In a good old times some more advantageous shopping malls had childrens play room in some dark corner, where adults were able to drop their children while they were shopping. In modern malls the playground (in Finnish, leikkialue) is located in the middle, and surrounded with benches for adults to watch and rest.
One of these indoor playgrounds can be found from rebo, Sweden. There the playground is truly located in the middle of the shopping mall. The entrance is made easy as there are no walls or entrance fee anyone can come and join fun. In this busy environment, the simple forms and striking colors of playground equipments attract passersby eyes, and encourage them to participate.
In this case the playground environment is by Smartus concept, which is totally new way to approach the playgrounds. Smartus is digiplay concept created by Finnish playground manufacturer Lappset, which uses digital environment for deepening the play experience. This playground for the 21st century combines modern technology with playground equipment and turns play environments into a network. As any other playground, Smartus encourages users to exercise, play together and succeed together, but with the aim of the technology the players do not even need to be in the same space.
But it does not have to be the latest technological invention of the playgrounds to attract visitors! To have public playground in indoor area is a great idea at least in northern countries, where the weather can be nasty sometimes. It will not replace the good effects of being outdoors, but definitely physical exercise and play are better than just sitting indoors and watch television.
Shopping malls are ideal places for indoor playgrounds as the mall provides the basic functions already. In malls, there are already good air conditioning systems and public toilets; there are services like restaurants around; and people come to malls to spend their free time, so there are no need to seduce them to come over.
Malls providing the possibility to physical exercise have understood that providing free services like this do serve the public and individual good. Obvious is that they want to attract families to spend more time in their mall but this way to spend time is probably much healthier than traditional hanging around.