New Playground Opens in Cranford’s Nomahegan Park
Families living near the pretty Nomahegan Park in Cranford, New Jersey, recently gained an exciting new playground. Living just a 15-minute drive away, my family couldn’t wait to check out the new addition to this popular Union County park.
The new playground area includes a separate toddler section, accessible swings and ramp, and a multi-tiered larger playground for ages 5 and up, which is loaded with climbing opportunities, twisty slides, a wobbly bridge, and plenty more to explore. The playground, which opened in late April, replaced a dated, much smaller playground.
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As soon as we parked, my kids beelined out of the car for the largest play structure, which includes five slides and two climbing towers connected by a suspension-style bridge. They loved zooming down the twisty, covered slides, and climbing back up every which way. Even my toddler got in on the action. There are many entry points, and the kids seemed to try a different one each time.
An accessible ramp leads up to the toddler playground (ages 2-5), which is a bit small but gives the younger kids a safe place to play. It includes several slides, a climbing pole, interactive play items like a steering wheel, bucket swings, and an accessible swing.
Twisty slide put a smile on the faces of kids big and little at Nomahegan Park.
A section of musical instruments, such as plastic bongo drums, a small bank of strap swings, faux climbing logs, and whimsical animal figures round out the other play areas. My kids spent the most time on the big slides and bridge, I’d say, and they certainly had a blast over the two hours we were there.
The wobbly, enclosed bridge was a huge draw during our visit.
I loved how the whole playground area is almost set into the woods, creating a pretty scene. I think all the parents would have appreciated a few more benches around the perimeter, but perhaps those are being added later. We visited right after opening, and the orange caution tape was still visible in places.
Although my family lives just a few minutes away, we had never explored this local New Jersey park and were quite charmed. Besides the new playground, there is a paved path for walking and scooting, circling a pond where several people were fishing. There are several ball fields within the park, as well as additional walking paths and nature trails. Check out the full park map before your outing.
Beyond the playground, Nomahegan Park offers plenty of picturesque green space to explore.
The kids loved crossing the footbridge and looking over the rail at the ducks and fish swimming below. We were also treated to a brief (and rare) suburban NJ bear sighting in the woods when we visited. He was lounging in the brush fairly deep in the woods, but the appearance drew half a dozen local police cars to the site. The kids were thrilled!
Bathroom facilities and plenty of picnic tables and grills make this playground and park a worthy day trip for New Jersey kids. We entered the parking lot off of Springfield Avenue, just after Princeton Road. It's right across the street from Union County College.
Find more terrific playgrounds in our New Jersey Parks & Playgrounds Guide.
Photos by the author