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Where the Wild Kids Are

An urban adventure playground is about to open up in the U.S., and the rough-and-tumble, unstructured play could benefit both parents and children.
A pop-up adventure playground on Governors Island.
A pop-up adventure playground on Governors

Eve Mosher was getting frustrated. Her children, ages 4 and 6, encountered rules everywhere they went to play in New York City. Even at parks and playgrounds, expressly built for the purpose of play, they were chastised for digging in the dirt or climbing trees. Mosher, a native of the Houston suburbs, says that her city kids had “no sense of ownership over a space; there’s no sense of independence and self-confidence that comes from playing on their own.”

She and fellow parent Alexander Khost were talking about this issue one Saturday in August 2014 when the topic of adventure playgrounds came up. By Sunday they had a plan to bring an adventure playground to New York; by December, play:groundNYC hosted its first event.