With summer back now full steam ahead, we’ve got a fun list that your kids are sure to enjoy! If you need another idea of things to do with your kid, be the cool parent and bring them to an NYC playground. Not only are they scattered across NYC, but many of them have cool features that will keep your children stimulated with plenty of exercise! From swings and slides to splash pads and fountains, here’s the best playgrounds in NYC to take them!
1. Heckscher Playground, Central Park
Heckscher Playground is one of Central Park’s most historic and oldest playgrounds, and its central location makes it the perfect place to bring your kids. It features tons of great options including swings, slides, climbers, and an extensive water feature, which is set up against Umpire Rock, one of the Park’s most dramatic rock outcrops. We suggest bringing children in the summer when their sprinklers are on and you can cool down after climbing a stone pyramid or digging around in the sandboxes.
Where: Mid-Park between 61st and 63rd
2. Ancient Playground, Central Park
Inspired by the scenes of Aesop’s Fables, Ancient Playground in Central Park has been around for over 40 years. It’s themes of Egyptian culture are evident, from the pyramids, obelisk, and sundial to the sandbox, swings, and water features. It feels like you’re stepping back into adventure-style ancient city, and is a beloved jungle gym for so many children. Plus, it’s within an eyeshot of The Met, which you and your kids can stroll over to afterwards.
Where: East Side at 85th
3. Chelsea Waterside Park, Hudson River Park
Since opening in 2018, this modern and sleek playground is popular amongst many, thanks to their enlarged playground, multi-colored, 64-foot wooden slide in the shape of a Pipefish, water features, and a whole lot more. Not to mention, there’s a permanent picnic area, new public restroom facility, synthetic turf field, small concession stand, and an expanded dog run with dog fountains. It’s perfect for everyone.
Where: 181 11th Ave
4. Domino Park Playground, Domino Park
Sitting in one of our favorite waterfront parks Domino Park, their industrial playground is great for kids of all ages. It resides in the space that famous Domino Sugar Refinery once was, and it’s reflected with its features. From the stainless steel pipes meant to resemble industrial pipes, to the climbable tower meant to resemble a vintage sugar stack, it gives the kids a feeling of the history of the area. Of course there’s also great skyline views, a new-ish water area to splash around in, and an outdoor dining spot, Tacocina to grab some food.
Where: 15 River St, Brooklyn
5. Slide Hill, Governors Island
We promise heading to Governors Island for this playground is totally worth it! Slide Hill is a slide-goer’s paradise, and it even features the longest one in NYC! It’s located on the lower half of the island, and features 3 shorter slides (including a family slide built for 2 people to ride down together), as well as a fourth 57 foot-long, three story-high slide which reigns the longest in the city.
Where: 910 Half Moon Rd, Governors Island
6. Imagination Playground, Seaport District
As the name suggests, architect David Rockwell built this playground to stimulate the minds of kids that were set to use it! Through features like sprinklers, giant foam blocks, mats, crates, and so much more, it encourages young ones to build and explore the endless possibilities of the park. The highlight definitely though is the collection of foam blocks, spheres, semi-circles, pipes, troughs, and balls meant to get the mind flowing.
Where: Front St, John St, and South St (Seaport)
7. Pier 25 Playground, Hudson River Park
Right in the heart of Tribeca, Pier 25’s playground full of swings, climbing structures, water features, and more is an oasis for kids of all ages. Not only is there several areas as well for different age groups, the park itself is surrounded by plenty of other options afterwards, like a a mini golf course, a turf field to play on, a historic vessel to explore, and concession stands to grab a snack. You can truly spend hours here, especially during the warm weather seasons.
Where: Pier 25
8. The Playscape, The Battery
This “multi-level discovery landscape” is a kid’s dream, thanks to their five ecology zones that children can explore. The brand new revitalized space is split up into different areas including “Bluff” (five granite slides), “Riverbed” and “Marsh” (gardens, treehouses, sand boxes, water areas), and “Dune” and “Meadow” (improv/puppet theater, climbing structures, playhouses).
Where: 20 State St
9. Pier 6 Playground, Brooklyn Bridge Park
If you’re in Brooklyn, bring your kids to Pier 6 where they can climb and slide down Slide Mountain, dig around in Sandbox Village, or fly back and forth at Swing Village. In the summer, the kiddos can cool off in the Water Lab and nearby Exploratory Marsh too. Plus, there’s also sand volleyball courts, a nearby pier of food and drink, and a DUMBO neighborhood ready to be explored.
Where: Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park
10. Beach 30th Street Playground, Rockaway
Just steps away from the beach, this playground in the Rockaways will of course keep the kids cool all summer long. There’s slides, swings, and tons of water-spurting attractions. Between the vibrant colors and splashing water, you can’t miss it if you head to the area, so we it’s perfect for some pre or post-beach amusement!
Where: 1-09 Beach 30th St, Queens