Heckscher Playground

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Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

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Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

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Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

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Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

5/8
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

6/8
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

7/8
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

8/8
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Hecksher Park

Free
Central Park’s oldest and largest playground is also one of its best, thanks a top-to-bottom renovation (it reopened in 2006) that cleverly connected it to Umpire Rock, the Manhattan schist outcropping behind it: Kids not only get to a scale stone pyramid but, after crossing a small bridge, an actual cliff, too. (Consider packing a lunch for a picnic on top). Colorful, rubber-topped humps change up the usual flat landscape and divide the area for smaller kids, complete with a dedicated tot water area and an enormous sandbox with a climbing net, from the main complex of tunnels, moats and bridges, and the bigger kids’ spray fountains. An old-school spot with a single metal slide and two popular tire swings on the far western edge is a sweet nod to the Central Park playgrounds of yore.
Venue name: Heckscher Playground
Contact:
Address: Seventh Ave
New York

Cross street: at Central Park South
Transport: Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle
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