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Go Ask Mom

Construction trucking along at massive new Raleigh playground

Posted August 30
Updated August 31

Work on the massive Sassafras All Children's Playground in north Raleigh is moving along ... a little slower than expected.

At the moment, officials hope to open the playground at Laurel Hills Park at 3808 Edwards Mill Rd. in November. The playground, conceived back in 2009, is designed for kids of all abilities, including those in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues. The original 1991 playground, which looked like a giant wooden castle, was razed last fall. It also had been designed for kids of every ability to play on.

The current $2.3 million project will be paid for, in part, by $1 million coming from the 2014 parks bond. Organizers also continue to raise private funds toward the new playground. There will be a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 17, at Crabtree Valley Mall with all proceeds benefiting the playground.

The playground will include areas for toddlers and older children, along with a maze, sand play, a stage and child calming areas. There will be swings and slides on the 3.5-acre site.

Other highlights:

  • A basketball hoop that allows kids to adjust the height.
  • Two zip line-like experiences that are much longer than the traditional 10 to 12-foot experience at a typical playground. One zip line features a seat anybody can sit in. The second has a harness-like seat for children who might lack upper body strength.
  • A variety of swings - from communal swings to belt and bucket swings to swings with full support for kids who need it.
  • Standalone pieces that help kids build their strength, including roller tables where kids can lie down and pull themselves back and forth.
  • A Sway Fun, a wheelchair-accessible teeter totter.
  • Play panels, seats and other activities under the decking of the main playground.

You can see some of those pieces taking shape in the image gallery. It's one of many new destinations for families in the region. They also include SnickerDoodles and Galaxy Fun Park, which are slated to open in September; Jack Smith Park in Cary, which opened last week; and an American Girl store at Crabtree Valley Mall, which opens in October.

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