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10 Playgrounds for Kids Around Central Park


Playtime is a very critical part of development in every growing child.  From developing their imagination, physical abilities and even cognitive and emotional strength, play time to children is more than just jumping around. Parents realize this better than most people. But, they are tasked with the duty of keeping their children safe first before they can provide ample playing time for them. The bigger problem is, getting great grounds to play where your kids can freely mingle with other children and play safe. But, thanks to Central Park and the Central Park Conservancy’s play program, there are over 20 playgrounds within Central Park. Here are 10 of them where your child could freely play while you’re on your New York City bike rental plan.

North End

1. W. 110th Street Playground


In the fall of 2013, after 10 months of comprehensive rebuilding this playground across the Dana Discovery Center was re-opened. The playground targets school-age children and is divided into four different circular sections. It features three tire swings, a swing for children with special needs, a water feature as well as six big-kid strap swings. There is also a wooden paly structure. The playground is perfect for the older kids and is located between Lenox and Fifth Avenue.

2. Bernard Family Playground


This playground is located around one of the most beautiful settings in the park. It is right across the Harlem Meer. It is also situated close to the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center which means there are more recreational facilities for those that are on their New York City bike rental tours.

This playground features bucket swings, and enclosed sandbox and a play structure that features climbing poles, a sprinkler, slides and bridges. This particular ground is best suited for the younger kids.

3. Tarr Family Playground


The Tarr Family Playground was constructed in 2009 and it is located on the West Side at 100th Street.

It features a central bridge that divides the playground. The bridge stretches over a lake of sand and creates an area for both older children and pre-schoolers. There is a large conical climber that has slides and a tunnel, a modern net climber, a variety of swings that are suited for all ages and, there is an amazing tree house as well and a concrete maze. During the summer, there is also a water feature that is introduced.


4. 96th Street Playground


If the size of the playground is of a concern to you, then you should find the size of this particular one to be quite calming.  It is one the largest playgrounds and features a great variety of options and equipment for children to engage in.

Not only does the area have ample space for running and playing games, it also has two play structures that have bridges and slides. There are also climbing poles, a tree house, tire and bucket swings and there are also picnic tables. During summer, children can also run around the sprinkler. The playground was last renovated in 1994 but, it is still in great shape.

5. Wild West Playground


Wooden play structures that resemble the frontier town are the primary attraction at the western themed playground. It was recently reopened after a year-long of reconstruction and maintenance that was meant to modernize the infrastructure. During the renovations, separate play spaces that were designed for different age groups were also added and also, accessibility to visitors with disabilities was enhanced. The best thing about this particular playground is that it offers an easy connection to the rest of the park. Should your kids have a change of heart, then it is easier to transition into something different.

6. Safari Playground


This playground features a naturalistic approach with sculptures that make it livelier and a great place for children with artistic minds to be. The sculptures include hippos and a canoe that has water spray features that animate the safari-inspired location. Other features that kids can enjoy at this spot include the two tree houses, picnic tables, plenty of space to run around and, it is set atop a hill in Central Park.

The secluded feel is perfect for children that are not very social or better yet, for parents that would like to delve into the fun with their children.

Great Lawn

7. Abraham and Joseph Spector Playground


Another one of the largest playgrounds in Central Park. It has an expansive sand area and plenty of open space that allow for running and playing. There are a couple of oak trees that are scattered throughout the site and provides lots of shade and greenery. It is a great place for your child to play at any time of the day. It is also a great place for you to take a breather during your New York City bike rental tour. Other than the great shade and ambience, the area also has different climbers that are made of both wood and metal. These feature slides, poles, decks and bridges. There is a small enclosed sand box that is ideal for the younger children and a larger area of sand perfect for the older kids.

8. Ancient Playground


Don’t be fooled by the name. This is one of the more recent playgrounds in the park. It is located just north of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It features climbing pyramids, sundial, and obelisk all of which were inspired by the collection of Egyptian art in the museum. The playground is considered one of the best in NYC. The main play area features pyramid shaped climbers that have tunnels and slides that are linked by bridges made from concrete. There are also wood climbers that are perfect for the older kids who are climbers. Bucket, tire and strap swings help to accommodate children of all ages and the water feature during summer offers a great attraction. New York City bike rental tours will get you closer and into this playground.

9. Diana Ross Playground


After a record-breaking concert in the Great Lawn in 1983, singer Diana Ross decided to give back to the park with this one of a kind playground. It is located at the Summit rock which is the highest elevation of the park and has a magnificent backdrop of mature canopy trees.

The playground is adorned with a large wooden play structure that has a lot of interconnected pay elements that include bridges, fire poles, climbing nets, slides and ladders. During the summer, there is a sprinkler present at the playground. Your New York City bike rental should help you to easily access this ground.

10. Heckscher Playground


This is not only the oldest playground there is in Central Park, it is also the largest and covers over three acres. It is also one of the most creative. Other than having the typical slides, seesaws and swings, the playground also has giant rocks that children can climb over. It occasionally has kicking ball games that are extremely popular during the summer. The playground was opened in 1926 and was complete with its own collection of snack carts and restrooms. It is perfect for children between 6-12 years. You can always ask how to access the field from a New York City bike rental tour guide.

Having numerous and safe places for kids to play and engage is not only healthy for them but also relieving for parents. With the many playgrounds around Central Park, you have just as many places for your child to have some fun during your New York City bike rental tours.

Photo credit: Ins @qwqw7575