Except that the city authorities have decided otherwise. Today, the activities in the park are out of bounds to children and adults. "In cold weather, the ground becomes hard and slippery" a rather pompous specially-produced sign announces. The entire play area is cordoned off behind red and white tape, a victim of the weather before the weather has the chance to take any victims.
It looks like a crime scene, but one undisturbed by any traces of a guilty party. The criminal is the snow itself, forever labelled now a danger in the mind of an impressionable child. Here there will be no snowballs, no snowmen, no angels in the snow. Move along please, there's nothing to see here.
The child is disappointed, the adults bewildered. Another responsibility taken from them, the responsibility of deciding what is safe for their children. In the city, there are no private spaces to make these decisions, no sheltered gardens behind houses. In the city, the child's garden is the park. Which parents would forbid their children from going out into a back garden on a snowy morning, a decision the city fathers have taken? This is no longer a play area, but an area of safe containment. Closed, "for your security and the security of your children".
It would be more understandable and less offensive without the intellectual dishonesty. How much more refreshing it would be to see a sign that read "Closed due to the fear of expensive litigation".