160 University Avenue, Berkeley, California 94710, United States
Adventure Playground is an urban park and adventure playground in Berkeley , California, located in the Berkeley Marina. The park opened in 1979, based on the ideas of Danish architect Carl Theodor Sørensen, who used scrap yards for playgrounds when Copenhagen was under occupation during the Second World War.
The adventure playground model, sometimes referred to as the "junk playground," is designed to provide children with the resources they need to build. The tools available include saws, hammers, workbenches and nails. The legal liability raised by giving children relatively unrestricted access to these tools has made adventure playgrounds rare in the United States, with the Berkeley Adventure Playground being one of only four in the country.
- School-age play area featuring unique low-risk “build your own playground” activities, including hammering, sawing, and painting. Creative materials available for imaginative play
- Climbing, sliding and jumping on kid-designed and built forts, boats, and ropes
- Designed for children seven years and older; younger children are welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult
- Zip line offering exciting ride through the air for 6 years and up
- Picnic area outside in shorebird Park
- located next to restrooms, the shorebird park education classroom and the Strawbale visitors center in Shorebird Park.
The Adventure Playground concept originated in Europe after the Second World War. A playground designer studied children playing in the "normal" asphalt and cement playgrounds. He discovered that the children actually preferred to play in the dirt and lumber of the post-war rubble. He realized that children had the most fun designing and building their own equipment and manipulating their surroundings. Following this concept, the Berkeley Adventure Playground was opened in 1978.
Who can come?
Adventure Playground is designed for children 7 years of age and older, but younger children are welcome as long as they are within reach of a participating adult. Parents of older children are encouraged to participate (see below) and to help ensure safety for all children. Everyone needs to sign a walk-in waiver when you're coming in.
What should they all wear?
Everyone has to wear sturdy shoes like tennis shoes, NOT flip flops, sandals, crocs or clogs. Stepping on a nail is a possibility, and strong shoes protect your legs. Wear clothes that can be dirty, wet or painted on.
All groups with 5 or more children must make reservations and pay a group fee ($75-$180 depending on the size of the group).
Groups are the following:
- 5 or more children, regardless of how many adults / parents you have.
- Organized programs of any size (daycare programmes, summer camps, church groups)
- Multiple small families meeting at the playground with 5 children or more- including individuals coming from gatherings (like birthday parties) outside the Adventure Playground in Shorebird Park.
Summers and weekends are very popular with the public. The only way to keep the Playground safe is by controlling numbers by limiting groups. If you're in a group (5 children or more) without any reservations.