Words by Li Chiao-chi Translated by Anna Yang
Photograph by Shi Chun-tai Photos provided by Taichung City Government
By contrast with ordinary park slides and swings, Taichung City is actively promoting all-inclusive playgrounds designed to meet the special needs of kids of all ages. Parents are also able to participate in their children’s play times, allowing them to boost family relationships as their kids burn off energy. Right now, there’s no better time to put aside your electronic gadgets and take your kids out for some fun!
The increasing value of the “learning through play” concept has impacted local parks in almost every neighborhood. The new concept of an “inclusive playground” encourages children of all ages to enjoy playing in the park. In such playgrounds, everyone is welcomed to challenge themselves at play. These facilities can serve to enhance children’s sensory integration, balance, focus, and social-interaction abilities as everyone, ranging from toddlers to teenagers and even adults, are welcomed to play together.
In Taichung, there are different aspects to inclusive playgrounds. Some have wall-climbing facilities for kids who love climbing up and down, while others have birds nest-shaped swings. That means there’s something for everyone and visitors never feel bored. They can play in a sandbox or run freely in between equipment, while teenagers can have fun with skateboarding, parkour or inline skating.
Most inclusive playgrounds differ from traditional playgrounds in other ways. The former now feature wheelchair swings for physically-challenged kids to enjoy childhood fun to the fullest, as well as other game and competition options. Senior citizens can also play croquet with friends and train their muscles on outdoor training equipment.
Besides the fun-oriented facets of park playgrounds, other public facilities have also become more user-friendly. For instance, there are equal numbers of squat and sit-down toilets in male and female restrooms for the benefit of all ages and genders. “Let everyone come!” is a new concept in all parks in many corners of Greater Taichung. That means that parks are no longer just venues for taking strolls or walking the dog, but also places for relaxation and building better ties with family and friends. Take your family to a nearby park today!
An artistic urban oasis: Fengle Sculpture Park
This Nantun District park has a six-hectare site with many trees and creative sculptures in various shapes and sizes, as well as a beautiful lake with bridge in its center. Recently-added facilities include stone slides, swings, a sandbox and parkour space. That makes this venue perfect for walking, picnicking, sports and almost any kind of fun you can imagine.
Location: 331, WenXin S 5th Rd, Nantun Dist.
Training muscles and guts in an adventurous paradise: Aofeng Mountain Sports Park
This large hillside park has a total area of 60 hectares and offers barbecue facilities, grassy lawns and playground areas that include spider-shaped equipment and fun climbing ropes. These allow kids to embark on their own adventures while exploring new challenges and getting some muscle training. At dusk, visitors can walk to the lookout point and take in panoramic views of Taichung Port. Adults and children alike can easily spend a whole afternoon here.
Location: 100, AoHai Rd, QingShui Dist.
A fun paradise next to a military air base: Zhenqian Renai Park
As this park is adjacent to Taichung’s Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, its main theme focuses on the air force. Most facilities are colored in a military green, including a replica bomb shelter and some real fighter aircraft. Military veterans and others like to visit with their kids and let them experience the fun. In addition, there is a gigantic pirate ship with plentiful climbing and other fun options. There is also a rollerskating center in this park that attracts many children to visit for sporting activities.
Location: 1668-5, ZhongShan Rd, Shenggang Dist.