Summertime in city parks are even better with the cool sprinkle of water on your skin. Here are some of the city’s prettiest parks with a little extra chill. Can’t exactly play hooky on a hot day? Check out our picks for the city’s 7 best parks with WiFi. By Sherry Mazzocchi
Pier 6 Water Lab
For water-soaked fun, the Water Lab teaches kids about the physics of water. Close by, Slide Mountain has a climbing dome with long and fast slides. In addition, this Brooklyn park has a water channel and a water jet field.
Angel of the Waters at Bethesda Fountain
This angel hovers above the “blessed gift of pure, wholesome water” from the Croton Reservoir. Next to her are the four figures of Temperance, Purity, Health and Peace. The fountain is the work of Emma Stebbins, who in 1873, was the first woman to create a New York City public sculpture.
This fabulous fountain depicts Neptune in an epic battle with a sea creature. The original sculpture was cast in 1892 at the John W. Fiske Iron Works. Over the years, the ancient god of the sea lost his hands, an arm and a foot. Recast in 1994 by the Queens’ Modern Art Foundry, the new sculpture is surrounded by benches while the retired old god greets people at the Visitor’s Center.
Fountain of the Dolphins
The Fountain of the Dolphins was created by sculptor Steven Dickey in 1998. Six bronze dolphins fly through the water along the boardwalk. Beautiful during the day, it’s even lovelier at night. Fiber optic cables hidden in the wave-shaped rails illuminate jets of blue, green and white light through the water after the sun goes down.
The Lorelei Fountain
The Lorelei Fountain is inspired by a Heinrich Heine poem about a sea siren who lures sailors to their deaths with her magical voice. The lovely fountain, which depicts Lorelei amid mermaids, dolphins and seashells, was installed in 1899. The years weren’t kind to her, but fortunately she underwent a major renovation. Now Lorelei presides over this Grand Concourse park in all her marble glory.
This elegant fountain is dedicated to the author of The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy, Frances Hodgson Burnett. The boy playing the flute and the girl holding the bowl are thought to be the characters Mary and Dickon from The Secret Garden. The park was created as a storytelling area in Burnett’s memory in 1936.
The 140-ft. tall Unisphere was the largest representation of the Earth when it was built for the 1964 World’s Fair. Its stainless steel design reflected the new Space Age. The rings around the sphere represents the orbits of astronauts Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn and Telestar, the first communications satellite.