New York Hall of Science's Massive Science Playground Reopens and It's Better Than Ever

NYSCI's Science Playground—the largest science playground in the United States—is welcoming visitors following a massive remodel!
NYSCI's Science Playground—the largest science playground in the United States—is welcoming visitors following a massive remodel!
11/29/23 - By Diana Kim

The Science Playground has reopened at the New York Hall of Science, and it's now better than ever giving families one more reason to visit NYSCI—one of our favorite, STEM-focused museums for kids.

I recently visited the new Science Playground with my 7-year-old son and his friends, and it was a total hit. The kids loved exploring every inch of the enormous playground and playing with all the STEM-focused structures and exhibitions.

Read on to get the scoop on this awesome playground and find more fun places to play in our Guide to NYC Playgrounds & Parks.


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New York Hall of Science Playground: Boys running across the playground
At 30,000 square feet, there is plenty of space to run, romp, and explore in the Science Playground at the New York Hall of Science. Photo by the author

The Science Playground has been closed since 2019 due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida. Following its years of renovations, the playground reopened last month with a redesigned look allowing kids of all ages to explore, discover, and learn about scientific concepts while romping.

The spectacular landscape of NYSCI's Science Playground spans 30,000 square feet, making it the largest science playground in the United States. The playground has a ton of play equipment, including slides, seesaws, a water play area for the summer months, and dozens of hands-on STEM exhibits. The kids ran into the playground and were excited by every one of the exhibits they encountered.

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New York Hall of Science Playground: Kids yelling into a tube
The speaking tubes at the New York Hall of Science are a big hit with little explorers. 

After testing out as many exhibits as they could, the kids returned to the ones that really wowed them. They found the Energy Wave really engaging. Kids manipulate a 150-foot series of connected rods and balls to see how energy is propagated in a wave. They also enjoyed playing with the Windmill Seat, which converts wind energy into vertical movement making the seat move.

Other standouts include the Standing Spinner, the Ball Run, the Speaking Tubes, and the Giant Lever. If you have any questions about how an exhibit works, there are plenty of play assistants walking around. These guides are high school or college interns who are very knowledgeable and eager to explain the science behind the playground. They were super helpful.

A lot of thought and attention has gone into making the playground fun and educational as well as beautiful. The museum commissioned a local artist, who, with the help of local kids, painted a mural that runs the perimeter of the playground. The mural is bright and cheerful. Trees and plants bring elements of the natural world into the playground, too.

Preschoolers and younger kids have their own play areas focused on five different nature themes. There kids can build with sand using pulleys and transporters in the Sand Path, while the Shelter Path allows them to discover how different animals build their houses. Kids can also explore the Bridge Path, the Music Path, and Mirror Path.

While the kids could have played and explored a few more hours, we pried them away with the promise of soft-serve ice cream dispensed by a robotic machine inside, plus all the other cool NYSCI exhibits inside.

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New York Hall of Science Playground: Kids on a climbing web
Even traditional-looking playground equipment at NYSCI's Science Playground has a STEM lesson built in. 

Know Before You Go to NYSCI's Science Playground

  • Admission to the Science Playground is $6 per person, in addition to general NYSCI admission.
  • ​The Science Playground is open seasonally, weather permitting.
  • Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased online.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of NYSCI

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