Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hippo Park (Riverside Park) Upper West Side

91st and Riverside Drive (down the hill and to the left)  Upper West Side

I have a special place in my heart for Hippo Park because it was my first NYC playground.  This is the neighborhood "go to" park and I've "gone to" it about a billion times.  Surrounded by a giant hill (also a popular sledding spot in the winer), the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and the Hudson River, this playground is  in the ideal "nook" location.  The scariest part of the park is the curving monkey bars, I've actually heard a rumor that a kid died while climbing them.  I don't know if this is true, but take my advice and spot the most novice of monkey bar-ers.  Also, kids love jumping from rock to rock in the sandbox.  This is very, very scary at first, especially since the rocks are sandy and slippery.  However, kids generally fall into the sandbox or not at all so don't pull your hair out too much.  They'll get the hang of it quickly.

• The hippos!

• Lots of blind spots  
• Dirty bathrooms

What It's Got
• 2 jungle gyms • 6 slides • Baby swings (in a separate area) • Swings • 1 handicap swing • Monkey bars • Gymnast rings • Hippos • Sprinklers (in hippos and rocks) • Sandbox surrounded by rocks • Teeter-totters • 2 picnic tables • Water fountain right outside the park • Ground is pavement and soft rubber

What Parents/Nannies Should Know
• TONS of shade • Bathroom right outside the park • Only one entrance/exit • Fenced garden areas (you're not supposed to enter but kids love hiding in the bushes and walking on the mulch) • Plenty of benches, but come at the end of a school day and you'll have trouble finding a spot

Eating Options
If you didn't pack snacks/a lunch, your best bet is to walk to Broadway.  There's is a pizza place right on 92nd.  There's also an Ollie's, a Subway, and a grocery store with a 4 block radius of 91st and Broadway.

Additional Pics


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