The nicer weather motivates me to venture out for new playground experiences. We have combed the entire Upper East Side the past few weeks, and stumbled upon some favorites:
1. The newly remodeled Ancient Playground (85th & 5th) near the MET has some great pyramid-like climbing structures and a cool water area to get wet.
2. The new Asphalt Green playground (91st & York) has a modern sand pit, a child-sized house for the kids to play in, swings, and more.
3. The Lab School Playground (96th & Lexington) is a learning experience – themed around the longest rivers of the world, this sprayground has water shooting up through a large-scale map of the world, sending the water down a river that navigates the entire length of the playground. Of course, I am biased toward the playgrounds in my hood.
That said, for those of you adventurous enough to take a playground tour of NYC or take a staycation this holiday weekend, check out New York Magazine‘s special feature on Playgrounds Gone Wild. The article provides a menu of options of 19 different playgrounds, for kids with all tastes. Interestingly, the theme of most playgrounds these days is that they have “rediscovered the joys of risk.” They have become “less predictable, more imaginative, and more complex” resulting in more thrills for the kids!
Of course, the article highlights the overhyped, Union Square Playground. However, the one that captured my attention most is the brand-new, Pier 6-Brooklyn Bridge Park Playground. It’s Good To Be A Kid makes it sound like a paradise:
Short of the actual beach, you won’t find another sand-and-water-scape this big and enticing in New York. The newest park on the Brooklyn waterfront features a 6,000-square-foot plot of gust-resistant sand interspersed with climbable tortoises, frogs, and chickens, child-size houses, a “town well,” and a water-spitting boulder. There are also some fantastic swings — 21 of them, in fact, including planks, tires, and circular-spinning Tarzan fliers.
Reading an article like this and enjoying the current weather in New York City, gives me the itch to get more creative in planning my playground destinations. I have no doubt that the NYC Dads Group will have to heed the call and venture over to experience Pier 6, Hechscher Playground, Teardrop Park, and more in the coming weeks.