Shane's Inspiration in Griffith Park, LA's original all-access playground, has always been a favorite in our family, and this summer my kids are even more excited to visit this local gem than ever before. The reason? Shane's Inspiration recently reopened with all new playground structures and sensory elements, and the new stuff is awesome!
For those not familiar with it, Shane's Inspiration opened in 2000 as the first all-inclusive and universally accessible playground in Los Angeles. It is located in the center of Griffith Park near the Merry-Go-Round and just up the road from the Pony Rides and the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad. Shane's is vast—the kind of playground where you can spend the better part of a day, with picnic tables nearby for easy eating on the go. (There are bathrooms here, too, with a large outdoor sink that is usually stocked with soap.) The playground features a number of great play structures for kids of all ages, and the feeling of all-inclusiveness has not changed with the renovation. Here is what has:
This addition is the highlight for my kids. Prior to the renovation in late March, Shane's Inspiration did have one zipline, but it was small, old, and creaky. Now there are two zipline tracks—one with a seat and one with a rope swing. I swear my girls could do this all day!
New Main Playground
The park's previous large structure was very cool, with a pretend rocket and pirate ship. But like a beloved stuffed animal, it was a bit dirty and worn down. The new structure has kept the nautical and outer space themes, but everything is clean and fresh. That includes new sensory elements like rainbow color wheels, marble walls, and rainmakers. Plus, there are updated slides, climbing areas, and sliding poles galore.
Near the structure for little tots (which also is brand new, by the way) there is now a sweet little music corner with two large xylophones and drums. Also a cute touch: the musical note and treble clef pavement design.
Many of the playground structures are now covered by man-made shade. What a relief to parents with the hot summer months ahead!
What is it about making yourself dizzy again and again that is so appealing to kids? I don't know, but now they can do it all they want at Shane's Inspiration. There are a few spinners located right by the main playground, some for solo riders as well as two mini merry-go-rounds where a few kids can ride at the same time. Sorry Mom and Dad; that means you've got to push!
New See-Saws and Swings
Good-bye rusty old see-saw and tire swing. Hello new equipment. All of the swings and see-saws at Shane's have been replaced and updated. That includes the addition of a four-person see-saw and a flat board-like swing (my kids call it the magic carpet ride).
For those who had a soft spot for the original playground, you'll be happy to know that there are a few elements at Shane's Inspiration that have not changed. The sand castle and sandbox at the center of the park remain the same, as does the trike track with its cute road signs and pretend gas station. Parking is still easy and fairly plentiful, with lots near both the front and back entrances. On any given day, you will still see snack and ice cream vendors.
If you haven't yet visited this LA treasure, now is a great time to go!
Photos courtesy of Landscape Structures