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The philosophy at Adventure Playground is "to provide elements that are not normally found in a play environment." There are piles of boards, old carpeting, plywood to make signs and walls and roofs. Kids can check out hammer and nails, a saw, buckets of paint and brushes. There is an ever changing collection of kid-built shacks and club houses. There are old tires lying around everywhere, a huge cargo net to climb up and (my kids' favorite) a cable and pulley "slide": you stand on a a wood platform, grab a rope attached to the pulley on the cable overhead, wrap your legs around the rope (which has a tiny seat attached) and zoom down into a pile of sand. Then you walk the rope uphill to the next kid waiting on the platform and get back in line! (Parents beware - your kid has to meet a height requirement to do this.)
Adventure Playground is next to the Bay, at the Berkeley Marina (take University Ave west all the way to the end; go left at the fork and it will be on your left.) When you go, you might want to take along a picnic and take a walk along the Bay - the area where the playground is has a tiny beach, paths, and picnic tables. Nearby attractions are the the kite park, the pier, and the marina.
Hours: 11-5 Sat & Sunday only, plus all Berkeley holidays (daily during the summer). It's free
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