Playground Equipment and Surfacing Manufacturers

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:00pm
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Active Playground Equipment

A Canadian manufacturer of commercial playground equipment committed to sustaining the environment, APE manufactures traditional post and deck equipment, deckless equipment, independent motion-based equipment, outdoor fitness equipment, surfacing, and shade features.

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Adventure Playground Systems 

Based in Houston, Texas, Adventure Playground Systems is a commercial playground equipment manufacturer that has created outdoor play systems, soft play systems, early childhood systems, skate parks, splash pads, fitness equipment, stand-alone structures, and sports equipment as well as shade canopies, shelters, and surfacing.

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Atomic Playgrounds

Since 1999, Canadian manufacturer Atomic Playgrounds has been delivering themed and unthemed, custom indoor play systems to amusement centers, doctor’s offices, museums, community centers, shopping malls, restaurants, and retail outlets. Atomic also creates custom branding solutions for its clients with logo, character, and artwork development.

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Barbara Butler Artist-Builder 

Founder of Outer Space Design, Barbara combines play and art in backyard play designs. Most of their play spaces fit one of four standard categories:  playhouses, play forts, theaters, and outside structures for grownups. Though the company has traditionally built for families in their backyards, they also offer play structures for public places.

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BCI Burke

Founded in 1920, BCI Burke is one of the oldest playground companies in the United States. BCI Burke has consistently been “Reinventing Play™” based on their core values of integrity, respect for people, teamwork, innovation, leadership, and performance. They have built a reputation for having a strong focus on customer service as well as producing high-quality products that last for decades.

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Bears Playgrounds

Danny Bears founded the company in 2000 making natural playgrounds with cedar logs. The natural playgrounds have unique designs, such as log bridges, built-in picnic tables, flexible swing set mounting options, and safety nets instead of bars. They also offer the steel post and plastic commercial playgrounds, commercial skateboard parks, and safety surfacing options.

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Berliner Seilfabrik Play Equipment Corporation

 Beginning in Berlin in 1865 as a manufacturer of steel cables for the Berliner elevator industries, Berliner Seilfabrik entered the playground industry in the 1970s with their world famous ropes made into play climbing structures.  More than 3,000 different climbing cable net variations have been designed over the years.

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Since the 1960s, BigToys has been designing and manufacturing playground equipment. Shifting from their original focus with wood structures, BigToys offers architecturally focused, environmentally friendly play systems that are designed for children to be developmentally appropriate for their ages. BigToys is part of the PlayCore family.

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Blue Imp

Derived from Blue Implement, a farm implement company founded by S.F. Scott in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Blue Imp became a playground equipment manufacturer in the 1950s. With fitness in mind, Blue Imp features equipment with varying levels of difficulty. Their playground systems use both aerobic and muscle training that is both challenging and fun.

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Brewer’s Ledge

Designing and manufacturing climbing structures for playgrounds, Brewer’s Ledge opened up climbing as a mainstream fitness tool. They offer freestanding and wall-mount climbing walls as well as rotating walls that are self-pacing and automatically match the climber’s personal abilities.

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Founded in 1978, Cemrock Naturalistic Environments constructs, fabricates, and installs concrete landscaping features and realistic exhibits for zoos, aquariums, parks, playgrounds, and museums. Whimsical and durable interactive play sculptures of life-sized or larger animals, insects, and trees, along with boats, planes, buildings, and fantasy creations are all custom designed.

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A commercial playground equipment manufacturer, Childforms offers a full line of modular play structures and play environments for the early childhood and elementary market. They also manufacture free-standing play events, dog park features, ADA ramps, park amenities, and retaining systems for protecting and maintaining safety surfacing.

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Founded in 2010, Climbinet manufactures climbing rope structures with unique technical features that increase durability. Climbinet uses steel core cables to avoid stretching of the cable. Their mast nets offer a freefall prevention system that creates a narrow width between structure ropes, ensuring children cannot fall directly to the ground.

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Started in Minneapolis in 2005, Cre8Play emphasized creativity in designing commercial playgrounds with nature-themed play structures and custom-built designs. Starting with nature themed products, Cre8Play has grown to include Cre8Spray water features, 3D play sculptures, and site amenities including Cre8Shade.

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Founded in 2008, Dog-ON-It-Parks designs and manufactures dog exercise equipment, dog park furnishings, and dog park accessories. Their full line of dog park equipment includes agility equipment with ramps, teeter totters, hoops, jump bars, tunnels, and hurdles. Their furnishings include benches, dog watering features, pick-up stations, and shade canopies.

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A rubber poured-in-place safety surfacing company, DuraPlay provides safe fall surfaces for playgrounds, theme parks, and childcare centers. They also provide poured-in-place surfacing for no fall zone areas, such as pool decks, spray grounds, walkways, and jogging paths.

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Dynamo Playgrounds

Since 1993, Dynamo has been manufacturing net climbers and rotating climbers for children based on the principles of motion, energy, and teamwork. Their playnets come in many sizes and configurations and can accommodate 180 or more children at the same time on the larger nets. They also manufacture a line of net climbers for children from 2 to 5 years of age.

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Eagle Play Structures

As a division of Sport Systems, Eagle Play Structures manufactures playground equipment offering  a wide variety of independent play features that include climbing walls, spinners, fitness courses, and obstacle courses as well as dog parks, site furnishings, and shade shelters. They also manufacture sports surfaces for tennis and basketball courts as well as backboards for sports training.

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This Canadian company offers a playground line based on dynamic movement, group play concepts, and accessibility for children of all abilities. All of Elephant®Play’s equipment is designed to accommodate large capacities of kids to encourage social play. Elephant®Play has three main product lines: rotating structures, swinging equipment, and bouncing play structures.

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Everlast Climbing Industries 

As part of the PlayCore family, Everlast Climbing Industries designs and manufactures indoor and outdoor climbing walls for all ages. Everlast makes regular traverse walls, top rope climbing walls, freestanding climbing walls, and specialty climbing walls. Created in 1991, they also manufacture climbing boulders, nature play pieces, and fitness products.

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Exploration Playgrounds

Exploration Playgrounds creates playground dinosaur digs, archeological sites, custom playgrounds, and dinosaur climbers. They base their playground designs on actual fossils they have made molds for in museum displays. A plaque next to the embedded bones of a playground dig identifies the individual bones and includes a map for locating them.

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Fibar, Inc.

Fibar was founded by Robert Heath in 1979 as a wood fiber supplier for equestrian training surfaces. In 1986, the idea of using wood fiber for playgrounds was proposed and researched. After testing, Robert found that wood fiber was substantially better at cushioning children’s falls than sand, grass, dirt, or gravel, which were the current safety surfaces in most places at the time.

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Offering advanced simulated grass products, ForeverLawn manufactures products for commercial and residential markets. ForeverLawn creates innovative artificial turfs for specialty markets, such as playgrounds, splash parks, sports fields, golf greens, and kennels. Their products are environmentally friendly and allow rainwater to filter back into the natural water table.

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Freenotes Harmony Park

Started by Richard Cooke, Freenotes has been influential in combining music with play by creating outdoor musical instruments for playgrounds. Freenotes have created an ensemble of real musical instruments with distinct pure tones that blend into soothing sounds suitable for outdoor playgrounds, schools, museums, hospitals, community gardens, and other outdoor settings.

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A division of PlayCore, GameTime began operations in 1929 in Michigan. They use research-based design and engineering in manufacturing the company’s playground products. Their independent research studies are conducted by noted experts in the fields of fitness, nature, education, and urban issues, and are used as the foundation when designing their products.

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Goric Marketing Group USA 

Rick Henke, a creator of integrated playscapes and accessible play equipment for children of all abilities, founded Goric in 1994. Goric’s product line includes outdoor play elements that allow children to experience gravity and centrifugal forces, sensory and sound play elements, sand and water play, cable net structures, site furnishings, and protective rubber surfacing.

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Grounds For Play

A division of Superior Recreational Products, Grounds For Play offers dramatic play components, outdoor classrooms, construction play, panels, climbers, slides, swings, music, and fitness elements. They also have site amenities, storage options, shade structures, safety surfacing, and borders.

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Henderson Recreation Equipment

Gordon C. Henderson founded the Henderson Recreation Equipment, Ltd. in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada in 1971. The company offers a full range of playground equipment including playground systems and freestanding play elements, such as swings, spinning events, and spring toys, as well as site amenities.

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Imagination Playground

Based in New York City, Imagination Playground markets loose parts designed by David Rockwell that encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. The giant blue blocks, mats, crates, fabric, and wagons are packaged in storage containers on wheels designed to store and transport the loose play parts. Imagination Playground, LLC is a partnership of Rockwell Group and KaBOOM!

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International Mulch Company

Founded in 2000, International Mulch Company manufactures and retails 100% recycled rubber nuggets for playgrounds and rubber mulch for landscaping applications. They also offer related rubber products such as playground mats, timbers, landscaping borders, tree rings, splash blocks, and pavers.

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International Play Company

A subsidiary of Iplayco Corporation Ltd., their manufacturing plant produces custom-designed indoor and outdoor play structures, which are installed worldwide in family entertainment centers, theme parks, fitness clubs, day care centers, restaurants, museums, zoos, hotels, resorts, shopping malls, municipalities, and not for profit organizations.

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Jensen Swing Products

Jensen Swing Products is a wholesale playground equipment company that specializes in swings and swing set parts and accessories. They also offer playground equipment in the style of forts that can contain other elements, such as slides, tunnels, play panels, and climbing structures, as well as teeter totters and spring riders.

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Kidstuff Playsystems

Since the mid-1980s, Kidstuff has been manufacturing playground equipment that includes themed play structures as well as free-standing elements, such as spring riders, see saws, swings, and climbers, fitness elements, and park amenities. Marketed as KidSoft, the company also offers several playground safety surfacing materials.

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Begun in Denmark in 1970, the company name is derived from the Danish “kumpan” that means “companion.”  Known for their unique and innovative designs, KOMPAN has a network of child development specialists who guide the company’s research and product innovation. KOMPAN designs are inclusive to encourage children of varying abilities to play together.

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L.A. Steelcraft Products Inc.

For over 60 years L.A. Steelcraft has manufactured outdoor tables, benches, bleachers, bike and scooter racks, flagpoles, site amenities, obstacle courses, fitness equipment, sports equipment, and accessories. Their playground equipment includes swings, slides, climbers, spring riders, funball, and tetherball.

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Landscape Structures

In 1971, Steve King and his wife, Barb, founded Landscape Structures Inc. in Delano, Minnesota, to manufacture playground equipment.  Their early innovations have continued to expand to include playsystems, natural-looking climbers, inclusive play products, fitness equipment, stand-alone events, skateparks, playground surfacing, and site amenities.

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Little Tikes Commercial

A division of PlayPower, Inc., Little Tikes Commercial is a recognized brand of outdoor commercial playground equipment that provides innovative and developmentally appropriate children’s play events. They offer complete play systems, modular play events, free-standing playground equipment, playground surfacing, and playground amenities.

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Luckey LLC

This innovative company designs, manufactures, and installs Luckey Climbers: unique multistoried, three dimensional bespoke climbing sculptures encased in safety nets. Luckey Climbers are “vertical mazes” or “vertical parks” for children’s museums, malls, and other institutions worldwide. With structures reaching 40 and 50 feet tall, children crawl through the structures.

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Miracle Recreation Equipment Company

With a history that spans almost 90 years, Miracle Recreation is one of the earliest playground manufacturers. Now a division of PlayPower Inc., they offer complete play systems, modular play events, free-standing playground equipment, sports and outdoor play equipment, pool slides, playground surfacing, and playground amenities.

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A company which has built over one million square feet of climbing wall surface, Nicros, Inc. was founded in 1992 by Nate Postma, who had a love for rock climbing and a background in chemical engineering. Nicros designs and constructs climbing wall systems, playground boulders, handholds, and landing surfaces. Their children’s boulders feature ergonomic sculpted-in handholds.

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Notts Sport

Headquartered in Leicestershire, England, Notts Sport has developed their own surfacing products for playgrounds, as well as artificial turf for sports and landscaping. Their synthetic turf serves the different needs of cricket, tennis, soccer, hockey, golf, and multi-sport fields. They have also developed an inclusive play system designed without traditional play equipment.

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Orca Coast Playgrounds

Located in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, Orca Coast designs, manufactures, and installs contained play spaces for family entertainment centers, recreational facilities, daycares, schools, and restaurants in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Australia. Orca Coast designs custom indoor play spaces as well as offering a portfolio of designs.

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Pacific Outdoor Products

Pacific Outdoor Products began as Timber Playsystems, which Samuel Emmons founded in 1981. They offer both wood and steel commercial and residential play equipment, game court equipment, fitness courses, and site amenities. Located in Maple Valley, Washington, Pacific Outdoor Products is a family-owned business.

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Originally Progressive Design Playgrounds, PDPlay has been recognized for its environmental leadership in using recycled materials. Their natural playgrounds incorporate sand, water, living plants, grassy hills, play walkways, ponds, foliage mazes, dirt trails, gardens, play acting stages, and reading amphitheaters into their designs. They also manufacture playground equipment and site furnishings.

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Perfect Rubber Mulch

Julie Cole founded Perfect Rubber Mulch in 2000. Their tire recycling manufacturing plants throughout the U.S. take raw tires, extract the radial wire, and form the rubber into nuggets for playground surfaces, landscaping needs, equestrian arena footing, military training PT pits and ballistic rubber traps, and track and field artificial turf rubber infill.

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Play Mart

Beginning with wood play structures, Play Mart moved to using recycled structural plastic and began manufacturing their own recycled plastic lumber for their designs. Play Mart offers play systems, nature play systems, fitness systems, themed designs, swings, site amenities, safety surfacing, and playground border options using recycled structural plastic.

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PlayCore is the parent company of several play and recreation companies and is known for their educational research and programming as well as their diverse family of brands. The company believes in building stronger communities by advancing play through research, education, and partnerships.

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Playtop Safer Surfacing

Playtop Safer Surfacing manufactures impact-absorbing wet-pour safety surfacing for play spaces and walkways at children’s playgrounds. Designed to minimize the risk of injury to children who fall in playgrounds, the Playtop surfacing material is a continuous, joint-free, porous material made from rubber granules and polyurethane binders.

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Playworld Systems

Manufacturing since the 1950s, Playworld Systems offers a variety of play systems for children as well as adults. Their products encourage physical activity and fitness, including electronic elements, motion play equipment, climbing boulders, rope bridges, fitness stations, and nature-themed elements. They strive to provide accessibility to children of all abilities.

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Recreation Creations

With a commitment to environmental stewardship, Recreation Creations offers creative play structures for early childhood play spaces and school-age children. Their free-standing elements range from slides to spider web climbers, from swings to dome climbers, and from whirls to Rocky Mountain Climbers. They also offer site amenities, such as benches, tables, and bike racks.

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Playworld Systems

RJ Thomas Manufacturing Company Inc.

The RJ Thomas Manufacturing Company designs and manufactures the Pilot Rock brand of products. They offer outdoor park, landscape, streetscape, recreational facility, and campground furnishings, custom signs and graphics, and wheelchair accessible products for parks and playgrounds.

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Rock-Op Climbing Boulders

Rock-Op Climbing Boulders designs, cuts, delivers, and installs climbing boulders for playgrounds and water play spaces. These sandstone boulders are customized for different levels of climbing abilities, space requirements, and desired added playground features. Their boulder playgrounds feature sandstone boulders with anchored playground equipment attached.

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RockCraft Designs

Designing climbing boulders as well as climbing wall systems, RockCraft Designs has created climbing features that are safe and fun for all ages. The playground boulders are uniquely handcrafted out of glass fiber reinforced concrete with a variety of handholds. Their climbing wall structures include poolside climbing walls.

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Rockwerx is a company based in central Massachusetts that designs, manufactures, and installs climbing walls. They offer consulting expertise as well as routesetting programs and routesetting training for climbing gym staff. They also offer mats, flooring and padding; climbing holds; and an auto belay system. They also manufacture playground boulders for younger children.

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Safeplay Systems

Safeplay Systems is a commercial playground design, manufacturer, and installation company that offers the EcoPlay products of custom-designed play structures, swings, fitness equipment, surfacing, and site amenities. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Marietta, Georgia.

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Snug Play

Snug Play manufactures large-scale, manipulative loose parts for play designed for indoor or outdoor play spaces. Snug Play offers nine play elements: the bump, cone, wave, wall, noodle, spider, pad, mound, and full loop. These tactile elements combine soft and rigid play surfaces that are durable and weather-resistant that can be easily linked together offering open-ended play.

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SofSURFACES designs, manufactures, distributes, and installs fitness center flooring, roof tops, and playground safety surfacing. Based in Canada, they produce an impact attenuating, interlocking surfacing tile system manufactured from recycled rubber. Their tile system offers durability, fall protection, long term value, and a secure system to eliminate vandalism.

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Soft Play

Offering both indoor and outdoor commercial contained play equipment, Soft Play, a division of PlayPower, Inc., features small standard play systems, free-standing play products, toddler designs, and large custom themed play systems. They also offer motion components, age zoned play areas, visual open play, and electronic play rooms in contained play spaces.

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Originally known as Sof-Fall, Sof’Solutions offers a variety of products that meet the needs in several venues. For outdoor playgrounds, they have engineered wood fiber as well as engineered rubber and interlocking play mats. They also have interlocking mats for childcare centers, indoor recreation facilities, and gyms.

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Sound Play

 In 1982, Bond Anderson developed the musical playscape: a permanent outdoor installation of tuned musical instruments built to stand up to the weather and designed for the durability a playground setting requires. The musical instruments designed by Sound Play are designed to be played at parks, school grounds, museums, and backyards.

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Surface America

As a subsidiary of ECORE International, Surface America installs playground surfacing on approximately 500 playgrounds annually as well as gymnasium flooring, fitness flooring, indoor and outdoor surfacing, and trail and pathway surfacing. They recycle rubber to manufacture poured-in-place surfacing, rubber tiles, and synthetic turf.

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Founded in 1985 as a company producing do-it-yourself wooden home playground equipment kits, Swing-N-Slide developed over the years to include commercial playground systems. Swing-N-Slide continues to provide families with do-it-yourself options in planning their backyard or community play spaces.

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The 4 Kids 

Based in Greenville, Texas, The 4 Kids offers custom play space designing, manufacturing, and installation of interactive play environments and site amenities that extend classroom learning into the fields of paleontology, biology, geology, and the natural sciences. They manufacture the structures from either glass fiber reinforced concrete or glass fiber reinforced polymer.

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The Chimes Company

The Chimes Company offers indoor and outdoor recreational musical instruments and sensory equipment for inclusion in playgrounds, schools, nature and botanical parks, and rehabilitation and therapy facilities as well as zoos and family entertainment centers. Their note accurate instruments extend the benefits of musical play and music therapy to persons of all abilities.

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Themed Concepts

Based in Forest Lake, Minnesota, Themed Concepts creates custom glass fiber reinforced concrete play and nature features for playgrounds, water parks, zoos, museums, aquariums, restaurants, amusement centers, hotels, and religious centers. They also utilize metal work, net barriers, and cargo nets in their designs.

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Themed Recreation Company

Themed Recreation Company creates themed playgrounds, stand-alone play and climbing structures, icon play and brand sculptures, and spray or misting play pieces. Their material of choice to use in the fabrication process is glass fiber reinforced concrete. Their museum quality animal climbing structures are unique and any animal can be replicated.

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UPC Parks

As a division of Universal Precast of Redding, California, UPC Parks specializes in linked climbing boulders, rope bridges, and rock and log stepping stones for children’s playgrounds. UPC Parks also offers customized playground designing, sculptured creatures, sand and water play features, and nature themed site furnishings.

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Founded in 2002, WonderWorx designs and manufactures kinetically-activated musical, sensory, and educational playground equipment for play spaces, parks, schools, sensory gardens, and museums. As children move on their swings and seesaws, music is created through the movement. They also have a free-standing musical instrument that generates tones by operating a hand crank.

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Xccent Play

In 2004, Xccent Play was created to design and manufacture innovative playground equipment that is all about motion. Their play structures can accommodate a large number of children in a small area, while challenging them with moving elements that develop their overall fitness and motor coordination.

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Zeager Bros Inc.

Zeager playground surfaces came about initially because of the wasted wood by-products in their sawmill. They began to manufacture landscaping mulch in the 1970s, and engineered wood fiber for playgrounds in the mid-1980s. Zeager offers a range of surfacing products including engineered wood fiber, mats, interlocking tiles, and artificial grass.

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