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Top Ten Reasons We Can’t Wait for the Bolger Playspace

swinging at the ringling bolger playspace

1.    It’s no secret that children of all ages need an outdoor space to release their pent-up creative energy and just PLAY. The David F. Bolger Playspace will do just that for visiting families.

 2.     Visitors of all abilities together can climb, swing, splash, slide and bounce on elements that integrate creative play into The Ringling’s popular Bayfront Gardens.  A colorful tower, intimate spaces for imaginative play, hand-powered fountains, and shared-user swings are among the elements selected for The Ringling’s newest outdoor environment.bolger playspace at the ringlingq

 3.     The Bolger Playspace expands on The Ringling’s mission to inspire, educate and entertain by enhancing the existing Ringling landscape through play. 

 4.     There will be “Whirligigs” and “Bouncing Flowers”.  We aren’t exactly sure what those are, but we like the sound of them.

 5.     David Bolger’s inspiration for the Promenade, Campiello, and now the Playspace is to offer visitors an opportunity to “enjoy the beauty of the landscaping and the bay, and contemplate life and their place in it.” 

 6.     Architecture Playground Equipment (APE) of New York won the bid for this project along with their affiliate, Richter Spielgeräte GmbH of Germany.  APE was founded by Jane Clark Chermayeff who most recently coordinated the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) symposium Child in the City of Play.

 7.     German based Richter Spielgeräte GmbH is a family-owned playground equipment manufacturer at the forefront of innovative and fantastical playground design.  Peter Heuken, the firm’s Director of Major Projects, is leading the Bolger/Ringling design effort.  He has also designed many other award-winning playgrounds including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, UK.

 8.     The Playspace will provide a much-needed centralized outdoor gathering area to enhance The Ringling experience for families and school groups.

 9.     Certain members of The Ringling staff are not-so-secretly excited to go play on their lunch break.

 10. The Playspace is the second major project funded by The Bolger Foundation.  David Bolger’s generous gift in 2008 funded the popular, waterfront gathering space near Ca’ d’Zan. On any given day you can find visitors resting in chairs along the Promenade enjoying the waterfront view.  The Campiello has been highly popular for weddings and Art After 5 events like Ringling by the Bay where guests can enjoy live music and dancing while watching the sun set over Sarasota Bay.

Update 1/17/2014

The ribbon cutting for the Bolger Playspace was held on 1/16/2014 - so on your next visit to The Ringling, come have some fun!  

Remember that the Grounds & Gardens are free to visit; no Museum admission required.

Check out a short video of the ribbon cutting!  A Flickr photo gallery is available here.   

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