We have been on some pretty epic adventures lately so we decided to adventure out closer to home. There are many, many parks near our house but we decided to try something new. So we headed out to Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, home of the Magical Bridge Playground.
The Playground was built through the not-for-profit Magical Bridge Playground Foundation. Their mission is to bring the magic of play to everyone regardless of ability, disability, size and age. They fund raise to be able to open these parks in select Bay Area cities. We were lucky enough to get to experience their park in Palo Alto.
We spent roughly an hour and a half in the Magical Bridge Playground just exploring and playing make-believe. There are 6 different areas: the Magical Playhouse, the Picnic and Performance area, the Spinning Zone, the Slide Mound, the Music Zone, and the Swinging and Swaying Zone. They also have a smaller toddler section – the perfect size for the little guys and girls.
The Playhouse and Performance Area
This is such a great area! The bottom floor of the playhouse is a little stage. Off to the side is a ticket booth and behind the stage is a workshop table and a café. The workshop and the café have wooden tools and cakes glued onto the tables for effect.
The top floor has a seating area with two tables – one with a coffee cup and a phone and one with a coffee cup and a notebook. These items are glued down as well. The top portion of the house is accessible by ramps, as is the stage.
The Spinning Zone
They say this park is meant for all ages but this section may not be ideal for older people! Definitely felt the effects of motion sickness on this one. But it was still a fun time. The merry-go-round is wide with ample seating and bars to hold onto. There are also egg-shaped spinning chairs that easily hold an adult.
The Slide Mound
Firstly, the slide mound looks a lot steeper than it actually is. The mound is covered in Astroturf which makes it easy to walk up unassisted. But there’s a staircase as well. The ramp that connects to the Playhouse also leads to the slide mound. There are 3 different ways to slide down, including one particularly wide slide that made it easier to slide down with out little guy when he wasn’t too sure. Around the back of the slide mound is a cargo net that you can climb to the top of the mound. It was really fun!
The Music Zone
This is my favourite part of the playground! There is an arch that spreads across a wide pathway that has painted circles parallel to the arch. Turns out that the arch has speakers built into it as well as motion sensors so you can run back and forth and create music. It is a sliding scale so we had a lot of fun with it.
The Swinging ans Swaying Zone
We didn’t spend too much time in this section as the swings were wet but we could still appreciate the idea. The swings are egg-shaped chairs that have harnesses that clip in to secure the kids, almost like a rollercoaster harness. There is also a swaying “boat” accessible by ramp and wide enough to allow for a wheel chair. This structure was almost the end of me as you don’t realize how much you’re swaying when you’re on it. I felt like I was still swaying for a few minutes after getting off the structure. There is also a rolling table, the same as at airports when you go through security, with the wheels. You can pull yourself across it by holding onto the bars that stretch across it. Our little guy was a bit more apprehensive about this than the other structures.
We had a really great time at this Magical Bridge Playground spending most of our time in the playhouse. We will definitely be heading back to play again. Next time though we’ll be bringing towels and possibly some waterproof pants. It was very dewy and wet first thing in the morning.
I don’t have a special needs child but I can really appreciate what they are doing with this Playground. It really is a special, inclusive park and I hope more communities in the Bay area are able to receive funding for it. I also hope that this concept finds its way to more areas than just the Bay area where other deserving families can take advantage too.