A new recreation area in Bedford will allow kids to play together in more ways than one. The just-completed Sparkling Ice Musical Pocket Playground will feature life-sized, interactive musical "instruments" that not only make sounds but teach "players" a few things about music, too.
The playground, built on the grounds of the historic Old Bedford School, will open to the public on Saturday, October 17.
The project is a collaboration between the City of Bedford and beverage company Sparkling Ice. According to a news release, Bedford was one of three U.S. cities (along with Hopkinsville, Kentucky and Summerville, South Carolina) chosen for Sparkling Ice's first-ever Cheers to You Town Beautification Project.
"At the start of 2020, the brand sought out unique towns across America whose parks and recreational areas were in need of rebuilding, restoration or enhancements," the company says in the release. "After learning more about each community’s needs, the brand chose Bedford as one of three communities for the project."
Bedford earned accolades because the 1915 Old Bedford School itself shows "dedication to the history and culture of their community," the company says. "With this installment, the city hopes to delight the local community through the joy of music for years to come."
The playground was announced July 29 and has been in the works ever since. It is ADA-accessible and designed for kids of all ages and abilities.
Interactive attractions include colorful pipes displayed with "sheet music" in which the color of the notes matches up with the color of the pipes, making it easy to play songs like "Bingo," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and "Happy Birthday."
Nearby is another element sure to be popular, the musical flowers. Touching a wand to each petal makes a different musical sound come out. Behind the flowers are cylindrical drums, which make different drum sounds when they're tapped.
The "instruments" are spaced out to make social distancing manageable.
The play area will officially be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 am October 17. Families who previously signed up for the event will have first access to the playground, and then it will be open to the public.
The Musical Pocket Playground is located on property adjacent to the Old Bedford School, at 2400 School Ln., Bedford.