Zora plays and we all get a lesson on West Philly playgrounds

Posted on 04 April 2012


West Philly resident Michael Froehlich and his 2-year-old daughter Zora love playgrounds. No wait, they really love playgrounds.

What began as the occasional bicycle excursion from their home on 48th Street to nearby playgrounds like Malcolm X. Park has turned into a full-on quest to document a bunch of playgrounds in this part of the city – 31 playgrounds in all.

“We went a little overboard,” said Froehlich, a legal aid attorney.

The result, the website zoraplays, is an invaluable guide to playgrounds that includes photos of equipment, sketches of the playground’s layout and a map showing the location. Each playground was within a mile of their home.

Froehlich said he and Zora’s goal is to help convince people that there is fun beyond the usual spots like Clark Park and Cedar Park.

“I hope that this project will show people that there are a lot of great playgrounds in our community so they should get on their bicycles and ride out and explore them,” he said.

The big question, of course, is which is Zora’s fav?

“I’d like to say that Zora has developed a discerning eye for quality playgrounds,” said Froehlich. “But the truth is that she loves all playgrounds. Tall slides, wide slides, single slides, double slides: she digs them all with the same gusto.”

As for Froehlich himself? “Malcolm X. Park,” he said. “There’s so much there.”

A map of the Christy Recreation Center playground at 56th and Christian from (click to enlarge)

– Emma Eisenberg contributed to this story

5 Comments For This Post

  1. EJM Says:

    I’m sure there’s gonna people jumping down this dude’s throat, but in my opinion, this is how you do Parenting. I don’t have a kid, but if I did, I’d want it to be friends with Zora.

  2. brendancalling Says:

    nice piece!

  3. MM Says:

    Agree with EJM, Mike is a great father and a constant source of inspiration for me (and my 2 y.old;)

    great job!

  4. Jim Froehlich Says:

    What a great idea, can Nana and Pappy borrow Zora for a few days to see how many playgrounds are with in 1 mile of our house.

  5. Ellen Fredrickson Says:

    Awesome job Mike & Zora!

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