Arlitt Nature Playscape: A Place for Imaginative Kids

The Arlitt PlayScape, a natural play space located a short walk from Arlitt on UC’s campus, opened in August 2012 to provide children with a safe place to reconnect with nature. Time in nature has been found to have positive impacts on children’s growth, including motor, cognitive, and emotional development. Nestled inside UC’s campus, Arlitt Playscape is the perfect place for imaginative kids.

Read on to find out the best time to visit Arlitt Playscape! Enrichment classes take place throughout the day, closing the playscape for short amounts of time.

Arlitt Playscape is the very definition of a true hidden gem. It’s literally located in the middle of the campus; yet, once you’re in it, you don’t feel at all like you’re at the center of our city’s largest school. The playscape is completely enclosed by a fence, so you can truly let your kids run wild in this little piece of urban paradise. There are trails winding through the playscape, like a labyrinth, connecting the various areas together.

The component most resembling a traditional playground is the wooden “treehouse” at the center of the playscape, which features a bridge, ramps, steps and tunnel. The PlayScape, through interactions with elements such as water, plant life, rolling hills, sand, and loose parts, provides ample opportunities for play based learning.

Arlitt Child Development Center

Classes from the Arlitt Child Development Center visit the PlayScape regularly, in all seasons, developing a relationship with the space and gaining a deeper understanding of the effects of time and seasonal changes in their environment.

A message from Arlitt Center for Education, Research & Sustainability: “We are so delighted that families find the space enjoyable. It is open to the public unless our preschool classes are using the space, typically 8a-5p. However, if you are an early-to-play family, before 10a might be a good bet during the week. If a class comes down while you are there, the adjacent campus greenspace affords some running and exploration. Evenings and weekends are open.”

For more great playscapes in the area, check out the Cincinnati Nature Center PlayScape and NaturePlay at BCM!


As a parent, what I find most intriguing about playscapes is the way in which they allow kids to manipulate their very makeup. The playscape is an ever-changing environment. At Arlitt, rocks that were in one corner can be moved to another. Wooden towers can be built and knocked down. Water can be pumped through a dry, rocky creek bed. Playscapes are the ultimate “choose your own adventure” of playgrounds, where kids can make the experience their own.

Arlitt Playscape

Arlitt Playscape is located in the heart of the University of Cincinnati. (Click here to download a map!) Driving from Jefferson, turn on to University. At the traffic circle, take a left on Commons Way driving away from the blue Scioto and Morgen dorm towers. Once on Commons, the Playscape is on the right at the corner of French Hall. From Commons Way, take a left on West Daniels. There is metered parking on West Daniels across from Schneider Hall.

The best part? Admission is free!

Arlitt Nature Playscape is located at 47 Corry Blvd, Cincinnati, OH 45221.



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