Mommy Poppins has a series called "Destination Playground" and I'm hoping we will make it to most of these playgrounds this summer (definitely all the ones in Manhattan). I'm pretty determined to still "live" in NYC (and not just the UWS), but with three kids (two confined to a big stroller) it requires a bit more planning. Specifically, finding our way with subway elevators.
I love this next month because 1) the weather is perfect for playing outside (not too hot yet) and 2) the school kids are still in school. So the playgrounds are relatively "calm" during the mornings.
We recently trekked to the David Rockwell Imagination Playground near South Street Seaport. Yes, it is a haul from the UWS with 3 kids, but they loved it! We took the 2/3 from W 72nd to Chambers St. Then walked from there. It took us about an hour, door-to-playground. Isabella walked most of the time (scooted a bit of the time), which means we move pretty slow sometimes.
We did come to this playground last year, but the sun (and lack of shade) made it pretty intense in the heat of summer. If you go remember to bring hats, sunglasses and tons of sunblock!
The playground is open 10am-6pm (9am on the weekends, I believe). We got there right when it opened. It took the attendant almost an hour to get everything done (set out all the sand toys, building materials, put up the umbrellas and unclog a filter) before he finally turned on the water.
The kids loved it and were completely worn out on the way home!