A new beachfront playground for children with all types of abilities is set to open in Santa Monica Saturday, July 13.
The city’s first universally accessible playground, designed by Katherine Spitz Associates, Inc., is located at South Beach Park near the 2900 block of Ocean Front Walk.
The ship-design play area includes barrier-free equipment, increased maneuvering space and accessible surfacing and paths.
Designers note the play facility is wheelchair accessible and considers the needs of children with physical, cognitive, seeing and hearing disabilities, as well as children with complex developmental behavioral conditions, such as autism. Sensory play elements to touch, feel and hear, such as sand and water complement swings, slides and climbing equipment inspire activity, mobility and imagination, designers say.
Mayor Pam O’Connor and members of Santa Monica’s Disabilities and Recreation & Parks commissions, will officially open the South Beach Park playground at 10 a.m.
“Inspired by Santa Monica’s seaport history, and influenced by the sand and sea, the inclusive, multi-sensory playground takes the form of a ship, its blue and green sails welcoming visitors to the magnificent beaches of Santa Monica,” said playground designer Spitz of Katherine Spitz Associates, Inc.
“The playground celebrates the marine environment with sensory and active play that recall elements of the marine world, providing an accessible place for children of all abilities to play on the beach.“

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