Benefits of Shade

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There are many physical and emotional benefits to getting outdoors. Popular activities that bring people outside often include visiting community parks and playgrounds. Adding a shade structure to your outdoor space can increase visitors to your area because they know they will be protected from intense sun and heat. With the added protection of shade, play sessions can be extended making the benefits of play and outdoor activity even greater.

Adding shade to your outdoor area means hours of safe and enjoyable activity for visitors of all ages. Our commercial shade structures are effective at heat and sun protection, easy to maintain, and with endless design options, they can also add a visually appealing element to parks, playgrounds, pools, outdoor classrooms, or any atmosphere.

Top 10 Benefits of Commercial Shade Structures


  1. Protect visitors from the intense heat and sun
  2. Improve the design aesthetics of any outdoor space, park, or playground
  3. Keep cooler to enjoy more time outdoors
  4. Keep children engaged in play longer
  5. Encourage more family time
  6. Prevent fading and deterioration on equipment due to the long-term effects of sun exposure
  7. Create natural boundaries
  8. Extend your indoor space to the outdoors by creating covered outdoor classrooms, shaded outdoor seating at restaurants, and more
  9. Reinforce a theme for your project with a ship sail, flowers, or nature-inspired treetops
  10. Save energy resources by conserving electricity consumption


Protects children and adults from sun

BranfordPark-350x264.jpgTo appreciate the benefits of shade, it’s important to understand the risks and long-term effects of UV radiation and sun exposure. Evidence from the Skin Cancer Foundation shows that sun exposure and sunburns during childhood multiply the risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma. While melanoma still rarely develops before age 20, incidence in children and teens is rising rapidly. The skin of all infants (not just those who have fair skin) is particularly vulnerable to sun damage.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes. And even when days are cool and cloudy, children still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage. Clouds do not block UV rays, they filter them — and sometimes only slightly. The CDC recommends staying in the shade, especially during midday hours, as one of the best ways to protect children and adults from UV damage.

Both our SkyWays® and CoolToppers® commercial playground shade sails and structures block up to 97 percent of UV rays, offering valuable added protection from the sun’s intense rays.  

Keep cooler to enjoy more time outdoors

PoohBearDaycare-350x264.jpgPlaygrounds are a key factor in enabling the different types of play that support a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development. The importance of incorporating play into a child’s daily routine cannot be underestimated. Commercial shade sails prevent sun from inhibiting play and allows children to experience the benefits of play all day!

Adding commercial shade structures over sidelines or bleachers keeps those cheering on their favorite player or team cool. Keeping parents and loved ones comfortable will increase usage and encourage participation in your activity or sport.

Encourages longer play sessions and more use

DouglasPark-350x2648.jpgPlaygrounds do more for early childhood development than many realize. Not only do playgrounds offer the obvious physical benefits to kids becoming heathier and stronger, but they also provide the context and opportunity for children to practice key developmental and social skills. Plus, they are fun! And the longer, more frequent play sessions, the more benefits children receive.

When adequate shade is added to playgrounds and surrounding areas, kids are protected from UV exposure, and parents and caregivers are more likely to extend play sessions. Families may also be more likely to extend their picnic or family outing if they’re keeping cool and protected under a shade. The experience becomes much more enjoyable when the playground is covered in shade because the equipment below stays cooler and the users stay safer. Both our SkyWays and CoolToppers shade structures keep playground temperatures up to 30 degrees cooler. There is also a cool misting option available for CoolToppers to keep kids even cooler on hot summer days.

Many schools are utilizing shade sails and structures to extend their classroom space to the great outdoors. By adding a commercial shade sail to an existing courtyard or over a new classroom space, schools can embrace the benefits of nature for outdoor learning and not worry about sun exposure or extreme temperatures.

Protects playground equipment

MarysMagical_PlaygroundShade350.jpgYour playground is an investment. It takes countless hours of planning, design work, fundraising, and installation to bring your playground to life. It can take months, sometimes years, from playground concept to completion. With all the time and effort put into your playground, not to mention the financial expense, it’s worth it to increase the longevity of your playground by protecting your playground equipment from harsh and extreme temperatures.

Integrating SkyWays® shade into your playground design or adding it after your playground has been installed will shield it from the intense rays of the sun. Shade structures help to prevent premature fading and deterioration by keeping its color vibrant and preventing cracking that happens over time from sun exposure.

Contact your local Landscape Structures consultant to discuss ways to add the many benefits of shade to your playground, sports or recreation complex, aquatic center, restaurant, zoo, or other commercial project.


Our global network of commercial shade experts are available to help you the right shade sail size, shape and attachment method that meets your project needs. They are a highly trained and responsive team who are deeply engaged and go above and beyond to deliver on every project.

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