Playgrounds for grownups

A few years ago, I read about how Germany was planning adult playgrounds, in order to inspire the elderly to stay active. It sounded like a really cool idea. In fact, so cool an idea, that it probably would take several decades to catch on over here in Israel.

Imagine my surprise several months ago, when a couple of our local parks had the kiddie paraphernalia removed and replaced with fixtures to be used only by people over 14 years old (click on the thumbnails to see more detail) :

The Obligatory Disclaimer

The Obligatory Disclaimer

The Gestalt

The Gestalt

Apparently youre supposed to hold onto the red handlebars and do the twist on this one, sitting or standing.

Apparently you're supposed to hold onto the red handlebars and do the twist on this one, sitting or standing.

What are you supposed to do on this one?

What are you supposed to do on this one?

Good thing there are illustrated instructions attached. Complete with suggested number of exercise reps to do.

Good thing there are illustrated instructions attached. Complete with suggested number of exercise reps to do.

Once in a while, I even see a real adult on one of them. 🙂

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15 Responses

  1. I think I would like it better if they were just giant monkey bars instead of prescribed exercises. Or maybe a giant bounce house for adults. That would be cool.

  2. All they need now is jumpy houses for adults! (Don’t know if air-filled jumpy houses are/were “the thing” in Israel that they are here. We recently had a jumpy house party for the kiddo, and my husband and I were astonished that we (grownups, before the other kids arrived) could jump for only about 5 minutes before becoming exhausted! Don’t knock that children’s equipment!)

    Giant round-and-round slides … mmm. 🙂

    • The jumpy houses are usually “the thing” at amusement parks and other public events. You don’t see them much at kiddie birthday parties like in the US (at least, not in my circles).

      And there was this experiment done once where an athlete copied exactly the activities of a 4-year-old he was watching…guess who got tired first?

  3. I bought a trampoline with netting surrounding it a few years ago. It has been a big hit.

  4. Wow, that is a good idea. I wonder would the adults in America use this playground, or would they stick with their public private gyms. That would be interesting to see.

  5. Looks like a newer, cooler version of the Parcourse stuff that was big in the 70’s here.

  6. At my private school when I was in middle school, we had one of those horrible things put in, and that’s where we would go for “recess.” It was not used.

  7. By “horrible thing” I mean adult playground. They are not fun!

  8. This reminds me of an art installation at the Tate Gallery in the 1970s that was recently recreated there. It was sort of an adult playground and the public was encouraged to “interact” with it. The novelty at that time of this sort of installation at an art gallery or anywhere else for that matter caused such scenes of abandonment, with adults reportedly running around and screaming, that it had to be shut down after four days. Those were the days.
    By the way, Esther, it looks like a beautiful location. Are you going to visit?

  9. It reminds me of that Twilight zone episode, about “kick the can.”

    The thing that bothers me about this is how instrumental it is – even with kids play grounds. It’s a means to an end and not an end in itself.

    What ever happened to fun for fun’s sake?

  10. Over here in Petach Tikva we have very sophisticated exercise equipment, although there have been complaints that parents let their small children use it, making it inaccessible to adults at certain hours.

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