The place to go if you’d like to lose sight of your toddler for an hour. It is very fun and creative and unique, but probably best for older kids, and you’ll see a lot of them playing tag and manhunt. Usually stepping on anyone shorter or slower. There is a 2-5 area but it’s not separated and it all feels very advanced and slightly dangerous. But if I ever need to amuse some kids that are aging out of parks and want nothing to do with me, this is where I’ll take them.
Domino Park is a newly built playground created by the developer building the new towers along the site of the Domino Sugar Factory. The whole site is unlike any other city playground.
The design draws on the industrial past with pieces of equipment meant to look like old factory elements. There are lots of valves for kids to turn and stairs to climb.
There are three main elements. A tower for toddlers with two slides. This connects to the main tower by a bridge. The bigger tower has a web net inside it for climbing three levels to the biggest of the slides. Sometimes it smells like a human toilet in here, other times it is fine.
This large tower also connects to the third piece, a kind of club house elevated over the park with climbing pieces. The most challenging climbing structure is the rope net in the center of the main tower. It's also tight for adults to retrieve their child.
This playground gets crowded. The waterfront park draws tourists and locals and it quickly can feel like too many people, especially on weekends and afterwork. It is less crowded in the winter but the wind comes off the river. That hasn't stopped us, but maybe it should.
There are few playgrounds where it’s as easy to lose sight of a kid. The towers obstruct the view and all three pieces of equipment have interior spaces where children can hide. It's tough to be present for your child, because the spaces are small, and also keep tabs on them. The gate doesn't automatically swing closed either, so sometimes that's wide open. There’s no lock on the gate, and lots of parents leave the gate open.
But it is a great place to spot boats, especially from the higher parapets and as our toddler went through a boat and helicopter phase, it was great entertainment.
For all it's faults, the location is great, and views are spectacular, and sunsets are lovely. And there are breweries nearby that are typically child-friendly a taco stand in the park. The bathrooms in Domino Park keep moving around. Eventually permanent facilities will be available, but while the towers are built, they are moved around the site. But if you need one, keep looking, you'll probably find one eventually.
The park was built by the developers Two Trees as part of the redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar Factory. It was designed by celebrity architect Mark Reigelman, and even drew reviews from the New York Times when it opened in June of 2018.