Although many parks offer accessible parking, sidewalks, and bathrooms, few include playground equipment that is inclusive to those with special needs. Over the past few years, Kansas City area parks and rec departments have addressed this issue by establishing new playgrounds with equipment that all can enjoy. We’ve listed our favorites (complete with a map showing their locations) below.
Variety KC Inclusive Treehouse at Wonderscope Children’s Museum
In fall 2020, Wonderscope will reopen at its new location in Red Bridge Shopping Center. The new-and-improved Wonderscope will be an inclusive environment where all children can learn through play. In addition to its accessible parking & bathrooms, wheelchair-friendly play areas, and quiet room, Wonderscope will feature an adaptive treehouse. This treehouse contains ramps, extra space for wheelchair-users, and sensory experiences.
Variety KC Inclusive Playground and Baseball field at CBAC
This Variety KC park has a smooth surface with ramps leading to inclusive play equipment. A nearby accessible ball field features the Miracle League, which is a baseball league for children of all abilities.
Variety KC Inclusive Playground at Wyandotte County Park
This baseball-themed playground opens August 21st, 2020, in Wyandotte. Children can get their own ticket at the ticket booth, run around the “bases”, and enjoy the wide variety of play equipment—including slides, accessible swings, an accessible merry-go-round, and musical instruments. The park also contains ramps and foam surfacing.
Variety KC Inclusive Playground in Leawood
With ramped play structures leading to slides and saucer swings, Leawood City Park is the perfect place for children and adults to play together, regardless of physical or mental abilities.
Variety KC Inclusive Playground in Independence
Ramps, adaptive swings, and smooth flooring ensure that this pioneer-themed playground is accessible to all. The park is fenced and contains interactive panels, sensory-rich musical elements, and stainless steel slides for children with cochlear implants. It also includes a Miracle League baseball field, which has a large playing field with an even surface.
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Variety KC Inclusive Baseball Field in Independence and Olathe
Variety KC Inclusive Playground in Raymore
Opening in fall 2020, this new playground and splash pad will delight children of all abilities. The playground’s amenities include musical instruments, a merry-go-round, and communication boards. If your children want to cool off, they can head over to the splash pad, which features a train with a tunnel wide enough for wheelchair-users to pass through. The splash pad also contains colorful light-up spray jets, overhead sprinklers, and splash buckets. During the winter months, children can skate at the park’s ice rink!
Variety KC Inclusive Playground at CMH Entrance- Downtown
Located at Hospital Hill Park in Children’s Mercy, this playground contains plenty of space for children with wheelchairs or IV poles to access the equipment. Its soft foam floor is easy to traverse, and its fence prevents small children from wandering off. A communication board for nonverbal children provides an inclusive atmosphere for all.
Variety KC Inclusive Piano Renovation at CHM
Variety KC inclusive Playground at Tiffany Hills
This fenced park contains sensory panels for touch and sound, as well as accessible swings and colorful metal slides. The park is pirate-themed and has ramps leading to different pieces of equipment.
Variety KC Exploration Play Area and Senroy Zone Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo holds the honor of being the first zoo to provide an inclusive playground. Located in the Africa section of the zoo, the playground includes a zip line with a companion harness, an accessible swing, and smooth surfacing. There is also a quiet zone area where you can check out weighted blankets and noise-canceling headphones.