Letting Imaginations Run Free
What’s believed to be the first public playground in America opened in Golden Gate Park in 1887. About 120 years later, the redesigned Koret Children’s Quarter brings adventure and discovery into play by creating a framework for children to use their imaginations and alter their environment. With input from City staff, residents and, most importantly, children, many existing elements like the historic carousel and popular cement slides were incorporated into the new design, which reflects the natural landscape of San Francisco as it transitions from forested hills to the edge of the sea.
Now, a boulder-lined stream bubbles along in the midst of hillside lookouts and meanders through a tree house village. Children can dig for artifacts in a large sand zone while others can sway on oversized cattails in the wetland zone. Families can relax and picnic on a central grassy berm. Across a plaza of trees and curving seat walls is the seaside environment, where aquatic forms created by artists Vicki Saulls and Scott Peterson inspire active and imaginative play. Sea caves enclose another sand area with climbable creatures like hermit crabs and sea turtles. Tactile tide pools and playful water jets erupt from sculpted sea lions. Two large climbing walls in the form of cresting waves provide a physical challenge that is safe for children of all ages and abilities.