Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tompkins Square Park (Avenue A)

Tompkins Square Park happens to be one of my favorite places in Manhattan.  The hodgepodge of local bongo drummers, veteran punk rockers, dog park regulars, and young families makes the park a microcosm of the city at large.  And don't even get me started on this playground.  Redone a few years ago, this Tsquare playground is by far the best of the three and really the only one worth visiting.  The jungle gyms are covered in rock-climbing pegs, leaving no surface unclimbable. The array of monkey bars, ladders, and ropes provide hours of entertainment for any age.  Although the tire swings aren't the greatest and although the sandbox tends to be a little muddy and very hard to monitor from certain vantage points, the playground makes up for its downfalls in the rest of its awesome equipment.  And for those of you nervous about big kids barreling over your little tot, no worries, the two tot jungle gyms are separated.  Every time we come to this park the girls talk about it for days.  That being said, there are some big downfalls.  Tompkins Square Park is in the middle of a large rat infestation.  I have not seen any in the playground area, but I have not been there around dusk.  I have been in the park (sans girls) at that time and I can vouch for the daring pests darting in front of picnic blankets and park benches, so the infestation of the playground is not hard to believe.  Also, be aware of the homeless population of the park.  I have never seen any sketchy people enter the playground area, but I have seen a lot of shady things go on outside the gates.  Overall, the playground is awesome.  However, the surrounding chaos definitely factors into its overall quality.

• Rock-Climbing Walls Everywhere 

Apparent Rat Infestation • Crappy Tire Swings

What It's Got
• 4 Jungle Gyms (2 Big, 2 Tots) • 2 Tire Swings (tilt too much) • Interactive Sprinklers • Sandbox With Stream Above (makes a lot of wet sand) • 4 Swings • 4 Baby Swings • Various Level Pull-Up Bars • Hammocks • Rock Walls (Tons!) • Funky Monkey Bars • Working Water Fountain • Trashcans • Soft-Rubber/Pavement Ground

What Parents/Nannies Should Know
2 Entrances (on opposite sides) • 60% Shaded • Sandbox is one big blindspot • Plenty of Benches

Bathroom in the park, between Ave. A and B, north of the small dog park • St. Marks (lots of cheap food, fun shops) • Veniero's Bakery (get a bunch of the small pastries to go, they sell them by weight so avoid heavy items such as the cheesecake to keep the cost down.  I love the mini eclairs!)

Ratings (out of 5)


"I just love the monkey bars!"

Annie:  X 28 
"I liked hanging on the bars because I can reach!"

Notice how the "tire" swing is a fake, hard plastic tire.  Not nearly as sturdy and easily tipped.

1 comment:

  1. they sell them by weight so avoid heavy items such as the cheesecake to keep the cost down. I love the mini eclairs!