Tarr Family Playground

Tarr Family Playground is one of Central Park’s adventure-style playgrounds.

It includes custom features including wood tree houses, a climbing mound with a slide and tunnel, and an interactive water feature. A bridge bisects the play space, dividing it into one area for older children and another for younger children.

This playground was designed by architects Ross, Ryan, and Jacquette in the adventure style and opened in 1973. Adventure-style playgrounds, which emerged in the 1960s, include interconnected play features that encourage exploration and imaginative play. The Park’s other adventure-style playgrounds are Ancient Playground, the East 72nd Street Playground, Heckscher Playground, Adventure Playground, and Billy Johnson Playground.

Unlike most urban playgrounds, which are often completely re-envisioned to reflect new ideas about play and design standards, the Central Park Conservancy has carefully rebuilt the adventure-style playgrounds to preserve their original intent and unique forms—while upgrading their infrastructure, adding new features, and making them accessible. The Conservancy rebuilt Tarr Family Playground in 2009.

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.

Children take advantage of multiple climbing and sliding options on a brisk, late-autumn day.
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Each year, more than three million children visit Central Park's playgrounds. Playground Partners raises funds that go toward the preservation, care, and daily inspection of these cherished play spaces.

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