Written by Helen McWilliam
It’s been pretty quiet on the Mums and Dads front this month, so I thought I would report on my progress with visiting all the Central Park playgrounds before it gets too cold. To date, I have visited 13 out of 21, six since I started the challenge. It all gets a bit tricky from 14 on as the playgrounds are not as easy to access by subway, but I am committed!
Here’s a run down of the six I have visited since starting the challenge:
Diana Ross (West 81st St and Central Park West)
I’m not sure if Diana Ross is aware, but her namesake playground is in quite a state of disrepair. It felt quite unsafe for my two- and four-year-old. A section of the playground had been blocked off with signage stating it was unsafe. I personally won’t revisit this playground until it has been completely upgraded. It’s such a shame, because it is well shaded and in an easy to access area of Central Park.
West 110th Street Playground
This is a perfect playground for pre-schoolers. Well shaded, with a range of activities for different levels of ability. It’s easy to access by public transport (no lift at either 110th St stations), but there was no close access to public toilets. As an additional positive, no school or camp groups visited whilst we were there.
East 110th Street Playground
What makes this a great playground option is that it is just above the Harlem Weir. It’s worth the trip to visit a very beautiful part of Central Park. The playground was easy to access via public transport (again, no lift at the subway station), but a negative was that it was very busy with school and camp groups. There was plenty of equipment to climb on, however they were a little challenging for pre-schoolers who, like my children, assume they have far greater abilities. Additionally, there was open access to the swings, which can be a little hairy at times with the aforementioned pre-schoolers. I would recommend this playground for ages 5 and above. Another plus for this playground was that it was very close public toilets.
Tarr Family Playground (West 100th St and Central Park West)
Full sun. This playground was hot. It’s a shame because it was a relatively quiet playground with a range of activities for different ages, with plenty of space to run around. The sprinklers were good fun but it again had no nearby public toilets. It was quite a hike from the subway, too.
Rudin Family Playground (West 97th St and Central Park West)
Beautifully shaded, but definitely more for younger children. My 4-year-old appeared bored at this one, while my 2-year-old thought it was amazing. I did too for the shade. A few school groups came through, but it wasn’t overwhelming. As with the Tarr Family Playground, there is no access to public toilets and it’s quite a walk from the subway.
James Michael Levin Playground (East 76th St and Fifth Ave)
This was a very small but popular playground, with some sprinklers. My two children enjoyed playing here, but there wasn’t much play equipment and I don’t think all of the sprinklers were working. Nice large space though with some shade. I can’t advise on access from public transport as I walked, but, again, there was no access to public toilets.
Still eight more playgrounds to go. I could be cutting it close before school starts but I should definitely be able to get it done before it gets too cold.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and Amanda and I will be back with more events planned for the fall.