Variety KC Exploration Playground: Inclusion at the Kansas City Zoo!
When it comes to things to do in Kansas City, there is something for everyone in the family.
…but is it fun and accessible for those with special needs?
There may be too much noise, a table that’s not wheelchair accessible, or may not be a great fit for a family that has someone with special needs. KC needed an inclusive play solution.
The Kansas City Zoo & Variety KC created not only the best, but the only all-inclusive playground at any zoo in the US!
Variety KC Playground: The 1st Inclusive Zoo Playground
Variety KC works to provide adaptive equipment and opportunities for children with developmental disabilities in KC. The charity’s mission focuses on activity and inclusion for all ages, but they went above and beyond with their new playground.
The new Variety KC Playground is accessible for kids of all ages and abilities!
What’s inside an Inclusive Play Place?
Inside the playground you will find:
- Two zip lines which one has a companion harness so any child with special needs can be accompanied during their ride.
- An elephant swing that can accommodate multiple children or children that require assistance from a parent of caretaker.
- A low sensory area to calm children
- A slide
- Chalk/Crayon boards for creative play
- Special sensory kits that include weighted blankets and noise canceling headphones (must be checked out)
- And special surfacing that allows children in power wheel chairs or gait walkers to access the entire playground!
- Plus, a great view of some of the Zoo!
The inclusiveness extends beyond children.
Grandparents who may be physically challenged, or disabled parents can participate in the fun too!
One out of four families has a member with a disability. So, the Variety KC Exploration Playground is a great place to play!
Where is it Located?
Inside The Kansas City Zoo!
You can find this brand new all- inclusive playground located in the back of Africa at the Kansas City Zoo. Once you cross the bridge or exit the tram, you can follow the path to the left of the sky safari. That path will lead right to it! The path is well shaded and easy to follow and once you get there it is more than worth it!
Grand Opening of Variety KC Exploration Play
On May 4th, our friends over at the Kansas City Zoo (a family favorite) partnered with Variety of Greater Kansas City to open the FIRST all-inclusive playground at a Zoo!
My kids and I were so lucky enough to visit playground for the ribbon cutting ceremony and there was not a sad face in site! Everyone from the volunteers, the media, parents and kids all enjoyed their time!
If you are like me, then from time to time you may forget that not everyone can utilize the same play space. I know for a fact that there are families across the metro area that are so thankful for this truly amazing playground!
Take the time to check out this great new addition to our Kansas City community.
Have fun & play on! 🙂
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If your family needs other special needs resources, check out our Special Needs Guide!