There’s no doubt that Manhattan’s playground game is strong, but some on the island go above and beyond, with design features that make them more of a destination than the basic park around the corner. From playgrounds featuring awesome jungle gyms for adventurous climbers to imaginative play spaces, hidden slides and a playground kids make themselves there’s an outstanding playground for kids of every age. Click through to check out these stellar playscapes where you can to slide, climb, splash and imagine the day away. You should go at least one time; you’ll probably go many.

For an Arty Afternoon: Tom Otterness Playground

Way on the west side in the 40s, sits a gentle giant waiting to be scaled and slid down. The Tom Otterness Playground sits between two apartment buildings and it features a massive play-sculpture by the artist who gives the spot its name. (If the towering metal man looks familiar, it's probably because Otterness' whimsical work, "Life Underground", featuring similar tiny beings and alligators emerging from manholes, inhabits the subway station at 14th Street and 8th Avenue.) Canine lovers will also enjoy the dog run nearby — although watch your step: not everyone cleans up after their four-legged friend. 

Where: Midtown West, 630 W. 42nd St. between 11th and 12th Aves.

What’s in it for you: You'll find some shady spots to get a respite from the sun, and will probably think the play-sculpture is pretty cool, too.

Water feature: No.

Restroom: Again, no. It's really about the art here.

photo: Daniel Lobo via Flickr


What’s your favorite NYC playground? Let us know in the comments!

—Rachel Sokol