Playgrounds for grown-ups

Awaken your inner-child with these playgrounds for grown-ups 

Photo: Facebook/ballieballersonlondon

Who says playgrounds are just for kids? Whether it’s giant swings or huge ball pits, these fun havens are popping up all over the world – and here’s the best bit: they’re no longer just for children

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could be eight-years-old again? Just imagine being free of the responsibilities adulthood brings, where it is totally socially acceptable to run around all day causing havoc. Shame about those early bedtimes, though. While your childhood may be well behind you, there are plenty of opportunities around the world to embrace being a kidult, from huge ballparks to giant swings.
 

Here’s six of the best:

  1. BallieBallerson
  2. City Museum
  3. Mega Swing
  4. Battle Axe Throwing League
  5. Zip World Velocity
  6. The Slide
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BallieBallerson – London, UK

Ever get jealous of children having heaps of fun in the IKEA ball pit? Then this could be the thing for you: BallieBallerson has recently opened in the trendy Dalston area of London, and it offers guests the chance to dive into a pit of 200,000 plastic balls. Organisers hide a bag of yellow balls in the pit every session, and the person who finds it gets to win a prize. You don’t have to worry about hygiene, either, as its ball-cleaning machine can disinfect 18,000 balls an hour. A host of DJs play a variety of electronic music to get you in the party spirit, and you can pop upstairs to the bar and café for a drink when you fancy a break.

Entrance fee: £5 (but the bar is free).

City Museum – Missouri, USA

© Youtube // CityMuseumStL

City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri is one of the coolest playgrounds in the USA. Artist Bob Cassilly bought a 250,000-square-foot complex, which included a shoe factory, and sparked a renovation boom in the city. Based on the ancient traditions of the city, the museum includes a skate park, huge slides and a Ferris wheel on the roof, as well as an aquarium with sharks, stingrays, turtles, snakes and alligators. Although Cassilly died in 2011, his work lives on and is constantly updated by a group of 20 artists.

Entrance fee: £7.50.

Mega Swing – Ötztal, Austria

© Youtube // carinchen r

Think swings are boring? Think again. Area 47 is Austria’s largest outdoor playground, and one of the biggest in the world. Surrounded by glorious alpine views, its legendary Mega Swing will set your heart racing as you drop from 70 metres and hit a speed of around 60mph. This isn’t for the faint-hearted, though, and it will set you back a bit.

Entrance fee: £35.

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The Backyard Axe Throwing League – Toronto, Canada

A group of axe-wielding bearded Canadian men set up the Battle Axe Throwing League, or BATL for short. Like archery, but about 1,000 times more dangerous, groups of 12 or more people can participate and learn the skill of axe throwing. The modern-day version of the sport derives from an ancient Scandinavian pastime when loggers threw their axes at the stumps of fallen trees.

Entrance fee: £25.

Zip World Velocity – Bangor, Wales

© Youtube // Thomas Harrison-Lord

Zip World Velocity catapults thrill seekers down 500 ft over the barren landscape of an old slate mine at over 100mph, making it the longest zip-line in Europe and fastest on the planet. But that’s not all – one of the caves houses a giant trampoline, as well as a world of slides and rope bridges.

Entrance fee: £25. 

The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit – London, UK

© Youtube // Rdcintello

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is an art installation designed by Sir Anish Kapoor for the 2012 London Olympics. It sits next to the Olympic Stadium, and this year added a new attraction – the world’s longest tunnel slide. Visitors descend from 178 metres, passing through light and dark sections as they whizz past the capital’s dramatic skyscape. 

Entrance fee: £15.

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11 2016 The Red Bulletin

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