Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Crumbling Kids' Castle in need of repairs

The Friends of Kids' Castle are trying to save and improve the popular family attraction in Doylestown Township, but they need donations and volunteers.

Crumbling Kids' Castle in need of repairs

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The Kids' Castle was named by Doylestown Township children in a 1996 art contest.

Fifteen years ago, the Central Bucks community built an eight-story, fun-filled Kids’ Castle that has become a family favorite and a tourist attraction.

Now, the community is gearing up again – this time to save the Kids’ Castle in Doylestown Township’s Central Park.

Much like a wooden maze, the interior of the castle leads children in and out of paths through eight levels to the top, where they can slide their way back to the bottom. 

But the castle’s wooden structure is wearing out, despite regular maintenance and care. It needs attention and repairs, according to the annual safety audit conducted in May.

The Friends of Kids’ Castle are organizing volunteers and raising money to repair and replace components of the attraction. Their immediate goal is to raise $25,000 by Dec. 31 to receive a matching donation from the Byers Choice Foundation.

“Our matching grant teaches the young generation what it means to give back and to get involved in the community,” Bob Byers, chief executive officer of Byers Choice Ltd., said in a statement.  “It’s just terrific when you see these young people and their families come together offering their time and effort for something they really believe in.” 

The long-range goal is to raise $750,000 to replace every piece of playground equipment surrounding the castle with maintenance free, non-toxic, recycled playground equipment designed by children. Bathrooms would be added.

It was children who named the castle at 425 Wells Road through an art contest in 1996.

To raise money, the Friends are joining the national #Giving Tuesday campaign on Tuesday, Nov. 27.  Giving Tuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

On Tuesday, the public can go to the Kids’ Castle Giving Tuesday web site,, click on the link, and making a donation.  

The public also can go to the Save Kids’ Castle web site to set up a personal donor page.

In addition to money, the Friends are seeking volunteers. They’ve lined up engineers, architects, builders, and a Horsham software company, SofterWare, but they say they can use more help.

For information about volunteering, donating or helping in other ways, send an e-mail to  Dawn Byers, strategic advisor, at  For information about Kids’ Castle, go to

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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