Once upon a time, kids couldn’t wait to romp through playgrounds filled with swings and monkey bars. These days, traditional playgrounds have become passé—so says the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, which is currently reimagining the 15-year-old wooden playground at City Park. Recently the department launched a contest to find a firm to redesign the space. The week of July 23, three finalists with innovative proposals—grass mazes, underground tunnels, climbing structures 60 feet tall, and water-park-like slides—will present their concepts to the public. If all goes well, construction of the winning proposal will begin in 2014. “More and more, as the world develops, sameness is sort of a buzzkill,” says Britta Herwig, the Parks and Recreation employee who is managing the project. “We’re hoping to get back to the exciting.” denvergov.org/reimagineplay