Opened just two months ago, Indigo Playground is so new that some pieces of the play equipment still have labels. It was designed by award-winning art, landscape, and architectural firm Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM).
In the front of the park is a playground area for children ages 2-7, which includes rubber floors with see-saws, a gentle slide, a climbing house structure, and sandy area. Plastic spring animals are scattered around the main play equipment for children to ride. The perimeter features a wood bench for parents to sit and watch their kids play. A canopy of orange circles and donuts covers the entire area, providing some shade while creating the illusion of an indoor playroom.
Past the small children’s play area is the King of the Hill adventure playground for ages 8 and up. The mountain in the center has various climbing routes consisting of pipes, climbing rocks, and rope that lead to the lookout point at the top. Two white marble slides provide a fast and fun way to get down.
At the mountain’s woodchip-covered base are a set of swings, a spinning wheel, and a spinning swing. On the other side is a web-like rope climbing structure. Perfect for Beijing’s sweltering summer, the mist machine behind the mountain is turned on periodically throughout the day.
A lovely garden surrounds and connects both playgrounds with winding pathways, low trees, and bushes. Though it provides limited shade, the garden contains enough greenery to make visitors briefly forget that they are in the city. In addition, two security guards walk back and forth between both playgrounds for the children’s safety.
Located in the backyard of Indigo Mall, the playground is a short walk away from restaurants like Element Fresh, Flamme, or Blue Frog. Indigo Mall also offers clean bathrooms and temporary indoor play areas.
Completely free and open to the public, Indigo Playground is a bright orange gem in a busy, gray city. As a small Chinese boy exclaimed while eagerly climbing onto a swing, this playground is feichang hao (“very good”).
This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how to obtain your own copy, email email@example.com.
Photos: Courtesy of BAM