The Adventure Playground


Build your own adventure, or at least your own forts and prepare for a playful battle! The Adventure Playground is a unique playpen built by the community in the Bay Area, this place is one of a kind! Give it a try and bring your kids and your friends!

On the coast of California, tucked into the Marina among the docks and piers, there’s a place awaiting your discovery. It’s the aptly named Adventure Playground, where you can have as much fun as the kids too!

From the moment you see the sign at the Playground’s entrance, you can feel that this place is special, and it is! This is mostly because a great amount of the experience has been designed by kids, and thus it has tremendous appeal to our inner children! There’s a certain spirit of freedom and fun that cannot be described, but I will say that my first steps had me grinning with excitement.

The craftsmanship of children and their supervisors, the park looks a little rugged, a little unfinished. Actually, this is how I envision a city for lost children would look; Think of the Lost Boys’ village in Hook. Wooden panels jut out in every direction, sloppily assembled and hastily painted. Everybody leaves a trace of themselves behind, and much of the decor is basically graffiti from kids. Some write their names, others leave hand prints, and still others paint dinosaurs and rocket ships. It’s all one colorful, sloppy (but beautiful) canvas.

I had the pleasure of accompanying my best friend and his step daughter to the park. Immediately after signing in (this is required), Maddie was sprinting for the closest structure in sight. At first we were somewhat concerned about the stability of these forts and slides, but rest assured; They can handle the weight of these kids, at least. In, about, around, under, through… She absolutely couldn’t contain her excitement! Neither could I, for that matter. I immediately set out to photograph as many of the creations as I could with the allotted film. I brought a Canon AE-1 along for the ride, and a few rolls of Elitechrome 200 to document the experience.

There were tire swings, forts, ropes, nets, slides, towers, and other standard playground structures, of course. The details made each unique, but the real treasure was in the rest of the ruins. The Adventure Playground has a number of old boats and Kayaks that make great hide-outs, for example. There are a few “dead pianos”, the remains of once-grand instruments. They still play sounds, but in their physical decay they find new beauty. I also loved the small cement holes, a great place to hop in and hide when the parents come calling. Oh! And a zip line! A ZIP LINE!!!

There’s so much more than I could possibly explain to you in one article, and the truth is… why bother? This place is in a constant state of change. As I mentioned previously, one of the joys is that this place was built by the hands of the community. When the kids get bored of playing, you can take them to get some tools. However, to earn the right to build, children must bring 5 nails that they found at or around the playground, 5 pieces of trash, or an alternative. In short, they must help out before they can have fun. Paints and tools are provided, and the kids can go crazy and put together anything their hearts desire! Of course, all of this under adult supervision.

I’d burned through two full rolls before the sun’s heat began to wear on us. As it turned out, I didn’t compensate for the reflection of light on the dirt/sand, so a handful of my images were overexposed. Regardless, I had a blast taking pictures, and I think I walked away with a great selection of usable snaps!

All in all, this place is a blast. If this were around when I was 8, I’d pretty much have slept there. Bear in mind that your children will emerge filthy, as will you; After all, they’ll want your help and your attention throughout it all! You’ll spend just as much time crawling and chasing as they will. Bring your own lunch, as there’s another playground and a picnic area next door.

Have fun, and happy photographing!

written by j_rad on 2010-10-21 in #world #locations #travel-destination #usa #playground-park-slides-xpro-berkeley-ca-california-children-kids-xpro-cross-processed-canon-ae1


  1. j_rad
  2. brettac
    brettac ·

    that's sooo sketchy but so cool :)

  3. crazyunclejoe
    crazyunclejoe ·

    HOLY SMOKES! I remember going here when I was probably 7-8 years old. I remember it being one of the greatest things ever, I loved it. Thanks for bringing back memories!

More Interesting Articles

  • Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-02-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    Leslie Lindell is a Californian photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shoots photos of regular people doing regular things, capturing life and lifestyle. A cookbook which contains photographs that she took won the 2014 IACP Cookbook of the Year award. That same year, Lindell attended the 51st Shoshone Bannock Powwow Festival at the Fort Hall Reservation just outside of Pocatello, Idaho and shot some colorful pictures with the Petzval Lens.

  • Give your photos a touch of class with Lomography 120 Black and White Films

    written by cheeo on 2014-04-01 in #lifestyle
    Give your photos a touch of class with Lomography 120 Black and White Films

    Old period films have their own fair share of mystery due to the black and white treatment. Give your own medium-format photos a touch of the mystique like these snaps from the community.

  • Go Skateboarding with Lomography and The Berrics

    written by kylah on 2014-04-23 in #competitions
    Go Skateboarding with Lomography and The Berrics

    The Northern Hemisphere has started to warm up in preparation for spring and streets, parks, and ramps are ready for some adrenaline-packed adventures. It's a good time to bring out your camera and show off your skateboarding stunts for the chance to win prizes from The Berrics.

  • Shop News

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-12 in #gear #tipster
    My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    I backed the Kickstarter project for the Lomo’Instant earlier this year and was thrilled to receive it last week. I love how the camera naturally encourages you to experiment with its different features, whether it’s through flashing your multiple exposures with different colors or trying different creative techniques after your shots has been ejected. Here are a few tips from what I’ve discovered from playing with the camera so far (and a couple of tips I want to try out in future)!

  • August 2014 Workshops and Events in Lomography Embassy Singapore

    written by lomographysg on 2014-07-30 in #events
    August 2014 Workshops and Events in Lomography Embassy Singapore

    This August, we bring you back to your roots and explore the wonders of nature! First, we cook up a storm with a film soup experiment. Followed by nature photowalks at beautiful scenic parks in Singapore to unearth the tips & tricks of trouble exposure, as well as the unique methods to perfect our macro shots. To cap off the learning month, we'll gather on a cozy Friday night for a new special sharing series by the Lomography Community -- with Sharing Session #1: Nature.

  • Colorsplashing For Dummies

    written by shhquiet on 2014-05-09 in #gear #tipster
    Colorsplashing For Dummies

    Colorsplashing can do wonders to your image. It can alter the mood of your image, enhance colors, or introduce a totally new perspective! Advanced photography skills are not required here; all it takes is a Colorsplash Camera (or Flash) and your imagination. "Paint" your dog green, dye your friend's face with pink light ... the possibilities are endless! Here's a list of Colorsplashing techniques to try from daytime to nighttime.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-01-21 in #gear #tipster
    Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    Perhaps you’ve already had chance to try light painting, multiple exposures and long exposures with your Lomo’Instant, but what can you experiment with next? Well, that’s exactly the thought I had which led to giving this Tipster a go. I wanted to shoot Lomo’Instant photos which felt a bit “messier” than what I’m usually used to and to use a technique which would open up new possibilities with the kinds of images I could create with my favorite instant camera. Well, here I go!

  • Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    written by sandravo on 2014-05-29 in #gear #tipster
    Tutorial: Tetenal Colortec E6 3-bath Kit - Develop your own color slides

    This is a tutorial for the adventurous Lomographers, for those brave enough to do their own B&W and C-41 work but lacking the confidence to move onto E6. Fear no more! I am an enthusiastic home developer, just like the rest of you, I am not a chemical lab wizard! So if I can pull this off, so can the rest of you. Take a deep breath, relax, and read on. By the end of this article I hope you'll have mustered the courage to give it a go yourselves!

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #people #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Photo of the Day by robertofiuza

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-30 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by robertofiuza

    Left your splitzer at home? Make use of your surroundings to create a perfect symmetrical image. Take a cue from our winning Photo of the Day!

  • Proofbook is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-30 in #world #news
    Proofbook is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to proofbook for winning Home of the Day!

  • Wacky Panoramas Shot with the Spinner Motorizer

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-30 in #gear #lifestyle
    Wacky Panoramas Shot with the Spinner Motorizer

    Gather all your friends for a fun panoramic portrait with Spinner 360 and Motorizer!