In October 2016, the Greensboro Children’s Museum in North Carolina launched its “Reaching Greater Heights” capital campaign to help fund the museum’s expansion efforts. The first phase of this expansion included an outdoor classroom, a redesigned museum entrance and a brand new outdoor play plaza.
The vision for the new Outdoor Play Plaza was to have an area with a theme-park feel, something that was more of a destination rather than a collection of swings, slides and spinners on the playground. It needed to be something that would bring visitors in, something that no one else had.
As you can see in the video below, the Berliner team designed a revolutionary solution, a playground with an amusement park feel, by putting not just one 30-foot Neptun XXL on the playground, but two and then connecting the structures with a 30-foot long tunnel!
With only 12 of the single Neptun XXL structures worldwide (two in the United States), the team created something that no one else has ever done before on the playground.
Drive down the street and you can’t miss these dueling climbing pyramids, enticing visitors to stop and explore. It is a highlight for the museum and a one-of-kind attraction. And, once you get to the top, you can see the skyline of downtown Greensboro.
May 13, 2017 marked the grand opening of the new Greensboro Children’s Museum Outdoor Play Plaza.
These sculptural additions to the landscape provide children with plenty of ways to challenge themselves, make independent decisions and build their self-confidence.
The 30-foot tall structures, taller than most two-story houses, are metal with rope netting inside and each has a play volume for more than 200 kids. Children can climb to great heights on these 30-foot tall climbers without compromising their safety, helping them get physically active as they experience all types of climbing. And, even though the pyramids are 30-feet tall, the maximum fall height is 6’1″.
The Neptun XXL structures offer unlimited play and climbing opportunities – up, down, side-to-side – that are challenging for users of all ages. In fact, rarely do you find multi-generational structures on a playground; however, these climbing pyramids are not only accessible, but challenge all ages from young children to teens and adults.
Yet, it’s more than simply climbing to thrilling heights; the pyramids offer horizontal and close-to-the-ground play, and the open design (i.e., the lack of platforms inside the structure) encourages plenty of interaction among the children, which helps to develop socialization skills. And the true 3-dimensional climbers stimulate creativity and cognitive skills getting kids to think about where they want to go, creating their own path to get there.
Another unique feature to the design is the 30-foot long net tunnel. Created using a small mesh, the tunnel is 24″ in height and offers an exciting challenge as children cross from one pyramid to the other. As you can see in the video, the tunnel incorporates risk-based play yet in a safe manner as children are protected by the net.
The Flubber Cube offers a different climbing and sensory experience. Whereas, the 3D net climbers provide great transparency, the Flubber Cube provides a little more privacy where kids can sit or lay comfortably. Like a big, multi-level trampoline, when a child jumps in one corner, it affects kids throughout the cube with a swaying up-and-down movement, creating more interaction among the kids.
To make this even more unique, the pyramids have been customized with numerous climbing elements, such as: 3D net, inverted ladders, twisted nets, climbing rope, chin-up bars, sway bridge and wespennest lookout.
If children don’t want to climb down, they can always speed down the attached 12-foot tall, stainless steel slide. Half-open, the ride down is fast!
The Cosmo S, a totally round rope play structure designed to provide kids ages two to five with fun and energetic play, has a curved stainless steel tube frame that will preserve its look for many years.
The Cloud 9 accessible swing enables multiple children, including children with special needs, to swing together, developing socialization skills and a sense of balance. Kids of all ages, especially young couples, enjoy the swinging movement and flying on the cloud!
The Little Big Ben merry-go-round, a spinning island, gives children more of a traditional play piece they can squat or stand on as they spin round and round.
Rope-styled playgrounds help children develop their upper body strength and motor skills. Rope also encourages children to interact with each other and is naturally ADA-friendly since the children can enter the structure at any location and climb according to their abilities.
But the true test, kids are having a great time in the NEW outdoor play plaza!