Best Playgrounds In NYC
Hello, Summer! Being outside is the perfect thing for young kids (and parents too!) While the kids are home from school this season, get them outside to the playground to take in the fresh air and burn off some extra energy. Below, we’ve highlighted the five best playgrounds in NYC, all located within Glenwood neighborhoods.
For Midtowners: Heckscher Playground
Whether you live in Midtown East or Midtown West, Heckscher Playground is by far the best playground in both ‘hoods! It’s also the oldest and largest playground in Central Park, standing at 1.8 acres. In addition to playground staples such as swings, slides, and a giant sandbox, it’s famous for its rock climbing hills that lead into maze-like tunnels with water play. There’s multiple splash pads at this playground, making it the perfect alternative to a weekend away out East. For kiddos who enjoy kicking a soccer ball around, they’ll love the synthetic turf on the ground.
Parents will appreciate how this large area is enclosed, giving a sense of safety to the play experience. Also, there’s a killer view of the Central Park South skyline, which is a delight to take in for even the most native New Yorkers. The playground is located at the south end of Central Park, roughly around 7th Avenue and Central Park South, then a few blocks up to 61st Street.
For Downtowners: Teardrop Park
Downtown residents have easy access to the beautiful and sustainable Teardrop Park. This two-acre gem was designed by child development experts, and the design alone showcases this. It’s a bit different from your typical park, and in place of jungle gyms and swings you’ll find play elements integrated right into nature aspects: a water playground, sand pits, plenty of grass, a slide along the rock formation, and even a tunnel for deep exploration. Kids will really embrace the ability to use their imagination and get creative in this space, while parents will no doubt enjoy the serene vibe. And for those looking for a bit more structured play, Battery Park City Park offers a program every Wednesday from May through October, featuring lawn games and creative art projects. The playground is located between Warren Street and Murray Street in Battery Park, incredibly close to Barclay Tower residents.
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For Upper East Siders: Ancient Playground
Situated just North of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ancient Playground pays homage to the Egyptian Art at the MET with its climbing pyramid and slides, obelisk, and sundial. Complete with a sandbox, tire and strap swings, as well as water features such as a mini-waterfall, spray nozzles, and water jets, this is the perfect place for Upper East Siders and their kiddos to while away an afternoon after an outing to the MET. It’s exact location is 5th Avenue at 85th Street, close to The Marlowe.
For Westsiders: Tom Otterness Playground
Artsy Westside residents will appreciate a playground in their neighborhood that is equally artsy: the Tom Otterness Playground. Nestled between two apartment buildings is a massive play sculpture of a gentle giant, with opportunities to both scale its sides and slide down it. The giant will most likely look familiar to New Yorkers, and that’s because artist Tom Otterness has his other sculptural work inhabiting the 14th Street subway station. Another perk about this hidden gem is that there is a dog run close by, meaning you can run your kids and your pooch on the same outing! The playground is located on West 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, a short walk from Crystal Green.
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