They're brighter. They're safer. And they're some of the nation's best. Michigan has a wealth of children's playgrounds scattered across the state. I've lived long enough to see these playgrounds undergo massive changes that have increased accessibility and decreased the likelihood of kids falling from great heights. Michigan has 11 modern playgrounds recognized among the country's finest.

Related: Children's Playgrounds of Michigan, 1900-1950

Lawnstarter.com ranked 425 cities nationwide based on the quality, safety, and accessibility of their children's playgrounds. These are all great things -- that previous generations NEVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT!

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Don't confuse the plastic slides and woodchips you see today as an accurate representation of what outdoor fun structures used to be. Before we became worried about allergies and skinned knees, our playgrounds were built to prepare you to fall and get back up again.

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Remember the slide? That 10,000-foot-tall aluminum slide heated up to 500 degrees in the middle of summer, and we gleefully slid down it wearing shorts. But it wasn't just a quick slide down, was it? Why? Because there was a bar at waist level at the top of the slide that invited us to do a flip before dropping down a hot sheet of metal into gravel.

Michigan Children’s Playgrounds: Top 11 Cities For Swings And Play
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Michigan's former playgrounds, like today's, were judged on three criteria as well. It wasn't considered a playground until each of the following questions was replied to with an emphatic 'Yes':

  1. Is the structure ridiculously tall?
  2. Is there a severe risk of falling from the ridiculously tall structure while climbing or sliding down it?
  3. If the equipment isn't ridiculously tall, will it spin you around in a circle until you become violently ill?

Did we fall? Yup. Did we get dizzy enough that the school nurse let us lie down for the rest of the day? You bet. Good times. Good times.

Eleven Michigan Cities Playgrounds Are Among America's Best

Michigan Children’s Playgrounds: Top 11 Cities For Swings And Play
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To say playground technology has advanced significantly would be an understatement. Michigan's playgrounds now feature the safety, accessibility, and quality that residents demand.

Related: Are These the Snobbiest Towns in Michigan?

Let's examine the Lawnstarter.com study results more closely and reveal which Michigan cities made the list.

Michigan Children’s Playgrounds: Top 11 Cities For Kids and Play

Lawnstarter.com recently graded the playgrounds of 431 cities nationwide and rated each for safety, accessibility, and quality. Here are the Top 11 Cities for Kids and Play in Michigan.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

Children's Playgrounds of Michigan

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