Holding Park

Holding Park Inclusive Playground 

The Holding Park Inclusive Playground officially opened on Saturday, March 2, 2024. The playground is now open daily from dawn to dusk.

The playground's thoughtful design includes accommodations for wheelchair users’ to entrances and benches, accessibility enhancements to walkways, and a perimeter fence for added safety.

It also boasts a rubber surface that provides a smooth, wheelchair-friendly terrain allowing easy navigation for individuals with assistive devices. With ramps seamlessly integrated into slides and other elements, children of all abilities can experience the joy of sliding down and participating in various activities.

In addition, the playground equipment was carefully chosen and adapted to cater to those with sensory issues, ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

Bench Donation Opportunity

Playground Features

  • Fully ramped playground structures that offer ease of access for people of all mobility ranges

  • Multiple sensory experiences, including tactile, visual, auditory, spatial & vestibular – these items include play panels, rockers, swings, spinners, slides, and balance challenges

  • Seating and shade for parent relaxation

  • Play Ensemble Outdoor musical equipment

  • MOVMNT – accessible interactive game piece

  • Serenity Spot - fort-like environment with a variety of activities that can be calming and allow the expression of stimming behaviors

  • Brava Universal Swing – a unique way to experience swinging and rocking movements

  • Volito Swing – disc seat that allows the whole group to swing together

  • AirVenture Glider – a stand up swing that thrills all ages

  • Inclusive Orbit Spinner – a multi user, zero entry merry-go round

Inclusive Playgrounds

Inclusive playgrounds are places for laughter, friends, and fun where all children and their families can play together regardless of their abilities, ages, and communities. 

They give children with and without any disability the same platform to play while breaking down barriers, both physically and socially. Such inclusion encourages children, adults, and families to experience and enjoy the benefits of playing together.

Sometimes, people think  the term “disability” refers to someone using a mobility device. In reality, a vast majority of people who live with a severe disability do not use such devices. As a result, a disability cannot be determined solely by whether or not a person uses a mobility device. Disabilities are not always obvious to the eye, and can vary from mild limitations to severe challenges, from person to person.

That's why inclusive playgrounds attempt to cater to the whole child which refers to different skills and needs that make up an entire person, including physical, social-emotional, sensory, cognitive, and communication. By addressing the needs of the whole child, inclusive playgrounds offer an abundance of meaningful experiences and offer a place for all kids to learn and develop core values that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

ARPA Funded

The Holding Park Inclusive Playground project was supported by a grant from US Treasury as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds award totaling $14.5 million. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/TOWF_ARPA.


Located at 133 W. Owen Ave., Holding Park is the site of the Wake Forest Community House and Holding Park Aquatic Center. The five-acre park features a children's playground, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and a basketball court.

Amenities and Features

  • five-acre site
  • home to Wake Forest Community House
  • home of Holding Park Aquatic Center
  • inclusive playground
  • rain garden
  • picnic tables
  • charcoal grills
  • basketball court


  1. Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.

  2. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  3. Smoking is limited to parking areas only.

  4. Use of personal grills (gas and/or charcoal) is prohibited.

  5. Dogs must be on a leash. Also, please clean up after your dog. Dog waste receptacles and bags are provided. 

  6. Park Rules & Safety


Holding Park at 133 W. Owen Avenue was named for 5 acres of land donated by Dr. Solomon Pace Holding (1871-1951) a Wake Forest Physician and his wife, Eva Dunn Holding. The land begins at the corner of S. Main and W. Owen Streets and extends west along Owen. It was developed in several stages. The first being the building of the Community House from 1938 -   1942. Although the land was provided by Dr Holding, the funds for the building came from President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Community House has been used continuously for public and private gatherings and is listed as a contributing building in the Wake Forest National Register Historic District. The original 1940s swimming pool was reconfigured in the 1970s and recently replaced by the Holding Park Aquatic Center in 2017. The large stone retaining wall and stairs on the south side of the pool are the original 1940s diving board platform.

Per oral history there was a building on the Holding property that was used during World War II to machine parts for the Army’s tanks. This building was sited in the playground area. New playground equipment was installed in 2001.

The original Holding house on the southwest corner of Main & Owen was demolished

in the 1950’s and the hillside used for concerts in the park in the 1950s and 1960s. A Garden was started but not completed until 2020 when the Neuse River Hawks created a Butterfly Pollinator Garden with over seventy varieties of plants, many of which were donated by Wake Forest citizens.

In addition, Zua Pace Mitchell Davis who lived in the brick home immediately to the south of the Holding home on Main Street donated a portion of her property in 1964 to enhance Holding Park.

Researched and written by Mary Jo DeLaere, Wake Forest Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board

  • National Register of Historical Places Wake Forest Museum

  • Wake Forest Gazette Wake Weekly

Holding Park
133 W. Owen Ave.

Hours of Operation

  • Open daily, dawn to dusk