posted on: 6/16/2017; updated: 6/19/2017

A new family attraction several years in the making is opening in downtown just in time for summer fun. The Dover Adventure Playground at Henry Law Park will open to the public on Saturday, June 24 at 9:30 a.m.

The playground will feature a life-size flat-bottomed, vintage gundalow; a net climber; swings and slides; a three-story Garrison Hill tower; a 1,200-pound, 3-foot by 8-foot climbable Alewife granite fish sculpture; a splash pad and water pumps; sand play area; musical instruments and more.

“The new playground is the result of years of planning and enthusiastic collaboration,” said Dover Recreation Director Gary Bannon. “This playground promises to be a significant attraction to the downtown. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without funding approved by the City Council, as well as significant, private
donations from the community.” 

Dover Adventure Playground to open end of June

posted on: 6/16/2017; updated: 6/19/2017

A new family attraction several years in the making is opening in downtown just in time for summer fun. The Dover Adventure Playground at Henry Law Park will open to the public on Saturday, June 24 at 9:30 a.m.

The playground will feature a life-size flat-bottomed, vintage gundalow; a net climber; swings and slides; a three-story Garrison Hill tower; a 1,200-pound, 3-foot by 8-foot climbable Alewife granite fish sculpture; a splash pad and water pumps; sand play area; musical instruments and more.

“The new playground is the result of years of planning and enthusiastic collaboration,” said Dover Recreation Director Gary Bannon. “This playground promises to be a significant attraction to the downtown. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without funding approved by the City Council, as well as significant, private
donations from the community.”

Bannon added the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has been a key partner in the design and creation of the playground.

“The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has been thrilled to partner with the City of Dover, its citizens and businesses to create the new Dover Adventure Playground,” said Museum President Jane Bard. “It is sure to become a destination for seacoast families and visitors looking for outdoor play and exploration in a
setting that is uniquely Dover.”

After the playground opens, visitors to Dover will have one more reason to spend the whole day in the city, visiting the Children’s Museum, playing in the playground, having a picnic, shopping with downtown merchants or eating at a local restaurant.

“This playground is really unique to Dover and I don’t think there will be anything quite like it in New Hampshire,” said Neva Cole, CMNH Communications Director. “The history of the area is highlighted throughout the design.”

The gundalow, a 32-year-old replica of the Capt. Edward H. Adams, is one of only two gundalows in the region.

Thoughtful touches abound in the new playground. The three-story tower was picked specifically to mimic the Garrison Hill fire tower in Dover. The climbable fish sculpture by Thomas Berger from Kittery is a nod to the alewife who spawn in the Cocheco River, bordering the playground. One of the swings is made for an older
child and an infant to swing together, a highlight for parents with multiple children. The net climbing structure has a slack line and percussion instruments are installed nearby. Tree stumps provide balancing practice for children or additional seating. The splash pad will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. this spring and summer.
Nearby is another play area featuring hand pumps and wooden sluices.

Two features in the works will debut after the June 24 opening. The Museum’s community teaching garden currently located on the riverfront adjacent to the Museum will relocate to the park for the next growing season. Also planned for the roof of the Dover pool bordering the playground, is an 18-foot metal “Whale’s Tail”
sculpture created by artist Dale Rogers. The whale will appear to be diving into the pool building.

“Even though it’s a playground, it’s really designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages,” Bard said. “I think I’m most excited that we’re bringing this right to the center of Dover and I really think it’s going to be a shining example of what Dover has been, and will be. It will be a safe, engaging, and joyful gathering spot for
people of all ages.”

To learn more about the Dover Adventure Park, visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s website at www.childrens-museum.org/visit/dover-adventure-playground or contact Dover Recreation at 603-516-6401.