Some of my earliest memories are of playgrounds: launching myself into a pit of plastic balls outside a fast-food restaurant in New York and whizzing down (and scratching my arm) on the horrifying concrete Monster Slide at a park in Israel. Play spaces, designed to incite wonder, burn energy, and capture the imaginations of children, inspire designers, too. Landscapes for play tend to be more eclectic and creative in Europe than in America, where issues of safety and liability (and a culture of litigation) reign in designers. But we've got cool playgrounds here, too. Here's a global meander through some inspiring and innovative examples. For more, check out Landezine, a landscape architecture blog based out of Slovenia. And for an engaging overview of the history of the playground, check out Rebecca Mead's recent piece for the New Yorker.