New Kids Kingdom Playground Coming in Fall 2018

Kids Kingdom LogoMayor Lloyd Winnecke is pleased to announce the construction of a new Kids Kingdom playground along the Downtown Evansville riverfront. The announcement was made today at a news conference held on the grounds of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science on Riverside Drive. 

The new structure will replace the existing Kids Kingdom playground located nearby on Waterworks Road. The playground site is being moved due to federally mandated sewer projects. Preliminary plans call for a new playground, restrooms and a memorial brick display. The memorial display will incorporate bricks from the current Kids Kingdom, and the public will have an opportunity to purchase additional memorial bricks for the new location. 

The new structure will be designed by Leathers & Associates, a world-renowned designer and builder of custom playground with more than 40 years of experience. Leathers & Associates is the same firm that designed the original play structure built at Kids Kingdom 15 years ago.

Community Playground Design Survey

As part of the design process, Leathers & Associates will seek input from local elementary schools students during Design Days to be held on October 18 and 19 at Lincoln School, Tekoppel School, Caze School, Highland School, Evansville Lutheran School, and Holy Rosary Catholic School. The general public is encouraged to share ideas for the playground by completing the Community Survey for Playground Design Input. The survey is available on the City of Evansville website at Please email completed surveys to:

The survey is also available at the Department of Parks and Recreation office, 100 E. Walnut Street, and at the Mayor’s office, Room 302, Civic Center Complex. The survey deadline is October 17 at 5 p.m. Ideas will be incorporated into a conceptual drawing of the new play structure that will be presented at a public unveiling on Thursday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m. at Vectren, 211 NW Riverside Dr. Everyone is encouraged to attend, especially those who are young and young at heart.

“The impact of this new playground will serve the community for years to come,” Mayor Winnecke said.  “We know that the current structure has become a destination in Evansville for all ages and abilities. It’s a place where families and individuals come to play. Our community is fortunate to have private and corporate sponsors who want to see Kids Kingdom continue to be a vibrant part of the riverfront.”

“The current structure serves close to 100,000 visitors each year,” added Parks Department Executive Director Brian Holtz. “The new structure will allow us to continue meeting the needs of the community while providing greater connectivity to the riverfront and Pigeon Creek Greenway.”

The existing Kids Kingdom playground structure was built in 2002 as a community project originated by Evansville Police Department officers Paul Kirby and Billy Bolin, before Bolin was appointed Chief of Police. Together the officers oversaw the design and construction of the structure, and spearheaded fundraising efforts. The structure was built in only six days with the help of more than 1,300 volunteers. The project received over $130,000 in private and corporate sponsorships, plus in-kind donations including materials. Bolin said the total value of the project exceeded $300,000.

Construction on the new Kids Kingdom playground structure is set to begin in fall 2018. The existing Kids Kingdom will remain open until the new playground structure is complete.