Pier 6 Playground at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The new Pier 6 playground opened up on Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the base of Atlantic Avenue. This is at the opposite end of the future Brooklyn Bridge Park from Pier 1, which opened in the Spring, and features the much-anticipated “destination playground” that was promised as part of the park’s construction. We've visited to give you a preview of what you can expect at Brooklyn's latest addition.
The new playground is significantly bigger and nicer than the new playground at Pier 1 and is divided into four different play areas: (1) The Waterlab, which is the home of the water elements designed to not only get your child wet but also teach him or her about the physics and dynamics of water, (2) Slide Mountain, designed for children ages 5-12, which has several long and fast slides plus a climbing dome, (3) Swing Valley which, just as it sounds, is where the swings are and (4) Sandbox Village, which is a large enclosed sand area filled with ceramic and wooden structures.
There isn’t actually any park yet surrounding the playground, just a lot of construction, but there is a ferry landing from which free ferries are running from Pier 6 to Governor’s Island on weekends all summer.
The Waterlab has been the largest draw and most crowded area in the new playground since it opened, partly because the Waterlab is a truly new playground experience and partly for the simple reason that it has been so hot. The water elements are all great, and the area is built so the water from the top area flows down as a stream into the sprinklers at the bottom. However, after the troubles with the metal domes at Pier 1 Playground, I was on the lookout for potential dangers in the new playground and the Waterlab has at least two dangerous elements. First, as I learned from first-hand experience, a young child can quickly fall head first and submerge himself into the pool of water at the top of the Waterlab. Second, the boulder cliff separating the top of the area from the bottom has nothing protecting children from running or falling off the rocks – I overheard one mother call this the “cliffs of despair” – and the staircase connecting the two areas is slippery and has no guard rail. It also makes sense to be careful generally, since the area was designed for children ages 5-12 and each time I’ve visited it’s been filled mainly with children under 5.
These are the "cliffs of despair" . . .