The playground is a bit out of the way for us. It’s not near anyone we know and not on the path to someplace else. But it is a playground worth traveling to, both for its size and for the odd collection of equipment.
We first came upon this playground the weekend of Halloween for a Bushridge Babies 2021-2022 Halloween meetup. The kids were too little at that point to use any of the equipment, but our little pumpkin had funny squirming in the bassinet stroller. Those were the days.
A year later we were back, again right around Halloween. Our pumpkin (we refused the costume; he didn't seem to notice) spent the afternoon with a bumblebee. This time they were old enough to roam the equipment, and really enjoyed the pirate cove. By the end of the week though our toddler was in the infant ICU with RSV. While unrelated to the playground, we make a strong recommendation for everyone to get the vaccine when it's available.
As for the playground, this park is quite a gem. There are gorgeous mature trees offering plenty of shade. The Manhattan skyline peaks out from above the trees, and sunsets are a vivid display. The spacious playground is filled with equipment and space to run around.
This playground is well used. It's busy, but not crowded. With a lot of space, there is plenty of places for kids to play without bumping into each other.
But really, what makes this unique is the stuff here. There’s a pirate cove with half a boat and a rock wall with paths and ramp. The airplane was lots of fun when the toddlers were best at sitting in one place. And there is plenty of room to run once they are ready for that. There is a fun climbing structure that I assume is supposed to be a hot air balloon. Unlike some of the newer playgrounds, every piece of equipment gets used.
There’s also a strange little maze that looks a bit like an old-timey suburban town with a city hall and general store. That’s probably good for imaginative play and we saw a group of girls sitting in one of the little buildings reading books. Our toddler wanted in on the game but they weren’t having it.
The one drawback is the size makes it hard to keep track of a busy toddler who has little interest in staying in just one area of the playground. Nevertheless, this is a great playground we always look forward to visiting.
The playground is part of a larger park complex with sports fields and adjacent high school, all named forr the New Jersey-born President. The park was named for him in 1939 amidst controversy. The last major renovation was in 1997 with $1m allocation.