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Dennis and Judith Jones Variety Wonderland

Dennis and Judith Jones Variety Wonderland

Grand Dr and Lagoon Dr St. Louis, MO, 63112

Average Rating: 4.5 (2 ratings)
Playground, Park, Public, Free

St. Louis Variety, formerly Variety Club, recently presented a $2 million gift to the City of St. Louis — its first inclusive public playground. Thanks to seven local donors, this historic gift was officially named the Dennis and Judith Jones Variety Wonderland at a groundbreaking ceremony on July 26 in Forest Park. This half-acre, state-of-the-art playground was specifically designed for ALL children — able-bodied children and children with disabilities. Featuring 29 pieces of equipment, children will naturally learn about diversity, disabilities and acceptance through playtime in five areas. First Adventures for children ages 2-5, Big Adventures for children ages 6 to 12, the Secret Garden and an Observation Relaxation Deck and Living Shelter. Some of the features include a wheelchair-accessible tree house, Braille panel and 32′ musical pylon for the visually impaired, creative panels, 14 perennials known to attract, feed and house Monarch butterflies and talk phones. Customized equipment include teeter-totter swings with high backs, disc swings, metal slides for children with cochlear implants, double slides and four-seat seesaws. Donors are Dennis and Judith Jones, Mary Ann Lee, Jill and Sam Hamacher, Barbara Hagnauer Muckerman and Richard I.C. Muckerman, the Steven F. Schankman family and Ed and Margie Imo. Construction is in progress just west of the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. The constructor is BSI and the design team is Powers Bowersox Associates, Inc. (PBA) and HOK. For more information call St. Louis Variety at (314) 453-0453 X 22 or visit www.varietystl.org.

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lisa selligman over 6 years ago

while this playground does have the ubiquitous plastic equipment, it combines those elements with metal platforms, ramps, fountains, landscape elements, and a gorgeous concrete wall. Best of all is the bell tower: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47thoughts/3100273873

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Guest about 7 years ago

I love the playground, and I will always be thankful to the donors who helped make it a reality. It represents the best of St. Louis, but it also represents something I don't understand. Why no shade trees? Why, if you are going to build a playground in "Forest Park," would you not take advantage of the beautiful, old, tall, shady trees around there in order to supply children and parents with shade during our fierce 100 degree summer days? I don't get it. It's almost like St. Louisians hate the shade. Apart from that though: wonderful playground. See you there!

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