The Best Playgrounds Near Me in New York
New York City’s top playgrounds promote both creativity and fitness. Ranging from giant jungle gyms to unique water play areas, these NYC spots are great destinations for children (and parents!) of all ages.
Governors Island Park offers visitors the longest slide in New York, as well as other attractions like its tri-level play structure, industrial-style rope climbing structure, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
1. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is a magical spot to bring kids. Tucked underneath an overpass, but offers the experience of an oasis with open space and lush landscaping that creates an ideal setting. Plus, there’s a playground just right for families with toddlers!
Children can play on ADA-accessible playground equipment here, with a gated toddler area. There’s even an island-themed structure and section dedicated to sea activities! And for even more excitement, there are water cannons sure to leave children giggling and laughing joyfully!
This playground from architect David Rockwell earned rave reviews upon its unveiling emphasizing creative play over unrestrained running around. Trained “play associates” supervise, while children can roam free to discover, build, and create their own worlds – imagination is encouraged here with foam blocks, spheres, semi-circles, mats, and crates available to use when designing something special! Plus, it features water features for even more enjoyment on hot days!
2. Fort Tyron Park
With its cozy corners, sand-covered area bucket, strap, and tire swings – ideal for toddlers – and painted wooden equipment reminiscent of castle-like structures, this playground makes an excellent place for toddlers. Pyramid-style climbers and tunnels linked by concrete bridges provide physical activity for older kids, while water sprays from a fountain at the “big kid” playground only add more fun!
Nestled beneath the F/G train overpass in this vibrant industrial neighborhood is this playground, designed for the disabled, with plenty of open space to roam and plenty of traditional playground equipment such as swings, monkey bars, slides, and jungle gyms – not forgetting its fun farm-themed sandbox with animal cutouts and metal drum set! Perfect for little ones to have some outdoor fun.
At this underrated playground, the star attraction is undoubtedly its 57-foot-long slide – the longest one in NYC. Additionally, you’ll find shorter slides as well as a four-story tower, rope climbing structure, and jungle gym, in addition to a water feature that pours from an obelisk over two bridges into a separate space featuring spray nozzles. Plus there’s more fun at Fort Tryon Park nearby which was designed by the Olmsted brothers and donated by John D. Rockefeller!
3. Chelsea Waterside Play Area
Pier 25 Playground is the ultimate playground for children aged three and up, located riverside along the Delaware. A golden ticket of fun, Pier 25 features two space-age climbing structures for big kids, small slides and tunnels for toddlers, a modern merry-go-round, a roomy sandbox, and multiple swing sets It is even ADA accessible, meaning kids with disabilities can join their peers in having the same amount of fun! On weekends, you’ll also find a carousel and an Art Shack, where kids can get creative before having their creations framed at low fees!
Chelsea Waterside Play Area was opened in 2000, but after an extensive multimillion-dollar makeover,, it reopened in 2018. It takes its name from its location near Chelsea Waterfront’s watery edge, featuring an eye-catching wooden slide designed like a Pipefish. Kids also love climbing pyramids, obelisks, tunnels connected by concrete bridges, buckets, tire and strap swings, and climbing structures with rope climbers for climbing fun!
Hudson River Park’s Pier 51 Playground is a favorite among pirate lovers, offering a pirate ship and spiral ramp for youngsters to “search for treasure” in its sand play area. There is also an interactive tree-like structure that sprays water onto visitors below it, and on warm days, Swing Valley offers ten swing sets with Tarzan rope for children of all ages!
4. Bloomingdale Playground
At this inclusive playground in New York City, children can use their imagination and explore sand in whatever forms it may take – they can shape it however they wish! Plus there are lots of water elements and fun structures for them to discover, too – your children will have an incredible time exploring this park!
This playground, part of Staten Island’s Bloomingdale Park District, features a garden, comfort station, active recreational fields, basketball courts, and trails – plus it also contains natural and undeveloped wetland areas!
Bloomingdale Playground was renovated thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative, a program that allocates funding to parks in areas with high concentrations of poverty. Work began on the project in 2014 when Sheldon Fine and Rita Genn from Community Board 7’s Health and Human Services Subcommittee on Accessibility joined forces with Cidalia Costa from P.S. 145 (the school adjacent to the playground).
Initial designs for this playground were presented at a Community Board 7 meeting in April, featuring a padded surface to protect against injuries and sensory activities that stimulate all abilities in children.
5. Pier 6
Pier 6 offers everything a child might want for water play, digging in the sand, swinging high on swings, sliding down slides, and exploring nature – including water play! Climb to the top at Slide Mountain or discover adventure at Sandbox Village or Swing Valley (with over ten different swings for children of all sizes!). Water Lab draws crowds in summer thanks to its cannons firing water to climbers; toddlers can chime out tunes on larger-than-life xylophones!
David Rockwell created this playground to encourage children to build, imagine, and design rather than run wild. Trained play associates work to engage kids in cooperative building projects using now-ubiquitous Imagination Playground blocks–round, semicircular, and sphere shapes on mats and in crates–while also using sand and water in the playground for unlimited creative expression.
If your kids need downtime, there’s a comfortable seating area with tree plantings and tiered granite benches that help block out city noise. Plus, the pier features the Marsh Garden nature-themed playground and Exploratory Marsh for an exciting splashy experience!
6. Pier 25
Domino Park opened in 2018 as an homage to the sugar refining process that once took place on this pier. Kids can climb, scale, and slide through Tom Otterness’s massive play sculpture featuring alligators slithering from manholes; there are also climbing walls, ladders, web tunnels, pulleys, and platforms to discover. Indulge their kids with two-story slides at Slide Hill or swing sets tucked into Swing Valley before heading to Marsh Garden for a peaceful, green stroll with great views of the Empire State Building!
Named for an EMT who sacrificed while on duty, this playground was created with sensory play in mind. Boasting lots of stimulating spots like depictions of the sign language alphabet, giant foam blocks, mats, and crates; children can create their own worlds in this fun space!
7. Rockwell Playground
Rockwell Group’s Imagination Playground opened to much anticipation this summer at Burling Slip in South Street Seaport after five years in development. Following his own children playing, architect David Rockwell, who specializes in designing upscale restaurants, hotels, and cultural centers decided to rethink playground design to encourage children’s imaginations without overstructure or limitations imposed by traditional playground designs. Instead, his vision was for children to construct, imagine, and dismantle to form new ideas of their while at play in an imaginative setting that encouraged playfulness without limitation from adults or designers imposed restrictions or rules that might inhibit creativity or play in general.
This unique downtown kid hub stands out from others by relying on blue foam blocks instead of monkey bars, swings, or jungle gyms for play. These flexible blocks can take any shape children can imagine–spheres, semicircles, pipes, and troughs–with sprays and barrels nearby providing excellent relief as well as park helpers ready to assist little builders’ ambitious plans.
Rockwell also created several open spaces designed for children’s interaction, such as the imaginatively named “Imagination Room.” It offers ample seating, with features including an inviting fire pit and seating arrangements arranged around it. Additional attractions include a giant geodesic dome-shaped climbing net, two climbing walls, and an irresistibly refreshing water fountain for cooling off in hotter temperatures. While this may not be your typical playground setting, this open space makes an excellent spot to bring a picnic and let children roam free!