Central Park’s Updated Playground

On Friday we took a digestive-assisting walk with our 1st-grade cousin/nephew to Central Park. You may have heard that they recently pulled all of that super old-school metal equipment that’s been tucked under the trees across from Tiny Tot Land for years and years and years. Here’s the big structure that’s replaced it:

Both of my girls were pretty bitter about losing some of their old favorites, but this is still pretty fun. There are two levels up above the ground, so that’s pretty high, although it’s super caged-in, in the style of today’s playgrounds. Whoever designed the equipment didn’t realize that for a good game of Lava Tag you really always need at least two exit strategies from any piece of equipment. If some poor kid starts climbing the ladder up to the twirly slide, they’ll soon realize that it’s a dead end. Unless your sole purpose is to slide down the slide, it’s a tactical error to go up there. But still, it’s fun and shiny and new.

There’s a merry-go-around (in the bottom left corner above) that looked downright comical to me in its efforts to prevent the sort of hazards for which merry-go-rounds are known: deep, individual bucket seats to mark each child’s territory and make it extraordinarily difficult for a child to slide right off the merry-go-round due to centrifugal force. Is it me, or was desperately clinging on to the merry-go-round to try not to fly right off part of, even most of, the fun? Am I sounding like an old fogey? Probably. There are also handles that are placed so high and out of the way that they may has well include a label saying “Adults only.” So, yeah, the new merry-go-round is not my favorite.

They’ve also installed a bunch of new swings, and I like that kids can choose to watch the action or ignore it, depending on their whim.

Best of all, the trees remain intact, which is part of what I love about this section of the park. It gives the whole place shade and a bit of a woodsy hush.

My sister was marveling at the accessibility of Tiny Tots Land, too. The cushion-y surfaces that were installed years ago now have held up pretty well.


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