With the rising number of residents in downtown, including children and families, the demand for kid-friendly amenities has become a top priority.
In spring of 2018 the efforts to bring a permanent public playground to downtown began. Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s young professionals board, the City Advocates, activated a mobile pop-up playground at locations across the city including Perk Park, Voinovich Park, Public Square, and the Great Lakes Science Center. It was then that the Science Center emerged as an ideal location for downtown’s first public playground; featuring beautiful lakefront views and public access to restrooms, drinking fountains and a the Science Center café.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the Great Lakes Science Center collaborated with playground consultant Penchura to create a playground that is fun, safe and attractive to the harbor landscape. The design mirrors the shape of the iconic Steamship William G. Mather, located directly behind the playground, and incorporates slides, climbing pods, and accessibility features for greater inclusion.
While the playground started as a vision, it would not have been possible if not for the support of generous donors, Joe and Ellen Thomas. Joe and Ellen’s philanthropy is an extraordinary example of the positive impact you can make on a community.
On October 28, 2019, The Thomas’s along with Major Frank Jackson, Councilman Kerry McCormik, Science Center and Alliance executives and families of downtown broke ground for the first public playground.
Playground Code of Conduct
The playstructure has been designed for children 5 to 12 years of age and requires users to have sufficient strength and coordination.
Adult supervision is strongly recommended.
Children should avoid wearing the following as they may become entangled on playground equipment:
- Other around the neck accessories
Check for hot surfaces prior to playing, as play surfaces may become HOT and cause burns
Wet surfaces may be slippery, use caution to avoid falls.
Playground hours: open daily dawn til dusk