Sunday Funday at The Yard
Edinburgh play centre created for kids with special needs, now open to all
In the outdoors adventure playground at The Yard, children are scrambling across a rope bridge, surrounded by safety nets, while others stand to the side, patiently waiting their turn. Next to the rope bridge is a large pirate boat, held up by ropes. A great eucalyptus tree presides over the mayhem, its papery bark serving as an anchor for all the activities.
There's an absence of the competitive parenting that features in so many playgrounds elsewhere. And, wherever possible, The Yard uses recycled junk for its play area - paths are edged with old tyres. There's a solar dome in the garden, while, indoors, kids can enjoy themselves in sensory and art rooms. A multi-directional seat on a swing outdoors proves tempting to lots of kids (and quite a few adults, too). A log cabin, tepee and trampoline also have youngsters queueing up for turns. A proper, working set of traffic lights and various road signs getting quite a few children excited.
We came expecting to stay for a couple of hours and ended up spending the entire afternoon at The Yard – all of us beguiled by the kindness of staff and range of activities. 'Can we come back here for my birthday?', asks my younger daughter as we leave.
The Yard, Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh, 476 4506, open to the public every Sunday 10am–5pm.