Activities & Resources
Nelson A Rockefeller Park352in New York, NY 10282
about Nelson A Rockefeller Park:
The Playground has a peddle-driven carousel and great equipment labeled for appropriate ages. It's one of the best the City has to offer, and worth going out of your way to visit.
It's a very narrow space, made narrower by the fact that it's lined with tables and benches for parents. The north end is for smaller kids; the middle/south for larger ones. Elephant and hippo sprinklers face off, and water play is de rigueur. You'll find lots of sand play, including raised tables of the stuff, VERY fun climbing equipment, including a huge net and rope and chain bridges and two infant swings. The grounds are gated and padding is prevalent underfoot.
For larger kids, swings (eight of them) are available near the Park House, where you can go to borrow board games and ping pong paddles, balls and jump ropes (you must leave an ID card as collateral), and where you'll also find a first aid kit, if necessary. By the Park House, you'll also find a basketball court and a handball court.
The park is overseen by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, which provides amazing children's programs from May 1 to October 31. These include preschool art (Thursdays from 10:30am-12n); Young Sprouts Gardening (for children ages three to five, on Tuesdays from 3:15pm-3:45pm); Children's Gardening (open to kids in 2nd-5th grades on Tuesdays from 3:45pm-5pm); Art and Games (ages five and up, on Thursdays from 3:30pm-5:30pm); and Teen Drumming (offered on Tuesdays, from 4pm-5:30pm). Some require advance registration and fees, some are free. Call 212.267.9700 for more information.
There's a great swath of organically-tended green to roll around (dogs are not allowed) and picnic on, and the Esplanade offers budding roller-bladers and bikers a great place to practice.