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Free Fun For Kids At NYC Parks And Playgrounds

October 25, 2010 12:30 PM

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Central Park's Heckscher playground in New York City

Central Park’s Heckscher playground in New York City (photo credit: http://www.centralparknyc.org)

Central Park's Heckscher playground in New York City

Since most apartment-dwelling New Yorkers don’t have backyards, parents depend on parks and playgrounds for their children to let loose and have a little outdoor fun. Here are some terrific choices where your little ones can expend some energy!

Central Park

centralparknyc.org
From 110th Street to 59th Street, Fifth Avenue to Central Park West
New York, NY

Central Park is the largest park in New York City, with 843 acres and so much to do! It also boasts an impressive 21 playgrounds for children, one of which  is the popular Diana Ross Playground located at Central Park and 81st Street. Located at the base of Summit Rock, it features a large, wooden play structure with a climbing net, bridges, firepoles, slides and ladders. The entire structure is set in a large area of sand.

Playground for All Children at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

nycgovparks.org/parks/fmcp
111-01 Corona Ave.
Queens, NY 11368

Flushing Meadows Corona Park was the site of two World Fairs and is the largest park in Queens. This huge park (which stretches from Flushing Bay to Union Turnpike) offers baseball, soccer, tennis and many other sports. There are 124 acres and Meadow Lake, an 84-acre manmade, freshwater lake. The park also offers a recreational complex, the Queens Zoo, Queens Art Museum and Panorama, the Queens Botanical Garden and the New York Hall of Science, as well as Citi Field. There are six playgrounds, the favorite seems to be the fabulous Playground for All Children. Designed for both disabled and able-bodied children, this massive playground is aimed at kids ages 3- 12. There are slides, slings and a suspension bridge. Kids will enjoy banging on the metal bongos and musical instrument structures. Children love playing in the little structures – -there’s a school bus, fire truck, a school house, a fire station  and house with flowers in window boxes. Kids will also love running around the racing track which surrounds the Water Wheel area.

Madison Square Park and Playground

madisonsquarepark.org/Home/Default.aspx
E 25 St and Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Located right near the Flatiron district, Madison Square Park offers gardens, lawns and cultural programs. There’s plenty for the kids to do – the Madison Square Kids program offers performances, festivals and family art workshops. The colorful playground is a neighborhood fave, featuring several wooden play towers with tons of climbing space. There’s also the fun sprinklers and large kid-level mirrors to peer into.

Washington Market Park

washingtonmarketpark.org
At Chambers, Greenwich and West Streets, Lower Manhattan
New York, NY

Washington Market Park features a huge field (where kids can run around), a gazebo that can be booked for birthday parties (with a permit) and a community garden. The red playground structure offers lots of space to explore and climb (though there are no swings). There’s also basketball and tennis courts which is great because the park offers free tennis clinics run by pros for kids ages 4 – 12.

Nancy Horn is a blogger with Mom in the City (www.mominthecity.com).

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