New York City has been my favorite place to explore for years. But this summer my exploring needs to be planned a bit more creatively. Some may view being a mom with a double stroller and two very active kids under four in New York City as an obstacle, I choose to see it as a challenge.
This Summer me and my boisterous brood are taking on the playgrounds of Central Park. One park, 21 playgrounds within it, and three summer months for it to be conquered by one very ambitious family! www.centralpark.com is a great resource for all things Central Park and supplies local and visiting families with a complete list of playground information.
Our adventure began this month with three playground visits.
Playground #1: Billy Johnson Playground (East side of 67 St)
Just north of the Children’s Zoo this playground is a great stop on your way home from feeding the sea lions. This playground has lots of rustic features that make one feels like they are deep in a wooded area of the park rather then parallel to the traffic on Fifth Avenue. There is a cool stone bridge, a 45 foot-long spiral granite slide, toddler swings, a water sprinkler and huge sand box with a beach-like setting. I was especially appreciative for the adult seating in the middle of the sand area that allowed me to watch playtime from a safe distance.
Playground #2: Pat Hoffman Friedman Three Bears Playground (East 79 St)
Located on the south side of the Metropolitian Museum of Art this small playground is easy to miss. The entrance is right behind one of my favorite statues in the park – the Three Bears. Worth the stop for the photo moment alone! The playground is an odd mix of older playground equipment. There is a raised sand box area with an incredibly steep twisted metal slide within the middle that I spent a large portion of our visit distracting my one year old from climbing.
There is also a separate gated area with toddler bucket swings, and a water sprinkler surrounded by benches often filled with waiting caregivers eagerly holding out dry towels.
Playground #3: East 72 Street Playground (East side of Fifth Ave & 72nd St)
Today we had to be a bit more focused and strategic in our play since this playground was designed for school-age children. We happily played in the sandbox and sandy swing and slide area. The maze-like cement ramps and stone pyramids are a blast for older kids but bit too much for a mom trying to keep her eyes on two pre-schoolers running in opposite directions.
-That’s IT Mommy friend, Jill