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Site Amenities That Every Playground Needs

Site amenities are any feature that improves the functionality of a space. At a public park, this may include a bench to add comfort or a gazebo to provide shade. Especially when designing a complex playground, it’s easy to forget about the importance of site amenities. But, these elements do have a large impact on the visitor experience.

Though often overlooked, site amenities play a vital role in making your playground more welcoming and inviting. Imagine coming to a beautiful playground, but there’s no place to park your bike or throw away your trash. You’d have to chain your bike to a tree and hold onto your trash until you leave. That wouldn’t be very fun!

When selecting site amenities for your playground, consider their function, aesthetics, and quality. This will ensure that you get the best-looking and longest-lasting options for your space. Also, keep your budget in mind. This will ensure that you get the most value for your money. For best results, choose the highest quality equipment within your budget.

Why Are Site Amenities Important?

Attract Visitors to Your Park

Investing in site amenities is a great way to attract and retain more visitors to your playground. For example, consider a family that packed a picnic lunch. Without a shady spot to sit, they may choose to go to a different park. Although you might have an outstanding playground, site amenities often make or break the visitor experience.

Attracting more visitors to your playground has multiple benefits, including:

  • Repeat visits: Site amenities make the playground experience more inviting, encouraging multiple visits from families.
  • Word of mouth: When parents visit a playground they like, they’ll be sure to tell their friends and family about it.
  • Economic growth: Local restaurants and businesses will benefit from the increase in foot traffic to the community.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

Site furniture enhances the playground by giving people a space where they can relax. They also give your playground a more “finished” look. After all, a playground in the middle of a field would look pretty empty, wouldn’t it? If that’s not enough, you can also customize your site furniture to complement the colour scheme of your playground.

You can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your park through:

  • Landscaping: The right combination of trees, plants, and shrubs can provide plenty of natural shade for kids to cool off.
  • Pathways: Paved walking paths are great for many park users, including joggers, dog walkers, and parents with baby strollers.
  • Surfacing: Especially if you’re using poured-in-place rubber, you can design the playground’s surfacing around a specific theme.

Improved Hygiene and Safety

When visiting the playground, it’s important to clean up after yourself. Not only does this protect the environment, but it also makes the playground enjoyable for others to use. The easiest way to promote cleanliness on the playground is by installing waste receptacles. Waste receptacles make clean up a breeze, especially after a messy picnic lunch!

Aside from waste receptacles, these amenities also help keep playgrounds clean:

  • Hand sanitizing stations: When there’s no washrooms nearby, hand sanitizing stations provide a quick and easy way to disinfect kids’ hands.
  • Dog waste bag dispensers: These compact systems help keep dog parks, hiking trails, and other recreation areas free from dog waste.
  • Ashtrays: Ashtrays provide a dedicated place for smokers to dispose cigarette butts. Additionally, they also prevent dangerous wildfires from starting.

What Type of Site Amenities Are There?

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor seating is an absolute must on any playground. When you provide a comfortable place for parents to sit, it leads to longer playground visits for kids. The best way to incorporate seating into your playground is with park benches. Park benches are great at encouraging neighbours to socialize, as well as providing a rest spot for kids.

But, if you’re looking to accommodate larger parties, consider installing picnic tables instead. Picnic tables are great for hosting outdoor events and having meals outside. Furthermore, they can also make your playground more inclusive. Our ADA picnic tables feature a 2 ft. overhang that allows wheelchairs to roll underneath. It’s an easy way to make everyone feel included!

Waste Receptacles

Litter on the playground is just as much of an environmental hazard as it is an aesthetic one. When litter isn’t disposed of, it causes pests and animals to interrupt the play experience. Additionally, it’s also a sanitary hazard for young children. With that said, you should always install waste receptacles to keep your park clean and safe.

The placement of waste receptacles in your playground is equally important. Be sure to spread them out so visitors don’t need walk too far to dispose their trash. Also, be sure to place them near high traffic areas where litter is most likely to build up. This includes playground entrances, washroom buildings, athletic courts, and dining areas.

Bike Racks

Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities there is. However, when there’s no place to lock up bikes, it can deter children from visiting your playground. After all, many parents have spent hundreds of dollars on bikes for their kids. So, it’s important to respect their investment by installing bike racks to prevent theft.

Bike racks come in dozens of sizes and styles. The most common are circle and loop racks, which hold anywhere from 2-5 bikes. However, if your playground is in a high traffic area, opt for a grid bike rack instead. These racks can hold up to 20 bikes at a time, making them an economical choice for schools.

Shade Structures

When designing a playground, the safety of children should be your #1 priority. That’s why it’s important to provide enough shade for kids to cool off. Depending on your playground site, you may already have lots of natural shade, like trees. But, if your playground is out in the open, you’ll need to invest in a shade structure.

Umbrella shades are an attractive and affordable option to cover smaller dining areas. And, due to their low footprint, you can place multiple umbrella shades around the playground. However, if you’re looking to create a large outdoor event space, consider installing a gazebo instead. Gazebos are much better at covering large spans of space with full sun exposure.

Outdoor Fitness Equipment

We all know that playgrounds are built for kids. But, adults should have a place to play, too! One of the best ways to get adults active on the playground is with outdoor fitness equipment. Whether it’s a single multigym system, or a complex fitness circuit, all options promote physical activity and healthy living.

Outdoor fitness equipment is great for improving physical health, like strength, stamina, and speed. But, it also has a host of mental and emotional benefits. This includes reduced stress, improved mood, and decreased anxiety and depression. Plus, when kids see a parent or caretaker exercising, it sets a positive example for them to follow!

Fire Pits and Grills

Nothing’s better than a family cookout on a hot summer day! Compared to most parks, installing a fire pit can make your playground stand out. Whether you’re grilling up some burgers, or making s’mores for the kids, fire pits help create lifelong memories. Plus, when families are able to cook at your park, it encourages them to stay longer.

A high-quality fire pit will have a coating that’s resistant to high temperatures. This ensures that it will look its best, even after years of use. In addition, it’s also a good idea to research the fire pit bylaws of your area. Each town/city has different regulations, so it’s important that you purchase a fire pit that’s compliant.

Where Can Site Amenities Be Installed?

Of course, site amenities are a popular addition to playgrounds. But, this isn’t the only place they can be installed. From hiking trails that stretch kilometres long, to a simple bus stop, site amenities can enhance virtually any outdoor space. All it takes is a few furnishings to transform an empty space into a warm and welcoming environment!

Here are a few spaces that will benefit from site amenities:

  • Daycares: Park benches provide a comfortable place for caregivers to supervise children as they play. In addition, picnic tables are great for having lunch and snacks outside.
  • Places of worship: Places of worship will benefit from installing a shade structure outside. Add some picnic tables and waste receptacles, and you have an outdoor event space!
  • Campgrounds: When it comes to campgrounds, fire pits are a must on every site. After all, what’s a camping trip without roasting marshmallows over the fire?
  • Storefronts: For business owners, installing bike racks will attract cyclists to visit your facility. This means more foot traffic to your store, and more sales as a result!