every age group. Playsystems shown in video are for demonstration purposes only. Product configurations may vary.
Family Fun from Yesteryear
When Peggy Halvorson puts her mind to something, it gets done. Like when she approached the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) with the idea "It was exciting to have a theme that required historical research." local playground consultant, Flagship Recreation of establishing an inclusive play space. Turns out they had the perfect spot for it.
The Wabun Picnic Area no longer looked like the camping spot it once was in the 1920s-1950s. But now it’s been transformed to thematically reflect its heritage. The 2- to 5-year-old area features a classic car with a finger maze on the grill. A Sway Fun® glider has been outfitted with a custom surround to make it look like a camper trailer. And in the 5- to 12- year-old area, wood-like siding and cobblestone features capture the idea of simple cabins. Sturdy “tents” are perfect for hiding under and climbing over.
“The design is so important,” states Andrea Weber, project manager with Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) Planning. “Working with Landscape Structures, from the design all the way through to making sure things are correct at installation—they know how to do it right.”
One Playground for All
This playground gives all kids a chance to be on top of the structure, something kids with disabilities don’t often get to do. An accessible scavenger hunt encourages kids to work together as they explore the play area.
The Roller Table™ can be very therapeutic for some kids. “But all kids love it and play on it in very different ways,” says Andrea. “All kids are kids, and they should be able to play together.”
"Playing together on the same equipment helps to take away the stigma of having a disability."Project Manager, MPRB Planning
Chris DesRoches of Flagship Recreation says this was the largest inclusive playground he’s worked on. Even so, he believes inclusivity can be affordable. “It just takes a good amount of creativity and a holistic mindset: What can we do to make it a positive space for child development, social play and physical activity for all kids.”
A quiet play area was included in the design along with a sensory garden that features plants with different scents, textures, colors and sizes. “Kids with autism and sensory processing disorders have different needs, including the need to get away, calm down and explore tactile needs,” explains Andrea. An elevated walkway encircles the space, contributing to universal access while reducing the amount of ramping. According to Andrea, “We wanted to be inclusive while also being less visually obtrusive and more aesthetically pleasing.”
Peggy Halvorson, who started it all, is thrilled with the results. “The playground ended up being nearly 90 percent accessible, even though the goal was only 70 percent. It’s exciting to see that the community knows it's there and is using it.”