The Illinois Playground For Grown-Ups

Chicago, Illinois – We all know what a playground is. It’s that place in the park or in some local recreation are that is filled with slides and tires and all sorts of things made just for kids to have fun on. Even us adults have found ourselves sitting on the edge of a tire or climbing up the ropes, but…

Have you heard about the adult playground?

Yesterday, the Burnham Park Outdoor Fitness Station, part of the Chicago Park District, was opened to the public. The jungle gym-like space is located near the city’s South Side, where Lake Shore Drive intersects with 39th Street.

Inspired by a similar park in Venice Beach, California, the Burnham Park Outdoor Fitness Station fulfills more than one function.  In Venice Beach, between the body-building facilities at the Venice Recreation Center and the actual beach lies a sandy yard equipped with balance beam, rings, uneven bars, climbing rope and a range of other gymnastic and recreational apparatuses. It’s for bigger kids and adults.

According to the Chicago Park District, Burnham Park, which lies just south of Grant Park, spans 600 acres and offers plenty of recreation for visitors old and young. The latest addition is geared toward Chicago adults who are fitness enthusiasts. It represents the first concept of its kind in Chicago, with many more likely to open up throughout the city.

While it can be a simple form of recreation for those passing by, it’s also a one-stop shop for people who are in serious training as it serves as a nice deviation from the traditional gym. It’s also great for athletes or individuals who are accustomed to more intense workout programs that implement unique types of exercise targeting multiple parts of the body, like CrossFit or various bootcamps.

The outdoor project was funded primarily by Coca-Cola and is part of a larger effort led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel called “Chicago Plays,” which partners with the Friends of the Park organization and promises to restore 300 parks by the year 2018, netting out at about 50 parks per year.

Whether you’re looking for a new setting for an extreme workout, or just somewhere you can be a kid again for an hour or two, the Burnham Park Outdoor Fitness Station will certainly be an appreciated addition to the city.

What do you think of having playgrounds like these around Freeport? Chime In!

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