Children flew down slides, climbed rope ladders and explored the nautical-themed new playground equipment at Veterans Park this week as Redondo Beach officials celebrated the re-opening Tuesday of one of the city’s most popular seaside attractions for kids and families.

The new equipment marks the first upgrades to the Veterans Park playground in 25 years and the first playground upgrade in the city in seven years. The last playground to be improved was at Perry Park, in North Redondo, said Community Services Director John LaRock.

“I’m very excited,” said LaRock, who called the park a showcase for more things to come.

In February, the city will begin public meetings to discuss improving playground equipment at Dominguez Park.

The new equipment at Veterans Park, near the Redondo Beach Pier, includes several sections, one each for kids from 2 to 5 years old and for kids 5 to 12 years old. There is a “Rocks-n-Ropes” section that resembles a small climbing gym for kids to have a more adventurous experience. There is also a new fitness court that includes circuit training for adults based on body weight exercises.

“This is amazing,” said Kara Courtney, who was at the park Tuesday, Jan. 14, with her 6-year-old son Daylen. “It’s like an amusement park for kids.”

The new playground was designed with input from 68 respondents who participated in a survey and public meetings, according to LaRock. The kids playground cost $586,000 and the fitness court $100,000, which Mayor Bill Brand called “expensive but long overdue.”

“Parks are so important,” Brand said Tuesday before cutting the ribbon on the new equipment, with some help from two children. “Parks have physical and psychological benefits. They also raise property values.”

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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