Callahan-Kelly Playground

A beautiful, new playground with lots of sensory equipment.

Overall Score

Five stars out of fiveFour stars out of fiveThree stars out of fiveTwo Stars out of fiveOne Star out of five

Rat-O-Meter

Rat-o-meter: five rats out of fiveRat-o-meter: four rats out of fiveRat-o-meter: three rats out of fiveRat-o-meter: two rats out of fiveRat-o-meter: one rat out of five
Official NYC Parks Website
Brooklyn
Broadway Junction

Features

Neighborhood
Bathrooms
No
Yes
, But NEARBY
Shade:
No
Yes
Water feature:
No
Yes
Sandbox:
No
Yes
Drinking Fountain
No
Yes
Additional DETAILS BELOW

Reviews

Not Your Nanny's Review

I don’t know what I expected to find right outside Broadway Junction, Brooklyn’s wildest subway station, but this is a new and modern set-up that’s chock-full of little sensory stations that most kids should love. It’s large, with big separated areas for big and small children, but both sides kept us busy for a long time. The toddler section also has a tractor thingy that was very, very popular. Some of the pieces seem too advanced or risky – like a ladder with miniscule footholds and these concrete humps to jump on – but it seems like the planners thought of almost everything, and how to incorporate almost every child into the fun. 

Playground Papa's Review

Broadway Junction is better known for transferring between trains than it is as a destination for families with children, but the Callahan-Kelly Playground might change that. 

A friend recommended we check this one out. It was a bit far for us to walk, so we hopped on the subway and exited the station at Broadway Junction. The station is a hub for the J, L, and A/C, and we're more likely to pass through here on the way to the Rockaways or JFK than plan an afternoon wandering around East New York.

Technically the station and the playground are still in Bed-Stuy, in the Ocean Hill section, a neighborhood that is starting to gentrify, which might explain the city's investment in the new playground. The new playground only just opened in August of this year, and it shows. 

The playground is a bright green and yellow, somewhat unique among the playgrounds we've seen. This place was huge with a toddler and larger kid section spreading out across the whole site. 

Our toddler started out on the bigger kid equipment, but quickly found some of it a bit more challenging than he was interested in exploring. The toddler section was a good fit and big enough and different enough he was very entertained. He probably would have kept playing here long after we were ready to go. 

The toddler side had a deconstructed tractor / bulldozer that he liked playing in. 

There were lots of sensory panels of all sorts across the equipment and even attached to the perimeter fence. 

The one thing I found problematic was these little round mounds that were meant for balancing. Most of the parks now have rubberized or padded toadstool-shaped balance steps. But these concrete mounds were slippery, difficult to balance on because they were curved, and very hard to land on. It was, pardon the pun, a misstep. 

These concrete balance balls seemed dangerous.
More of those weird balls.

Since it was relatively new, there wasn't too much shade and on a warmer day that could be a problem. 

Overall we loved this playground and will definitely plan a trip out here again.

Bruno's Review

About the Playground

William E. Callahan and Edward E. Kelly both lived nearby and were killed in World War I. The latest renovation was started in 2016 and completed in August of 2023 for more than $21m.

Additional Features

Equipment

Slides:
Yes
No
Tic Tac Toe:
No
Yes
Toddler Swings:
No
Yes
Belt Swings:
No
Yes
CHIMES / Drums:
No
Yes
Tunnel:
No
Yes
PicNic Tables:
No
Yes
Suspension Bridge:
No
Yes

Climbing equipment

LaDDERS:
No
Yes
CLIMBING WALL:
No
Yes
ROPE:
No
Yes
STAIRS:
No
Yes
RAMP:
No
Yes
Monkey Bars:
No
Yes
Chain Ladder:
No
Yes
Weird Climbing Thing:
No
Yes

Accessibility

Sensory Panels:
No
Yes
Other Sensory Equipment:
No
Yes
Accessible Swing:
No
Yes
Balance Beam:
No
Yes
RAMP:
No
Yes
Last updated:
October 25, 2023

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