The wraps have come off Wauwatosa's new community playground in Hart Park, and it didn't take long for scores of families to discover it.
Most of the "keep out" construction fencing was taken down Wednesday morning, and soon, as if drawn by a magnet, kids arrived to take charge.
Nobody, especially those around 8 years old, was bound to wait for the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting scheduled for June 8, and they didn't.
The play structures have been in place for a weeks, the spongy rubber play surface has set and is deemed safe for rough and ready action, and sod was laid last week and has been watered in.
So, let the play begin.
Orion, 5, of Milwaukee enjoyed playing and snacking on a mini-picnic while his mom, Andrea Voncks, reclined on one of the replica logs in the "little kids'" play area.
Orion said he liked the playground a lot. Why? Because "It's big," he said.
Wauwatosa architect Ed Haydin, who designed the playground with its combination of colorful modern play pieces and pre-settlement themed logs, rocks and tree trunks, said he had stopped by in the evening after work to see how the real customers for his craft liked it.
"It was great," Haydin said. "An older kid said, 'This is the most awesome playground ever!'
"So I asked him why, and he said, 'Because they don't treat us all like we're little kids.'
"In fact, hardly any of the little kids were on the little kids' play area," Haydin said. "They were all on the older kids' stuff. So maybe that's what we look at going ahead, is adding a little something more in that younger kids' area."