Splash Pads & Playgrounds Worth Traveling For

Explore playgrounds with water features and other awesomeness, from Washington Heights to the Rockaways!

Looking for ways to keep cool this summer? Also check out the PSP Best and Easy Meet-Up Map, where the BLUE icons denote playgrounds with water features!

Want to connect with a community who will splash and play with you? Join Park Slope Parents!

One member asked the Advice Group:

“Curious to know about any splash pads (or even playgrounds) worth traveling for.

I hear there are a lot of cool playgrounds in Queens but I don't know where to start. 

Anything cool happening in Harlem? the Bronx? 

I know about LeFrak, obviously. Also I think Domino Park and BK Bridge park are fun and worth the trip. Anything else spectacular you can point me towards?”


Here’s your new playground itinerary! *** denotes water features.



SplashPad at LeFrak***
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Free admission for children under 12 and their caregivers.


Fountains at Domino Park***
Park hours: Monday - Sunday, 6:00am - 1:00pm


Water Lab at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park***
Hours: 10:00am - 7:00pm
“We loved the water lab at Brooklyn Bridge park. It gets packed but the different water features are really fun and interactive.”


Pier 2 Water Area in Brooklyn Bridge Park***
Playground hours: sunrise - sunset


Jesse Owens Playground***
“More for the playground part.”


Manhattan - Downtown


Teardrop Park in Battery Park City***
Park hours: 24 hours/day


Battery Playscape***
November 1 - March 1: 7:00am - 6:00pm
March 2 - October 31: 7:00am to 9:00pm
“We recently stumbled upon a new playground in Battery Park which is amazing! It has a water play area, giant slides, and a cool climbing structure. Not much shade on a hot sunny day but our kid had a blast!”


Pier 25 Playground in Hudson River Park***
Park hours: 6:00am - 1:00pm


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Manhattan - Uptown


Indian Road Playground in Inwood Hill Park***
Playground hours: 7:00am - 6:00pm
“Lots of water features including a huge canoe structure, great swings, next to the baseball diamonds and the old-growth forest of Inwood Hill Park.”


Highbridge Pool in Highbridge Park***
Outdoor pool hours: 11:00am -7:00pm daily, with a break for pool cleaning from 3:00pm - 4:00pm
“I highly recommend the Highbridge Public pool up there. It’s massive, there’s an Olympic-sized pool that’s only 2-feet deep (which my younger kid loved), next to another Olympic sized pool that’s 4-feet deep. It was nearly empty when we went on a hot august day last summer. They bring out “school lunch” in the afternoon. (Every nyc public pool does this fyi.) And yes, it’s where the fun pool scene in In the Heights was filmed.”


Jacob K. Javits Playground
Hours: dawn - dusk
“Newly renovated, tons of swings, structures for a variety of ages and amazing river views.”


Wright Hood Park
Hours: 6:00am - 1:00am
“Shady area for the playground, very cool GWB-themed structure, the park has views of the bridge and they filmed In The Heights here!”


123rd Street Playground in Morningside Park
Hours: 7:00am - 6:00pm
“It’s more like four playgrounds in one huge space, structures for all different ages, lots of shade.”


Ancient Playground in Central Park
Restrooms open 7:00am - dusk
“The Ancient Playground in Central Park (east side in the 80s) is pretty cool and different.”


Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park
“Billy Johnson Playground (same side, further south) has a cool stone slide.”


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Governors Island


The Yard
Weekends April - November: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
“Also if you go out to Governors Island, the junkyard playground is awesome. It’s only open from 12-4, which is unfortunate because that’s when the Island gets very hot, but it’s really fun for kids. No parents allowed inside (there are adult facilitators keeping them safe) so kids are free to build with whatever materials they want without parental intervention.”




Charybdis Playground in Astoria Park***
“We visited the new water area in the playground at Astoria Park last week and thought it was pretty great (you can see a picture if you scroll through the shots in this article.  It's separate from the rest of the playground (which is also nice), and is huge with tons of jets at different heights.  Our 3 year old had a blast.  And it's in Astoria Park which is a nice place to picnic and right by the river.”


Beach 30th Street Playground***
Hours: 6:00am - 9:00pm
“Beach 30th Street Playground in the Rockaways is a schlep but if you drive and arrive in the morning (I'd say before 10ish) there is easy free parking on Beach 32nd St. near the boardwalk entrance.
From there, it's a quick walk to the splash pad/playground, with a building with decent public bathrooms in between. We arrive early, hit the playground/splash pad before it gets too crowded, and then head to the beach for a picnic lunch. (There's not much shade at the splash pad/playground, so definitely bring sunscreen and hats.)”


Playground for All Children in Flushing Meadows Corona Park
“Playground for All Children in Flushing Meadows is huge and has these cool play vehicle/house structures that I haven't seen in other places.  It's also by the Queens Zoo which is nice if you have little kids, and a tiny little amusement park area geared towards young children (I think pretty much every ride is very small, though I haven't been in a while, and full disclosure I went off season so avoided lines).  So it can be fun to do all three together.  The Hall of Science is also nearby which has a whole preschool area and is very kid-friendly.”