25 best playgrounds in New York City
We searched high and low for the city’s best playgrounds: Visit them all for a summer’s worth of hometown fun.
For families, NYC's best playgrounds are some of the city's most essential landmarks, especially in the summer months. Inspired by the high design, prime location and top-notch equipment of so many of them, we set out to round up the city's top 25 and rank them in ascending order of excellence. We know you'll be familiar with a lot of the playgrounds on our list, but we're hoping you won't know all of them. After all, half the fun of discovering new spots for yourself lies in making them your own. We admit that we've left lots of good playgrounds off the list—we had to—but we hope you'll weigh in to let us know if any of them is a favorite of yours, or if you think our ranking is off. But as summer approaches, what we wish you most of all is happy exploring and abundant sunny skies to accompany you out the door.
1. Pier 6 Playground
Situated on a pier that just a few years ago was considered no-man’s-land, this park has changed the Brooklyn waterfront indelibly, bringing the Dumbo cachet all the way to Atlantic Avenue and becoming Brooklyn’s new go-to destination for families. Taking its cue from Hudson-fronting playgrounds like those of Pier 51 and Pier 25, it ups the ante with a number of awesome amenities, including the Water Lab, a stone-strewn area with water underfoot to splash in, water tables and a spinning water wheel, and Sand Village, a huge sandbox with molecular-looking climbing structure and flanked by two long metal slides. Add to them clean bathrooms, a food court where families can find the likes of fresh milk shakes and hot dogs, and even spots for fishing and beach volleyball and there’s not much room for improvement—especially when views of downtown Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor are included. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Atlantic Ave at Furman St, Brooklyn Heights (brooklynbridgeparknyc.org).
Mailing Address: 334 Furman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: (718) 222-9939
fax: (718) 222-9258