Best New Playground - 2012
Culver City Park
There tend to be two kinds of playgrounds. You have the standard setup: swings, slides and seesaws. And then there is the ambitious playground, which tends to feature a giant ship or a castle or something. For its newest playground, Culver City Park shunned both approaches and instead did something weird. The city turned to KOMPAN, a Danish company, which delivered a very Scandinavian jungle gym, with odd shapes and primary colors. Half the fun is trying to figure out how everything is supposed to work. For toddlers, there's a water table with a working pump, so bring a change of clothes. For bigger kids — and reckless adults — there's a large climbing apparatus made of connected dodecahedrons called "Bloqx." Doubtless there is a ton of peer-reviewed child development research to back this all up. Of course, there are still swings and slides, plus a basketball court, skate park and an open field. It's a major improvement to the neighborhood. 9700 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City. (310) 253-6470, culvercity.org/Government/PRCS/Parks/ParkSites/CCPark.aspx.