Editor’s Note: This look at Mafera Park is part of an occasional series reviewing parks and playgrounds in the NYC area.
If you have ever been a child (or had a child) in the Ridgewood/Glendale area of Queens, you have been to Mafera Park.
But you probably knew it as The Oval or Farmers’ Oval.
I wouldn’t call “The Oval” the best park, but there are lots of options. In addition to the regular playground equipment, there is an asphalt field (perfect for bike rides), basketball and handball courts, a big grassy field and a hockey rink.
My favorite — and my kids’ favorite part — of Mafera Park is the sprinklers.
Four spheres shooting water at each other in a soaking spray. To be honest, they look like four mini Death Stars. But shooting water at kids, instead of a death ray at Alderaan.
The drawback of this park is that it can get crowded. Very crowded. Particularly during the summer when waves of kids from the YMCA (down the block) descend upon the park.
Also, most of the Mafera Park play equipment is older. It’s still safe, but an upgrade to more modern stuff would breathe some new life into this park.
I’ve lived in this area most of my life, so this park has lots of good memories. I’ve played midnight basketball here with my friends as a teen. Played full 11-on-11 tackle football in the field (which was mostly dirt back then) until everyone was covered in dust or someone was knocked unconscious. But I’m pretty sure I never saw a farmer there.
Mafera Park features
Shade – Lots of trees around the edges.
Water feature – Yes
Bathrooms – Yes
Sand – No
Grass – There is a large multi-sport field covered in grass and artificial turf.