Cardon Children’s opens ‘Big Outside’ play space for patients, families

A child cuts a ceremonial ribbon Feb. 22 to open The Big Outside outdoor play space at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. (Photo credit: Banner Health)


Cardon Children’s Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of “The Big Outside,” an outdoor play space and healing garden for patients and families, on Thursday at the hospital at 1400 S. Dobson Road in Mesa.

Children try out a piece of playground equipment in The Big Outside outdoor play space at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa. (Photo credit: Banner Health)

The area offers activities to help children keep their minds off treatment or to receive rehabilitation therapy outdoors. Games includes mini golf, a basketball court, an amphitheater for kids’ programs, and a bereavement garden, according to a press release.

Former patient Austin Overton, age 8, of Gilbert said the play space is exciting for kids like himself.

“When I heard the term ‘mini golf,’ I was like, ‘Oh, snap! This is going to be good,” Austin said.  

A group of community members, parents and young patients ages 3 to 18 across Maricopa County worked together with Banner Children’s staff and the Banner Health Foundation to raise nearly $520,000 for the project.

Young patients can receive rehabilitation therapy in this new outdoor environment, and parents can reflect and recharge in the healing garden.

Siblings can have a casual place to spend time with their brothers and sisters who are hospitalized or receiving treatment.

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