Complete Playground, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing inclusive activities and programming for children of all ability levels (ages six months to 14 years) and families, announced today it will fill a void in New York City with the Fall 2023 debut of its first facility. The one-of-a-kind 40,000 square-foot electronics-free space for supervised open play, enriching programming and specialized therapies will be located at 30 Broad St. in Manhattan’s FiDi neighborhood. It will be the largest by far of less than a handful of indoor playgrounds in a city with more than one million children under the age of 14, providing a captivating year-round environment promoting energetic movement as an alternative to video games and over-use of electronic diversions.
Moreover, it will be the only indoor playground that is inclusive, designed to engage the one-in-five children who are neurodiverse, as well as the neurotypical. It will also be the only one to serve as a family center with activities and programming for parents.
CompletePlayground’s centerpiece will be a 25,000-square-foot, custom designed play area, featuring an obstacle maze, little village of traditional American “main street” establishments, rock climbing wall, gymnastics studio, Ninja Warriors obstacle course and an interactive trampoline experience. All connected by a roadway built for child-sized scooter cars self-propelled by their drivers. In addition, there will be spaces designed for a multitude of structured classes for dance, art, yoga, martial arts and more.
While there will also be special state-of-the-art spaces and therapies for the neurodiverse, when it comes to play, they will be able to romp at will with neurotypical children. As a result, both groups of children will learn important socialization lessons.
It was the need for such interaction that inspired Alex Reznik to conceptualize and found CompletePlayground. He had struggled for years to find an effective therapy for his non-verbal son diagnosed with severe autism. For years, the child attended classes for non-verbal autistic children, until, at the urging of a trusted educator, Reznik transferred him to a class that was inclusive of neurotypical children. Two months later, Reznik’s son was talking.
That was when Reznik realized the importance of inclusive interaction for children and became so passionate about it that he decided to create an environment that would encourage and support it. Having experienced the innovative indoor playgrounds in Europe that had entranced all three of his sons, Reznik, the owner of Manhattan’s four CompleteBody gyms, began researching the viability of combining their components with elements addressing the needs of neurodiverse children like his son as the foundation for what would be an inclusive family center.
Reznik established CompletePlayground as a nonprofit and initiated fundraising that has secured commitments for $1 million of the $2.5 million needed to fund the project. The figure includes $500,000 in seed money donated by management consulting company Alvarez & Marsal.
CompletePlayground, whose three floors will encompass a café along with spaces for its family-focused seminars, camp experiences, speech and occupational therapies and birthday parties, will start welcoming families in Fall 2023. For more information, to learn how to become involved and / or to donate, visit www.completeplayground.org or CompletePlayground’s GoFundMe page at Fundraiser by Alex Reznik : Complete The Playground (gofundme.com).