This wooden playground at the top of Central Park is flooded by afternoon sun.
There are a lot of interesting shapes and things for children to climb on in this playground reminiscent of the structures we grew up with. The wood was a bit worn, but that's alright. The main climbing structure has a lot of the weirdness absent from more typical metal structures and plenty of opportunity for more imaginative play.
There were plenty of ramps and stacked blocks for curious climbers. A few times our toddler got to the top of the blocks only to realize he didn't know how to get down, stuck like a cat in a tree. Certainly I had some anxiety about him potentially falling off of these, but the real life risk seemed like something we should push our children towards.
Further into the playground were belt swings and tire swings. We didn't get that far, but they looked totally fine.
The top of the park is bathed in afternoon sun though. It overlooks the Harlem Meer, a muddy pond filled with ducks and geese. But this high on the park there are no shadows from high rise towers– just the long rays of late winter sun. It was especially warm for February, but there seems to be plenty of trees offering some protection for the summer months.
In the end, our toddler gave up on climbing and exploring, preferring to watch the ducks in the pond.
A renovation in 2013 created the existing structure and layout.