Heckscher Playground

Heckscher Playground

Central Park’s first and largest playground, Heckscher Playground spans 1.8 acres and is located just steps from 59th Street. Its primary entrance is the central breezeway of the recently restored Heckscher Building, where families can use the restrooms and take a breather.

Named after August Heckscher, a real-estate magnate, financier, and philanthropist with a penchant for children’s causes, Heckscher Playground was created in 1927 on a 10-acre meadow in the southwest corner of the Park.

Originally known as the “play ground”—a 19th-century term describing an open space for games, sports, and informal play—the meadow was part of a Children’s District designated by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in response to criticism that the Park lacked facilities for children and their caregivers. Boys played baseball and girls played cricket in separate areas of this site. In the 1920s, Heckscher Playground opened here as the Park’s first playground by its modern definition. The adjacent ballfields hark back to the earliest days of play in this area.

Nearby

 Dipway Arch

Mid-Park at 60th Street

Pinebank Arch

West Side at 62nd Street

Location

Mid-Park at 61st-63rd Streets

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Age Groups

Pre-school, School-age

Features

Swings, slides, and a large, maze-like climber.

Water Features

Yes

Restrooms

Yes

Open 7:00 AM to dusk. Wheelchair accessible.

Accessibility

Accessible surface, water feature, and transfer to sand area; adaptive swings

Support Central Park’s Playgrounds

Each year, more than 3 million children visit Central Park’s 21 playgrounds. The Playground Partners raises funds that go toward the preservation, care, and daily inspection of these cherished play spaces.

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Playground Partners