This past weekend Streetscapes Inc. set up a demonstration play zone at Denver’s Meet in the Streets. Meet in the Street is being used as a planning tool by the Downtown Denver Partnership, RTD and Denver Parks to identify potential ways to engage Denver residents and visitors along Denver’s 16th Street Mall.
Our demonstration project featured four distinct zones – a kid play space using large interactive play elements from SnugPlay and an imbarimba ( a musical instrument from Freenote Harmony), – two seating areas located on the edge of the play areas ( a Rune bench, a custom surfer bench and a North Lakes bench), – folding tables and chairs (Original Bistro) and two Pillow chairs under shade canopies for resting, relaxing and refreshments and a bean bag toss game for anyone interested. The seating area was completed with the K-base and Milk casual seating. The area was bordered with two Wilshire fiberglass planters and two Urban fiberglass planter filled with Toto Lemon Rudbeckia, Crocosmia Lucifer and Veronica sunny Border Blue perennials.
The large interactive play elements used in the play zone were a hit with both kids and adults. The youngest kids to play in the area were 14 months old. The oldest were the adults who either played with their kids or reverted back to their own childhoods. We had several families that visited the play area both days bringing additional family and friends along. Here’s part of several conversations that we overhead in the play zone – Mom.. Justin it’s time to go. Justin … Why?
The Imbarimba were played by a wide spectrum of age groups that included kids, teens and adults, individually and as groups. Wheel chair bound visitors managed to get some riff’s in too. Some musicians played for a few seconds, others for minutes at a time.
The bean bag boards had a variety of gamers – both kids and adults. Some who were avid players, other that were just beginners. However, the combination of players were exciting to watch – fathers and sons, mothers and daughter, women and men; husbands and wives, girl friends and male friends. Some kids tossed the bags into the game board from a feet away.
Visitors to Meet in the Streets used the shade canopies and seating area to catch their breath, take a break from the 90+ degree weather, hold conversations with friends and watch the bean bag game competition. Having seating on the edge of the play area allowed parents to watch their kids play, visit with friends, check their email and just relax.
The fiberglass planters and flowers were an experiment on our behalf to create an additional point of interest. We specifically chose the Crocosmia Lucifer because of it’s unique appearance. We wanted to determine if anyone would notice. The experiment was a resounding success. Visitor along the mall did notice the plants. Many visitors shot photos of the flowers or copied information from attached plant cards
Based on feedback from Meet in the Street visitors and the kids who got upset about leaving the play zone, our play zone was an unqualified success.