The Shops at Willow Bend Honors Haggard Park with Play Area


Shops at Willow Bend custom play area
No matter the weather, it’s a great day to play at the park – that is, the new children’s play park inside The Shops at Willow Bend. “Modeled after a nearby community park, our new play area gives Plano families a great place to bring their children, rain or shine,” says Amy Medford, Marketing and Sponsorship Director.Owned by Starwood Retail Partners, The Shops at Willow Bend modeled their new play area after historic Haggard Park, honoring one of the city’s favorite outdoor spots.“Our new Plano Playground welcomes little ones with a gazebo,” says Medford.“Once inside, they enjoy climbing on the soft, one-of-a-kind play pieces including a water fountain, slide, sandbox, teeter totter, fire truck, ambulance and merry-go-round. Kids can even rock and ride the mascots of local high schools — Plano East, Plano West and Plano Senior High. A hot air balloon lights the play action from above!”

The soft-sculpted foam play area was designed, manufactured and installed by PLAYTIME, LLC, which also worked with the area’s sponsor, The Medical Center of Plano, to make sure every detail was correct.


Plano Playground includes an interactive game wall that looks like the hospital. Additionally, a scavenger hunt in the play area features hidden hospital icons for children to find, evoking the popular Highlights magazine often found in doctors’ offices. The multi-sensory play area also includes sound-chip technology, adding surprise and delight to complete the experience.“Electing to partner with PLAYTIME to create this experience was a no-brainer as they are the leading commercial play area manufacturer,” says Medford. “We wanted our shoppers with young children to have an exceptional experience.”


Medford says that the community is thrilled with the new play area and it has helped to make for happier shoppers through the busy holiday season. She adds that the sponsor, Medical Center of Plano, is very pleased with the results, as well.

“The Medical Center of Plano is deeply rooted in this community and their history aligns with the growth of Plano for the past four decades,” says Medford. “The Center realizes the value of supervised, imaginative play. It’s a natural fit to have them join us in making Plano Playground a reality.”


The Shops at Willow Bend features more than 150 stores, restaurants and services plus four anchors: Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Crate&Barrel.

Starwood Retail Partners, an affiliate of global private investment firm Starwood Capital Group, manages one of the largest regional mall operating platforms in the United States, with a portfolio of 28 properties totaling more than 26.8 million square feet of gross leasable area and more than $5 billion of gross asset value. Starwood Retail Partners seeks to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly evolving retail landscape by acquiring, redeveloping and repositioning premier real estate assets in the regional mall, lifestyle and power center sectors. Leveraging its deep experience in management, leasing and redevelopment, Starwood Retail Partners is well-positioned to transform leading shopping centers into the one-stop retail destinations of the future. Additional information can be found at