It's been two years since we first released our Ultimate SouthCoast Playground Guide. Our new, bigger list has all of the great new playgrounds that have been built since 2019, spaces we'd not explored yet that you all recommended, and sadly, we had to remove some spots that have since been torn down. Childhood doesn't last forever and as most of us adults know, neither does some playground equipment.

After many playground conversations with moms, dads, and any caretaker who would chat with me, I realized two very important things about playgrounds in our area.

One, playgrounds aren't all open to the public all the time. Many school playgrounds are locked up after school hours and quite a few beach playgrounds are limited to those with parking permits or town stickers. It's not enough to just know a playground's address. You need to know if the playground operates under any special restrictions and if you'll be turned away once you get there.

Two, playgrounds operate almost entirely by word of mouth, with no central information base online. At each playground I visited, a parent was able to tell me about another playground I'd not heard of before and in exchange, I'd tell them about one they'd not heard of. Parents all know that no one calls playgrounds by their actual names, but rather by their focal point, like a purple dinosaur, or a local landmark close by, like Target or Kool Kone. Googling the phrase "purple dinosaur playground" or "castle playground" doesn't exactly help in the quest to find the playgrounds someone told you about.

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And so, with all of the above challenges in mind, we've put together the updated 2021 Ultimate SouthCoast Playground Guide. If you used our 2019 version, your kids are a bit older now and looking for some new, challenging stuff to climb. If you had toddlers back then, they probably have a lot more energy to burn now and you need a great fenced-in space for them to do that safely.

Remember, playgrounds are for everyone, and being respectful of these spaces makes it possible for our community to enjoy them for years to come. School playgrounds are off-limits during school hours and beach playgrounds may require a beach or town sticker during the summer. Lastly, not all playgrounds have trash barrels nearby, so pack out whatever you bring in with you.

Now get outside and have your own ultimate playground adventure.

Ultimate SouthCoast Playground Guide 2021

The Ultimate SouthCoast Playground Guide for 2021 features 48 public playgrounds throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.