Governors Island - The Yard
The Yard, now open for its fourth year on Governor's Island, was designed specifically to offer kids an adult-free place to play and test their skills. Its 50,000 square feet of space offers young people (6 and up) materials for building, exploring, imagining and destroying. Some tools provided include nails, hammers, saws, paint, tires, wood, fabrics, and more. Often, there is also mud!
The science of creating playgrounds for kids is actually very complex, and as the years have gone by, they've become safer and safer and... now there's hardly any risk at all. And you know what they say - no risk, no reward. Kids need to be challenged. To get dirty. To learn how to manage and conquer "dangerous" things. And this is where The Yard comes in!
The playground is staffed by “playworkers,” adults trained in the art of facilitating play by mostly staying out of the way. The playworkers ensure that serious hazards have been removed from the environment, allowing children to feel safe taking risks in their play.
A Family Play area, open to all ages (but best for kids ages 3-5), is located adjacent to The Yard, and adult supervision is required.
Closed-toe shoes and a signed waiver are required for entry. Note that parents and caregivers are not allowed into the playground, but can linger outside on the grassy area or explore other activities while the kids play.
How to find it:
From the Brooklyn Ferry turn right along the water. Take the second left turn and you will see The Yard on your right.
From the Manhattan Ferry walk up, turn left at the T junction. Once you pass the entrance to the Fort, turn right onto a path between houses and trees (Colonel’s Row). Walk straight until you reach The Yard.