The Best Children's Playgrounds on Long Island
An abundance of parks and playgrounds makes Long Island a wonderful place to raise a family, and we’ve scoured the island to find the best playgrounds where you’ll find plenty of space and entertainment for you and your little ones. These destination-worthy playgrounds are all a cut above your local jungle gym with fun features like epic splash pads, mini-golf courses, aerodromes, skating rinks, and more.
Editor's note: While we've attempted to provide highlights of these parks at their best, some of the features and amenities listed below are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a face mask and pack plenty of hand sanitizer. Some photos in this post were taken before the pandemic.
It's worth noting some of these parks require county, town, or village residency. It's best to check access rules before heading out. State parks are, of course, open to all.
Nassau County's Top Playgrounds
1. Cedar Creek Park – Seaford
If you live south of the Long Island Expressway, this could be the best playground for you. Voted most popular on Long Island for good reason, the Nassau County park has four play areas and is fenced to contain wanderers. It features clubhouses, a sandbox with diggers, a hang glider, and plenty of slides. If your kids are older, grab some roller skates and enjoy the outdoor rink or visit the nearby aerodrome for remote-controlled airplane viewing.
Enjoy the shade and lush surroundings at Christopher Morley Park. Photo by Mommy Poppins
2. Christopher Morley Park – Roslyn
Another Nassau County facility, Christopher Morley features tennis courts, three pools, an ice rink, a dog park, and a large playground structure. The swimming pool requires an additional fee. Just outside of the pool complex, you'll find the playground area. Playsets are designed to accommodate different age groups, and much of the play area is covered by trees, providing shade from the sun. Two swingsets are located in the play area: One for toddlers and another for older children. The surface area is made of fall-softening tiles. In the summer, a sprayground is available, as well as a children’s swimming pool. Also on location is a cabin where park namesake Christopher Morley did his writing. Tours are available. A small, seasonal farmers market sells produce on Wednesdays.
3. Clark Street Playground – Long Beach
There are three sections to this park; a big-kid area, a little-kid area, and a splash pad. The big-kid section has bridges, slides, a rock-climbing wall, and more. Unique to this park is a giant, roped, web structure for climbing. The small section is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. It features tunnels, small slides, and dinosaurs to climb on. The splash pad has water shooting up from sprinklers in the ground and sprinkler rings to run through.
Enjoy two mini-golf courses at the playground at Eisenhower Park. Photo by Jaime Sumersille
4. Eisenhower Park – East Meadow
Located on 930 acres in central Nassau, Eisenhower Park is the "Central Park" of Long Island. Its abundance of recreational activities and trio of playgrounds include a sprinkler pool for hot summer days. In 2016, the main playground was renovated to include a climbing apparatus, slides, swings, and more. There are separate play areas for big kids and toddlers, including child-sized picnic tables, and an inclusive playground. The Let All the Children Play playground is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to special-needs kids and is wheelchair accessible. The playgrounds are surrounded by athletic fields, full-sized basketball courts, batting cages, a swimming facility, a fitness trail with 20 stations, three 18-hole golf courses, and even a mini-golf course. Reserved and non-reserved picnic areas are available. The park houses the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, which hosts concerts, events, and movies all summer.
5. Magnolia Park – Long Beach
Surf, sand, a boardwalk, and an updated playground make Magnolia Park a popular destination. After Superstorm Sandy damaged the city-run park, the community came together to rebuild the playground and surrounding areas. With a beach theme, it features a large play structure in the shape of a ship with lookout areas on the bow and stern and a spiral slide. Also popular are the spring-loaded ride-ons, clubhouse, and seesaws. On the opposite end of the playground are swings, including one full support swing. The playground is fully fenced, and there are three pergolas with seating to offer shade. Of course, the beach and boardwalk make for a fun-filled day trip. Take a few minutes to admire the artwork and murals surrounding the park, which lends a community feel.
Enjoy the slides and rides at Wantagh Park. Photo by Mommy Poppins
6. Wantagh Park – Wantagh
With more than 111 acres of outdoor recreation, Wantagh Park seems to offer something for every member of the family. The park is huge—even the playgrounds and swing areas are sizable. Wantagh Park has more than 18 swings, including toddler swings and standard swings, and the playgrounds are differentiated by age. There is also an abundance of slides. In the summer, cool off at the spray park after working up a sweat on the playgrounds.
7. Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park – Oyster Bay
With three playgrounds and three swing sets, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, a Town of Oyster Bay facility, seems to offer something for everyone. Ladders or stairs make for an easy climb onto the equipment. The park is fenced, which gives kids more freedom to roam safely. There is also an entrance to the beach area within the park. History is all around: The Roosevelt Memorial Rocks describe many of the places and events that were part of the president’s life. Along with the spacious play area, visitors should take advantage of the handball courts and paths designated for skaters and bikers.
Corey Beach Park offers a playground experience on the shore of Great South Bay. Photo courtesy of the park
Suffolk County's Top Playgrounds
8. Corey Beach Park – Blue Point
With a beachfront location, a giant sandbox, and a playground area with equipment featuring sea designs and shell-like architecture, this is an ideal spring and summer destination for families. This Town of Brookhaven facility features other fun attractions, including a wire climb and a rock-climbing wall. There are ladders and stairs on which children can climb. It also has a comfy cabin for visitors to enjoy the park and find shelter from the sun and rain, and there are additional sun-blocking screens with benches throughout the park.
9. Diamond in the Pines – Coram
Located on Route 112 just north of Route 83, this park and playground can easily be missed, but both are worth a visit. Hidden behind the pine trees is a playground structure, basketball courts, athletic fields, and covered picnic areas that can be rented. The playground is large and built on a safety surface. Plenty of slides anchor the play structure. Bigger kids can enjoy climbing walls that vary by height. Incorporated into the structure are games and modified musical instruments kids can play. Restrooms are located next to the playground area, and a large FREE parking lot is also close by.
Opened in 2019, Harborfields Community Playground, in Greenlawn's Pickle Park, accommodates children of all abilities. Photo courtesy of the Town of Huntington
10. Harborfields Community Playground – Greenlawn
The recently opened Harborfields Community Playground at Pickle Park was built so children of all physical abilities can have fun. Located behind Harborfields Public Library in the corner of Pickle Park (also known as Library Park), it has something for everyone, including accessible slides, swings, and climbers, as well as a large rocker that accommodates wheelchairs and seated children. Other inclusive elements include a cushioned, rubberized surface, wheelchair ramps, and other features for children with sensory sensitivities.
11. Heckscher Park – Huntington
Three playgrounds within Heckscher Park include jungle gyms, slides, swing sets, and a sandbox. The soft-surface playgrounds at this Town of Huntington facility are enclosed by gated fences. Find covered picnic tables nearby and restrooms a short distance away. There's also a paved trail families can walk, checking out the park's wildlife before jumping on the swings.
Separate play structures at Heckscher State Park accommodate kids of all ages. Photo courtesy of New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
12. Heckscher State Park – East Islip
Don't mistake this expansive state park for Heckscher Park in Huntington. Located along Great South Bay, this park features four playground areas for kids of all ages. Park at Field 6 for the playground closest to the water and picnic areas. There are separate play structures for little and big kids. Big kids like the tall slides, climbing wall, and spiral ladder. Fields 1 and 4 have playgrounds on soft safety surfaces with plenty of slides, climbing apparatuses, and swings. Restrooms are an easy walk from the playgrounds, as are the picnic areas. The smallest playground is at Field 3 and is designated for parties renting the pavilion next to it.
13. Heritage Park – Mount Sinai
Heritage Park offers two separate playgrounds. There is a smaller playground for children up to age 5, with climbing apparatuses, and a larger one with a rock wall and plenty of slides. Scattered benches and tables give parents plenty of places to lounge. Heritage is one of only a handful of parks in its area to offer ball fields and a walking/jogging/bike trail. On the grounds, the Heritage Center offers classes and events, hosts festivals and movie nights, and is available to rent for private parties. There are also community gardens and beautiful landscaping, plus a small waterfall. A splash park and concession stand complete the amenities.
The pirate-themed Phelps Lane Park offers an enhanced visitor experience. Photo courtesy of Town of Babylon Parks and Recreation
14. Phelps Lane Park – North Babylon
Upgrades to Phelps Lane Park have greatly improved the visitor experience. The playground has a pirate-ship theme, and the play structure is approved for children with autism. Safety features include fencing, an open play space with clear sightlines, and soft surface cover. Swing sets are close by and accommodate toddlers and older kids. The park also features two covered picnic areas, junior softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, football and soccer fields, and a swimming facility. Visitors even can access the park’s Wi-Fi if needed.
15. Northport Village Park – Northport
Small in size but large in popularity, this park is located on the water in the quaint village of Northport. The playground sits on a field that is great for picnicking. A perfect meeting spot, children here can frolic in this fenced-in playground while parents enjoy the beauty of the sandy park and a nice spring or summer breeze. Local ice cream shops are within a short walk, and a bakery across the road makes for a nice snack break.
Blast off to a good time at Rocketship Park in Port Jefferson. Photo by the author
16. Rocketship Park – Port Jefferson
This park is located just off of Port Jefferson Village's busy Main Street. Fully fenced in, this playground has a redesigned rocket ship playset with multiple slides and one of the best views of Port Jeff from the very top. The other large playset is a pirate ship that has several built-in play panels that include musical instruments, a maze, and turning gears. A large spinning climber provides even more excitement, and brand-new basketball courts offer space for older kids to shoot hoops. A covered picnic area with tables is an excellent spot for a snack or lunch. The parking lot is big, but be prepared to pay.
17. Sunken Meadow State Park – Kings Park
There are multiple playgrounds at this state park, but the biggest is on the east side of Parking Field 1. There is a sand area where kids can play with diggers and climb on a stone turtle. There is a large playground for preschoolers and elementary-aged kids, which features ramps, slides, and climbing structures. The other section has a large metal ship, perfect for climbing and make-believe. The boardwalk and beach are just a few feet away, and there are plenty of grassy picnic areas to take advantage of, too.
18. Tanner Park – Copiague
There's lots to do here for kids of all ages and abilities. The playground has tunnels, climbing structures, and swings small enough for toddlers and preschoolers. Big kids get a thrill from the metal and rope climbing structure that is seemingly tangled together. There are ramps along the playground, making it wheelchair accessible. There are also interactive features along the ramps at the perfect height for wheelchair users or small kids. In addition to the playground, Tanner Park has a large wheelchair-accessible spray park. There is also a beach, restaurant, skate park, basketball courts, and so much more, making it easy to spend the whole day here.
The ship-themed playground is a signature attraction at Orient Beach State Park. Photo courtesy of New York State Parks
Top Playgrounds on the East End
19. Orient Beach State Park – Orient
A North Fork favorite, the playground at Orient Beach State Park has three playsets and a swing set. With a fun seaside theme, kids can crawl through a fish, be the captain of a boat, and climb to the top of the play structure to look out beyond the beach to the expanse of Gardiners Bay. This playground also has the best sandbox—the beach, which is great for kids who love to dig. Bring a picnic and enjoy it at the pavilion nearby.
20. Red Creek Park – Hampton Bays
Red Creek Park has two playgrounds, each with a unique playset. One of the playsets at this Town of Southampton facility is designed for older kids and the other for smaller children. The five slides—designed for kids of different ages—are the real attraction. Most of the area offers shade, and restrooms are located near the play area. Red Creek also features a skate park, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, and two spacious playgrounds.
This article was updated in March 2021.