Destination Playground: Central Park's Billy Johnson Playground

Best Playgrounds for Kids in New York City

There are hundreds of public playgrounds in NYC and if you spend as much time as I do at yours, the same one can get old quick. Checking out fabulous playgrounds in other neighborhoods can be a great stop off on any excursion to a different part of the city, or it can be a terrific outing in and of itself. We've got the goods on the destination playgrounds all over New York City that are subway-worthy and worth the schlep and we will be bringing them to you all summer.

The Billy Johnson Playground:

This is a really beautiful looking playground located in Central Park.  Everything in this playground is made from natural materials like stone, granite and wood giving it a really rustic feel. In fact this playground is often referred to as the “rustic playground”, but at our house, we call it “the big slide playground” since there is a 45 foot long, slightly spiraled granite slide in the North West corner of the playground.

The slide is super fun and the main attraction in this park – kids never tire of it.  Even getting to the top of the slide is fun because they get to follow a wooded and rocky path that looks like it was carved into the side of a hill.  Once on top the kids wait patiently (yes, patiently) for their turn on the big slide. Those in-the-know often bring some cardboard to slide down upon which makes the ride faster and even more fun.

If your children eventually gets tired of the slide there is also a huge sand pit which they can slide into from an adjacent play structure, lots of paths to follow, bridges to cross over or under, room to run and even a relaxing gazebo. You can bring lunch to eat at a picnic table if you would like (but there are no garbage cans – so pack it out!).  Plus little kid swings and a nice water feature.  Perfect for all ages.  Even kids a little too old for the playground can be seen on line for that slide (along with a few adults.) A worthy destination for half a day or even a quick pit stop on your through the park.

The Billy Johnson playground is one of the locales for the Central Park Conservancy’s weekday Sandbox Program that starts in July.  Look for special programming in the playground on selected days.

Billy Johnson Playground
East 67th Street near Fifth Avenue
A 5 minute walk uptown from the Central Park Zoo

More Destination Playgrounds in New York City:

New Union Square Playground

Best Playground Sprinklers and Water Features


Billy Johnson Playground
East 67th Street and Fifth Ave in Central Park
New York , NY 40° 46' 9.3576" N, 73° 58' 9.642" W
New York