Save Money When You Travel: Go to the Playground

Kids playing on a play structure

By Cindy Richards


KaBOOM!, the nonprofit that builds great playgrounds around the country, has 118 cities and towns as 2010 Playful City USA communities. The national recognition program honors cities and towns that are committed to encouraging kids to play.


Families traveling on a budget know just how important a good park is. Whether you're on a road trip and the kids need some time out of the car seats or you're visiting Grandma's and the kids need to get out of the house or you want to explore a new city without breaking the bank, finding free things to do when you travel is key.

Illinois scored only two towns in the top 118-Columbia, south of St. Louis, and Yorkville, near Oswego in Kendall County. Florida has 19 Playful City USA communities; Arizona and California had 10 each.

The communities are:
Albany, Ga.
Albemarle, N.C.
Allentown, Pa.
Ankeny, Iowa
Annapolis, Md.
Arlington, Texas
Atlanta, Ga.
Auburn, Wash.
Baldwin Park, Calif.
Bel Aire, Kan.
Bethlehem, Pa.
Bismarck, N.D.
Bloomington, Ind.
Brentwood, Calif.
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Cerritos, Calif.
Chandler, Ariz.
Chevy Chase, Md.
College Park, Ga.
Columbia, Ill.
Columbus, Ohio
Commerce City, Colo.
Coolidge, Ariz.
Coral Gables, Fla.
Creedmoor, N.C.
Danville, Va.
Davenport, Iowa
Derby, Kan.
DeRidder, La.
Doral, Fla.
Dothan, Ala.
Durham, N.C.
East Point, Ga.
Encinitas, Calif.
Euless, Texas
Evans, Colo.
Fishers, Ind.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Fountain Hills, Az.
Franklin, Ind.
Gilbert, Ariz.
Grand Prairie, Texas
Green River, Wyo.
Greenbelt, Md.
Greensboro, N.C.
Greenville, N.C.
Hamilton, N.J.
Henderson, Nevada
Hernando, Miss.
Hilo, Hawaii
Horn Lake, Miss.
Indianapolis, Ind.
Juneau, Alaska
Kenmore, Wash.
Kenner, La.
Kerman, Calif.
Killeen, Texas
La Mesa, Calif.
Lake Worth, Fla.
Lakewood, Calif.
Laramie, Wyo.
Las Cruces, N.M.
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
Lauderhill, Fla.
Laurel, Md.
Longview, Wash.
Mercer Island, Wash.
Mesa, Ariz.
Miami Gardens, Fla.
Miami Lakes, Fla.
Missoula, Mont.
Mount Juliet, Tenn.
Murray, Ky.
Nampa, Idaho
New Port Richey, Fla.
New Roads, La.
New York City, N.Y.
Newport, R.I.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Norfolk, Va.
North Port, Fla.
Northglenn, Colo.
Oak Park Heights, Minn.
Oldsmar, Fla.
Orlando, Fla.
Ottawa, Kan.
Palm Bay, Fla.
Palmetto Bay, Fla.
Parkland, Fla.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Redwood City, Calif.
Richmond Hill, Ga.
#Riverside, Calif.
Rock Hill, S.C.
Rowlett, Texas
Safety Harbor, Fla.
Saint Paul, Minn.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
San Antonio, Texas
San Francisco, Calif.
Sanford, N.C.
Savannah, Ga.
Scranton, Pa.
Shirley, Mass.
Spartanburg, S.C.
Springdale, Ark.
Sunrise, Fla.
Takoma Park, Md.
Tamarac, Fla.
Tempe, Ariz.
Thornton, Colo.
Tucson, Ariz.
Tupelo, Miss.
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Wichita, Kan.
York, Pa.
Yorkville, Ill.
Yuma, Ariz.


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