The Best Playgrounds in Queens
Although every pocket of Queens has a neighborhood playground, we’ve taken the time to scout the cream of the crop for NYC kids. Whether you're visiting from another borough or just want to explore a new-to-you-neighborhood, here are 12 of our favorite romping spots in Queens, from Astoria to the Rockaways. These parks offer clean, safe equipment with innovative and fun details that go beyond the jungle gyms of the past, like kid-sized Ferris wheels and super cool sprinklers.
Find more playgrounds across the five boroughs in our guide to NYC Parks & Playgrounds.
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Alley Pond Park Playgrounds — Oakland Gardens
You get three-for-one with Alley Pond Park: Wild Flower Meadow, Horatio Playground, and Alley Pond Playground are all located within. Alley Pond is also home to a spectacular FREE adventure course, making this park an all-ages destination.
Astoria Heights Playground – Astoria
Reopened in summer 2018 after a $5.5 million renovation, Astoria Heights Playground, which sits adjacent to The Horace Greeley Middle School, offers plenty of active play for children ages 2 to 15. Separate playground equipment for ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12 are situated near the park's border. There's a new spray shower, too, and a trio of courts for tennis or volleyball, plus a pair of basketball courts, a walking track, and an adult fitness area.
Hit the circus-themed Beach Channel Playground after your beach day in Far Rockaway. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks.
Beach Channel Playground — Far Rockaway
This one-of-a-kind beachfront playground's main attraction is its circus theme, complete with a small-kid-sized Ferris wheel, but the rocking animals, colorful ground cover, and carnival games are also a perfect post-beach treat.
Charybdis Playground — Astoria
Deep in Astoria Park, you'll find Charybdis, a massive space with multiple jungle gyms and sprinklers. Named after a Greek mythological sea monster, it is an appropriate title for the playground that faces the river and sits near Astoria Park's public pool, in the heart of a historically Greek neighborhood. The whole space has undergone a major makeover, and though the Parks Department lists the playground reconstruction as being complete, it hasn't yet opened to the public. Stay tuned for updates!
The playgrounds at Gantry State Park serve up harbor views and breezes, along with cool equipment. Photo courtesy of Nathan West
Gantry Plaza State Park Playground — Long Island City
Gantry Plaza State Park’s views are enough reason to visit; the Manhattan skyline across the East River is breathtaking. But if you can peel yourself away from the iconic Pepsi sign, there’s an amazing playground within, including a rope spider web for climbing and more modern equipment. There's a tot lot at 48th Avenue and 5th Street with additional playgrounds for the little ones, and the adjacent Hunters Point South Park's playgrounds and spraygrounds are within walking distance, too.
Lawrence Playground — Flushing
Whimsical dolphins welcome climbers who conquer the modern jungle gym. There are rope obstacles galore to scale, plus slides and a kid-operated spray shower. Fresh landscaping offers plenty of greenery to protect the park's perimeter. There is a pair of basketball courts on-site, too. One is full-sized for big kids, but little ones can appreciate the junior-sized court even more.
Kids can hop, skip, jump, and climb their way across the modern, geometric equipment at Moore Homestead Playground.
Moore Homestead Playground – Elmhurst
The Parks Department recently debuted the results of its $5 million-plus renovation of this community park, which added accessible play areas, new swings, a spray shower, and a sprawling open space area for open-ended play and recreation. An amphitheater, fresh sport courts, new seating, paths, and landscaping add to its curb appeal.
Paul Raimonda Playground — Astoria
Opened in 2016, the large sprinkler area here takes the shape of a baby grand piano as a tip of the hat to Steinway and Sons, a longtime neighbor. Other innovative equipment includes the ring climb. Parents will appreciate plentiful, shady seating. For older kids in tow, there are also handball and basketball courts.
Juniper Valley Playgrounds (North and South) — Middle Village
The playgrounds in Juniper Valley Park are a delight, especially for younger children. The equipment is colorful and low to the ground, perfect for those still honing their climbing skills, and there are twirling bucket seats and plenty of low, safe slides. There's a bathroom in the North location and alternatives throughout the Park.
All ages can enjoy the massive Playground For All Children!
Playground For All Children — Corona
This popular playground is a destination unto itself. There's a toddler-friendly pretend hut town, with a schoolhouse and post office included. It's was also designed to accommodate children who use crutches, canes, or wheelchairs. One of the playground's goals is to develop social, cognitive, sensory, and motor activities. There are swing areas and an expansive jungle gym, making this playground perfect to serve a kid throughout childhood.
Jurassic Playground — Forest Hills/Flushing
On the west side of Meadow Lake is a small but fun dinosaur-themed playground, a welcome relief for those visiting Flushing Meadows Corona Park and looking for something less crowded. There are swings for both tots and older kids. Equipment is built to look like the frames of dinosaurs; you can point out Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and more.
Almeda Playground's sprinklers give off beachy vibes as an ode to its near-oceanfront location.
Almeda Playground – Far Rockaway
We love the beachy vibes induced by a visit to this newly renovated Rockaway playground. The tiled wall that acts as a backdrop to the sprayground evokes the waves of the nearby Atlantic. Beyond the splash pad, renovations added a more inclusive play area, outdoor classroom, basketball and handball courts, and even an adult fitness area in case you want to feel the burn while your kids run wild.
Originally published in May 2017. Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of NYC Parks