I’ve mentioned that last summer’s MVP was Pier 51
. It was totally my happy place and I was looking forward to going back all winter. For better or worse, they are renovating a bit and have yet to reopen. While I enjoy the Chealsea Waterpark a few blocks north, I found that it was a bit far from the subway and the avenues seem never-ending down there. I needed something new just to hold me over until Pier 51 reopens. Exactly a year ago we checked out the patio (“splash pad”) at the American Museum of Natural History. Here’s the thing: I was literally 9 months pregnant, so 85-degree weather and strong sun just wasn’t ideal at that point.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time but it took me a year to get back there. To start, we got off the 1 train at 72nd street (elevator station, wahooooo) and went to 16 Handles and Coffee Bean along the way, obviously. This time it was totally different. We got there at around 11:30 so there was still plenty of shade and it was hardly crowded. So what exactly is the splash pad? It’s really just a large patio with 4 sprinklers coming out of the ground and a drain at end for all the water. Now the drain is where we like to play. It’s kind of like a wading pool and is kind of awesome.
The craziest part is that we had such a good time that we literally went 4 times in 10 days — I even spent my birthday here! This is just one of those places where I can sit and relax and watch everyone play. In conversation I’ve heard this referred to as a hidden gem and one of New York’s best kept secrets (as far as play areas go, at least). So true. I’ve gone at different times, weekdays/weekends and the place is never really crowded.
To sum up. There’s no equipment here, just the 4 sprinklers, a drain, grass and picnic tables with umbrellas. If you want a nearby playground check out Diana Ross Playground
on 81st and Central Park West or Tecumseh Playground on 78th and Amsterdam. I recommend heading over earlier in the day because it does get pretty sunny. Also, the best place to enter is by going down the path at 79th and Amsterdam and through the doors by the labia. When you see it, you’ll know what I mean.
Anyway…… Hope you enjoy!