Friday, May 6, 2011

Cutting edge getting dull: Manayunk's Pretzel Park

Playground: Pretzel Park playground
Location: Cresson between Cotton and Rector
Date visited: 5/1/11

Equipment: Several zones and freestanding pieces:
  • A small playset with a climbing wall, curved plastic slide, rope climbing net, and space for some missing element

  • A ring-shaped merry-go-round (crumbling in spots)

  • A pole/platform sit-and-spin

  • A wavy "balance beam" that wobbles for a challenge

  • A large playset with climbing (ladder, wall, and steps), suspended chair and wobble platforms, several small seats that can be spiraled up and down their poles, and several "rip line" hand-holds for sliding along a sturdy track.

  • Two pairs of swings, bucket (battered) and strap.
material: modern "adventure-style" ropes, rubber, and metal; scale: medium playspace in a small but hilly park
Ages: 1-12
Surface: rubbery throughout
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: N
Other: dog park, grassy areas, pebbly paved path
Access: open (dawn to dusk?)

Impressions: A neat-looking modern-style adventure playground with offerings to challenge big kids and others well scaled for tots. However, it's taken a real beating since installation and has the cracks and missing elements to prove it (making me wonder whether this style of play equipment has a limited lifespan). Could use some renovation and maybe an old-fashioned tall slide -- nothing here lit up my 3-year-old's face like the simpler fare at Venice Island.
Overall rating: 7

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