The NYC summer just got a little sweeter with the news that Domino Park on Williamsburg’s waterfront will be open to the public on Sunday, June 10.
With a sugar-factory-inspired playground, kid-friendly water feature, open lawn, urban beach, taqueria from Danny Meyer, and so much more, we suspect this new Brooklyn park is about to become one of the top fun things to do with kids this season.
The expansive park stretches over a quarter mile along the Williamsburg Waterfront.
This new public space, designed by James Corner Field Operations, lead designers of Manhattan's High Line, and privately funded by developer Two Trees Management, is part of the redevelopment plan for the old Domino Sugar Factory. Spanning over a quarter mile of waterfront from Grand Street to South 5th Street near the Williamsburg Bridge, Domino Park will have a waterfront walkway spanning three general recreation areas.
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The playground was built so that even 2- and 3-year-olds can navigate the entire structure.
The northern end of the park, what the developers are calling the passive recreation area, is where most families will focus their visit because this is where the playground, inspired by the sugar refining process, sits. Resembling parts of the old Domino Sugar factory, the playground consists of three primary structures: an elevated cabin, towering silo, and centrifuge container. It features ramps, tunnels, "conveyor belts," catwalks, a climbing cage, and stainless-steel slides. The playground was designed by artist Mark Reiglman, who intended the bright yellow, turquoise, green, and brushed metal colors on the playground to echo the original factory palette. He also incorporated reclaimed wood from factory floors and brightly colored valve wheels cast from the original factory artifacts throughout the playground.
The cabin and silo have a recommended age range of kids who are 5 to 12, while the centrifuge portion is recommended for 2- to 5-year-old toddlers. Yet, the playground was designed so that a 2- or 3-year-old can manage the entire space.
If you love Shake Shack, then Tacocina will be right up your alley.
The other dominant feature of this end of the park is the five-block-long elevated Artifact Walk where visitors can look down at the park below. The Walk incorporates over 30 large pieces of salvaged factory machinery, columns from the Raw Sugar Warehouse, 36-feet tall syrup tanks, bucket elevators, original signage, and dials and meters from the factory. Situated below the Artifact Walk will be a taco stand called Tacocina from Shake Shake restaurateur Danny Meyer. In addition to the playground and Artifact Walk, this end has an urban beach with chaise lounge chairs and a shaded lawn, an open lawn space, public restrooms, and an 80-100 person picnic area.
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In-ground sprays are expected to cool everyone off this summer with a waterside play area.
The middle section of the park is called Water Square and is envisioned as the central gathering space. Kids can splash in a water feature, a series of in-ground sprays and lights, that is surrounded by seating, including a four-tiered seating area made from wood salvaged from the refinery and sunken steps at the water’s edge.
There are more family-friendly fun things to do at the southern end of Domino Park, which is the active recreation area. It includes a dog run, two bocce courts, a volleyball court, and a large flat playing field, all in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.
To celebrate its grand opening on Sunday, June 10, the park will host a kick-off party from noon-4pm.
Photos by Daniel Levin for the development project.