East 72nd Street Playground

Photo by Timothy Schenck

Located in a busy area just south of Central Park’s East 72nd Street entrance, this popular playground is one of the Park’s adventure-style playgrounds.

Its unique maze-like design includes a fortress-like water feature, a large pyramid that integrates slides and tunnels, and a net climber.

The East 72nd Street Playground was designed by architect Richard Dattner, who completed several other playgrounds in Central Park. It opened in 1970, and the Central Park Conservancy rebuilt it in 2015. As an adventure-style playground, it includes interconnected play features that encourage exploration and imaginative play. The Park’s other adventure-style playgrounds are Ancient Playground, Heckscher Playground, Tarr Family Playground, Adventure Playground, and Billy Johnson Playground.

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.

Kids clamber over, and walk under, the stone climbing apparatus in the playground.
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