It’s an adventure-style playground, well-known for its design and distinctive play features which include a wood pyramid, a concrete and granite climbing mound with a tunnel and slide, and an elaborate water feature.
Adventure Playground opened in 1967 and was designed by architect Richard Dattner, who completed several other playgrounds in Central Park. Adventure-style playgrounds emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. These were custom designs that included no standard play equipment, instead incorporating forms such as mounds, pyramids, tunnels, and mazes; elaborate, interactive water features; and materials for children to manipulate. This new approach to playground design was intended to encourage exploration and inspire creative play.
Unlike most urban playgrounds, which are often completely reenvisioned to reflect new ideas about play and design standards, the Conservancy has carefully rebuilt these playgrounds to preserve their original intent and unique forms, while upgrading their infrastructure and adding new features. Adventure Playground was rebuilt in 2015.
Central Park has 21 playgrounds that are unique in design and character. Most of them were built in the 1930s as part of a system of playgrounds located along the Park perimeter. The Conservancy regularly updates these spaces to include new equipment and infrastructure that reflect changing ideas about children’s play and safety and accessibility standards. Since 2011, the Conservancy has been working to rebuild or renovate all the Park’s playgrounds, with the goal of bringing each of them up to the same standard of excellence at the same time and focusing on making them feel more connected to the Park’s landscapes and experiences.
Things you can do here
Enjoy a sliver of the Park’s natural splendor.