Emeryville's amazing vertical playground - 510 Families
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Emeryville’s amazing vertical playground

Emeryville Center of Community Life, ECCL, has the newest, and coolest playground around. This completely vertical playground is the only one of its kind in The Bay (and only second in the US). I was a bit scared at first, but my boys jumped, or rather climbed, right in. There’s multiple entrance and exit points – a rock wall, slide, poll, holes – and endless areas to explore.

Emeryville's amazing vertical playground

The only thing we’re unsure of – when is it open?

A representative of ECCL told us it’s open during evenings and weekends, through the front door of the community center or a side gate on 53rd Street.

We found our way in one evening through a few open doors as people were coming out, but tried again on a weekend with no such luck.


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The playground belongs to Emeryville’s elementary school, so it’s not open during school hours (or camp hours in the summer), and is also guarded by multiple locks.

Emeryville's amazing vertical playground

Does anyone know the mystery code? With a playground this novel, we all want to be in the know!

Emeryville's amazing vertical playground

Emeryville Center of Community Life is located at 4727 San Pablo Ave in Emeryville.


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[All photos by Anna Azimi]

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4 thoughts on “Emeryville’s amazing vertical playground”

  1. This playground looks super cool. I see that this “Wallholla” playground was designed by the Dutch company, Carve. It reminds me of an indoor version I saw in Denmark. Anyway, really clever idea for a space-constrained schoolyard.

  2. Looks like a lot of fun! It reminds me of the Cloud Climber at the Reno Discovery Museum. What a smart concept for tight spaces, also.

  3. Accomplished weekend access (Saturday late morning) to the vertical playground by knocking on front door of community center; staff opened and was very welcoming leading me through the office to access the vertical playground from the rear of the office. All other gates were locked – I checked twice, and there was no signage directing those seeking access to the vertical playground to go to the community center office so it can be a bit confusing. I saw a number of families appearing as confused as I originally was about access; hence this post. I will add that my almost 3 yr old and 7 yr old grandchildren seemed to really love playing on the vertical playground, i..e, it was worth the trip and initial confusion about access.

  4. Info directly from ECCL: the playground is open weekdays after 6pm and weekends between 9am and 1pm unless it’s closed for special events. We got here on Sat morning, the doors were open. Btw it’s a nice place for outdoor birthday party, ECCL told me you can rent the space through city of Emeryville. Downside: no picnic tables whatsoever.

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