Queens Parks and Playgrounds Cool Enough for Big Kids

Big kids can burn off plenty of energy at the multi-level Astoria Heights Playground. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
Big kids can burn off plenty of energy at the multi-level Astoria Heights Playground. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Playgrounds are a staple of childhood in NYC, but before you know it, your little ones no longer need a lift on your shoulders to reach the monkey bars and will inevitably be too cool to be pushed on the swings. Visits to tot lots are replaced by jungle gyms, and finally these parks and playgrounds in Queens cool enough for big kids. Whether you live in Queens or are just passing through NYC's largest borough, there's no shortage of parks and playgrounds to keep big kids busy.

Looking for more big kid playgrounds? Bookmark our list of playgrounds cool enough for big kids in Brooklyn and this list of NYC's top playgrounds, which carries a few big kid gems of its own. Of course, you can find more playgrounds for any age and theme in our Guide to Parks and Playgrounds for NYC Kids.

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From the state-of-the-art structures that encourage play and exploration to spacious grounds for staying active and water features for keeping cool, there's an array of awesome playgrounds as varied as the eclectic mix of families that reside in Queens. Here are our favorite playgrounds cool enough for big kids in the borough.

1. Flushing Meadows Corona Park – Flushing

The most expansive park in Queens, and one of the most iconic in New York City, Flushing Meadow Corona Park is action-packed enough for Gen Z kids to spend an entire day. It's a popular place for kids to move their bodies with soccer, volleyball, skateboarding, tennis, and baseball facilities. Within the park, find a handful of playgrounds, plus the Queens Zoo, excellent walking trails, and scenic views to enjoy while kayaking and paddle boating. If you want to engage big kids in culture, check out the current public art displays or visit after dark to enjoy the diverse eats at the seasonal Queens Night Market on weekend evenings.

RELATED: The Best Playgrounds in Queens

Queens playgrounds cool enough for big kids Hunters Point South Park
Hunters Point South Park offers fun climbing structures and unobstructed city views. Photo courtesy of the author

2. Hunters Point South Park – Long Island City 

Tweens and teens enjoy stretching their limbs to the tops of towering climbing structures in this park, which has stunning views of the city skyline across the water. Volleyball fans can show off their skills at the neighboring LIC beach. Plan to break for lunch with a picnic or visit one of the nearby eateries.

3. Glen Oaks Oval Playground – Glen Oaks

This local playground was recently redesigned and overhauled with community input. There are new play structures, and the existing basketball court has been transformed into an adult fitness area with new equipment and painted agility games that visitors can use to enhance their workouts. It's the perfect space for parents, tweens, and teens to challenge themselves to stay fit.

4. Astoria Heights Playground – Astoria 

Astoria Heights Playground is a great outdoor space for older kids with lots of energy. Divided into two sections, you'll find athletic courts used for baseball, tennis, and volleyball at the top level. On the lower level of this playground cool enough for big kids, there's a picnic area perfect for hosting warm-weather parties, a sprinkler park, and a small lawn for neighbors to meet up. It features play equipment for kids up to age 15 and includes a walking track along the perimeter. 

RELATED: 11 Queens Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks

Queens playgrounds cool enough for big kids Cunningham Park
Swings are always a hit with the big-kid crowd at Cunningham Park. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/courtesy NYC Parks

5. Cunningham Park – Fresh Meadows

If you're looking for a peaceful park to hang out in with your older children, Cunningham Park is a beautiful place to unwind. It is an excellent spot for playing softball and baseball, and visitors rave about the incredible mountain bike trails that are great for freestyling and testing out tricks. Bring a picnic blanket and essentials for grilling on warm evenings.

6. CC Moore Homestead Playground – Elmhurst

Named after The Night Before Christmas author, this newly transformed park received a $5.2 million facelift in 2020. The community space's newest additions include an expanded play area, water spray features, amphitheater seating and stairs, new paths, upgraded sports courts, unique plant life, and more accessible and welcoming entrances. Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy Queens neighborhood, this renovation brings a feeling of relaxation to the families that visit.

RELATED: See the Mega Splash Pad in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Alley Pond Adventure Park is one of the playgrounds cool enough for big kids in Queens
Climb to new heights at the Alley Pond Adventure Park. Photo by Daniel Avila/courtesy of NYC Parks

7. Alley Pond Park – Douglaston

Most families agree the highlight of Alley Pond Park is the Adventure Course, where you'll find NYC's largest ropes course and a huge climbing wall. During late summer, families can register for a FREE Sunday morning session to conquer it. With more than 600 acres of space, there are fields for baseball and football, too. It's also home to the first orienteering course in the city and one of our favorite nature centers.

8. Juniper Valley Park – Middle Village

Considered a crown jewel of Queens, this Middle Village park has recreational activities for everyone to enjoy. There are two playgrounds cool enough for big kids, two baseball fields, and areas for soccer, cricket, basketball, handball, and tennis. You'll also find tons of space for outdoor parties and a newly renovated sprinkler park sectioned off by age. If your big kids love dogs and running around the track, this is a great park to visit.

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