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Why Your Recreational Space Needs Some ShadeWhy Your Recreational Space Needs Some Shade
Shade Structures Dec 02, 2020

Why Your Recreational Space Needs Some Shade

Designed open-air recreational facilities and spaces are a benefit for practically any imaginable school, nonprofit organization, or community. Open-air structures like these really helpful for bringing people together, and are beneficial in terms of their applications for physical health, entertainment, relaxation, community building, and more.

But as wonderful as outdoor recreation is, the fact of the matter is that everybody likes the feeling of having it made in the shade, too! Whether your site includes a small playground or covers an entire complex, there is one non-negotiable site amenity you should factor in: shade.

Shade Structures

Create a More Comfortable Outdoor Space by Adding Appropriate Shade

In a word, shade matters. The shade allows visitors to your outdoor venue to enjoy better protection from UV threats and precipitation, remain more comfortable, and ultimately stay at your facility longer. Assuming you don’t have lots of built-in shade provided by a nearby tree canopy, then there are lots to like about an engineered outdoor shade structure, whether by means of a shade sail assembly or by adding some other type of commercial shade structure. Shade structures can certainly be included in your original site plan, but if you already have an existing outdoor recreational facility, it’s really not hard to add a shade structure to your current site, as well.

Commercial Fabric Shade Structure

Benefits of a Commercial Fabric Shade Structure

Shade matters, not just because it helps to keep things a bit cooler, but because it also helps to provide some needed protection from the threats of the elements. For example, a fabric shade structure can help keep playground equipment from getting too hot for children to touch. It can also shield children and adults from receiving too much UV exposure, and provides other benefits as well:

  • Reduce exposure to harmful UV radiation – One of the top reasons to add a shade structure is its ability to help reduce exposure to harmful UV rays. Even during cooler weather or on a cloudy day, the sun can still do some damage. Prolonged exposure to radiation from the sun can drastically increase your risk of skin cancer.
  • Protection from the elements – Yes, a shade structure protects from the sun, but it also helps to protect from other weather elements too, like wind, dust, rain, and snow. Some fabric shades can even provide effective water runoff protection of 60-70% or more!
  • Keeps temperatures cooler – A fabric shade structure lets air pass through and underneath, meaning the area in question will be cooler than if it were covered by a wooden or metal structure – or even no structure at all! A fabric shade can effectively cool air between 20-30 degrees F.
  • Extend outdoor play time – Whenever it’s hot outside, the ability to provide some cooler temperatures means your users will also be more likely to hang around and enjoy your outdoor facility longer. Kids will want to stay on the playground longer, or families may extend their picnic time if they’re able to stay cool in the shade.
  • Protect your equipment – If you’ve invested in a playground or other outdoor recreational equipment, you obviously want it to last as long as possible. Another nice feature of a shade structure is that it serves to help protect whatever equipment it’s shading! The relatively low cost of a fabric shade or other shade structure is worth it, if for nothing else than its ability to extend the life of your valuable recreational equipment or other outdoor site amenities!
  • Increases comfort level for guests – One of the main reasons to install a shade structure is to provide for the comfort of your customers or guests, period. For example, some hospitals will install shade over their parking lot simply so patients or visitors won’t be subjected to a furnace of a hot car when they’re ready to leave. The shade is also a perfect complement to outdoor sitting or standing areas.
Playground Shade

Some Options for Adding Playground Shade

While there are many practical applications for an outdoor shade structure, one of the most common is for covering a playground or similar children’s outdoor play area. We’ve listed some of the benefits of adding shade to your outdoor play facility above, but that then begs the next question – how should you go about it? What are some practical playground shade solutions? Here are just a few:

  • Cover for a whole play structure system
  • A sail shade arrangement can be designed (in various geometric shapes) and installed to cover your entire outdoor play area! There are many available sizes and fabric colors to choose from for best matching your play environment and facility theme. Shade sails can also be overlapped in a number of configurations to effectively cover even more of your play area.

  • Integrated shade canopy
  • One of the more affordable ways to add some shade to your playground is by taking advantage of modular shade options. With modular shade, you can actually integrate a shade canopy into the existing posts of your playground structure. This can be done at initial playground installation, or add even be added to your existing playground later on.

  • Swing set canopy
  • You can build sun protection into your freestanding swing sets, too. There are many swing frame options that include built-in shade overhead, and this has proven to be a preferred choice for many schools, preschools, daycares, child development centers, and public parks around the country!

  • Shaded independent play area
  • When shading a smaller area such as an interactive outdoor musical feature, rocker, freestanding climber, or similar freestanding equipment, a single-post umbrella or cantilever umbrella can be a perfect solution. One advantage of the single-post support is that it also allows for a more usable play area.

  • The bench or sitting area shade
  • Got some benches or other sitting areas adjacent to your playground? A bench shade attachment could really do the trick for you – it mounts on the back of any 6-foot standard park bench, and adds some needed shade relief for your sitting patrons.

Trust Carolina Recreation & Design for Your Shade Structure Solutions

Whether you need shading for a playground, other recreational sites, patio, picnic area, or any other outdoor space, Carolina Recreation & Design has you covered – literally! And we do much more than simply sell shade structures and shade products. We install everything we sell, and we help with site design plans, needed site amenities, and more!

Need some site preparation work? Carolina Recreation & Design is a fully-licensed contractor, meaning we’re well-suited to take care of anything that might need doing. We pride ourselves on providing complete turnkey solutions, from start to finish!

Ready to get the conversation started? Have some particular questions about shade options, pricing, or anything else? Give us a call today at (704) 664-1833. You can also reach out to us online by filling out this simple form. Carolina Recreation & Design has all your fabric shade, shade sail, shade canopy, and shade structure needs covering! Connect with us, and we can make sure you have it made in the shade in no time!