An interactive water play area attracts children of all ages to Karen’s Way Play Space. Photograph by Eric Eakin

The Cleveland Metroparks recently marked the grand opening of Karen’s Way Play Space in its Huntington Reservation in Bay Village.
The new, nearly one-acre play space incorporates a nature-based design that pays homage to the historic lakefront reservation. Highlights of Karen’s Way Play Space include a willow tunnel, slide, log cabin tables and chairs, climbing structures, an interactive water play area and separate swing sets for ages two-to-five and five-to-twelve. The play area also includes a twin 50-foot-long kid-friendly zipline. Both the swing set and zipline feature ADA inclusive seating and the slide is accessible due to its unique embankment design.
“Karen’s Way Play Space is the latest addition to Huntington Reservation and makes this historic lakefront park even more of a destination for families,” Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman said. “The expansive play space will help our youngest generations connect with the natural world.” Zimmerman noted that the droves of youngsters attracted to the play space within the first few days of its opening is a testament to the planning and workmanship of Karen’s Way Play space. “Seeing the kids working together and understanding the social dynamics reminds us of what is important,” he added.
Additional features of the play space were designed to highlight areas of the reservation on a smaller scale, including a mini-playhouse, stage and musical play components in recognition of nearby BAYArts. The play space also has extensive sandstone seating throughout as well as stroller parking.
Karen’s Way Play Space connects to the recently updated Noshery concessions building, Sunset Picnic Plaza and nearby restrooms by a paved accessible path. The project was designed in house by Cleveland Metroparks Planning and Design team, was built by the Cleveland Metroparks Construction team and was fully funded through a generous gift by Karen’s Way Inc.
The project follows additional play spaces added to the park district, including the award-winning Lindsey Family Play Space that opened in Edgewater Park in 2021 and Andrews Nature Play Area in the Brecksville Reservation in 2022.
The 103-acre Huntington Reservation in Bay Village attracts more than 900,000 recreational visitors each year to experience beautiful lakefront views, swimming, food and drinks and hiking trails.