New York City has some of the best parks in the world and in those parks are world-class playgrounds. One of those is the Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park (enter near West 66th Street).
Like many of the playgrounds in Central Park, Billy Johnson Playground is made mostly of older-looking stone and wood. It is designed to blend into the natural beauty of the park.
When you walk into this playground, you’ll think it is something out of a storybook. You are greeted by an ivy-covered wooden entrance that opens up into a desert of sand on one side and a stone bridge that looks down on a small fountain, which is more suited as a drinking spot for small birds than anything else.
At first look, you’ll think you see a ton of litter lying about as large swatches of cardboard are everywhere. But that’s part of best feature of Billy Johnson Playground — an amazing winding, stone slide. On its own, the slide is a great ride, but if you grab one of the pieces of cardboard it’s transformed into a super-fast carnival thrill. Everyone goes down once then immediately goes right back to its log staircase to climb up for another ride.
Billy Johnson Playground is somewhat simple and definitely not what you think of when you think of the heart of Manhattan. It’s more like the heart of the shire.
Overheard at the park: “As your childhood gets closer to ending you need to get dirtier.”
- Water feature: Yes
- Sand: Yes
- Shade: Ample
- Bathroom: No
A version of this first appeared on Great Moments in Bad Parenting.