There are lots of great parks and playgrounds in Westchester, no matter which city or town you live in. But finding a playground that’s suitable for the under-5 set can sometimes be a challenge—you want them to be safe; they want to try that giant, twisty slide with a group of wild 7-year-olds on it. Happily, there are several toddler playgrounds near Westchester. These tot lots have plenty of safe options for keeping little ones occupied while having fun. We've rounded up a few of our favorites.
Read on for 13 toddler playgrounds in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and find more fun places to play in our Guide to Parks and Playgrounds.
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Top Toddler Playgrounds in Westchester
This neighborhood playground, right off Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, is a great spot to take your little ones. The tot lot, which features two different play structures and two bucket swings, is completely fenced in, with only one way in and out. One play structure is ideal for young toddlers—from about 15 months on, my son had no problem navigating the area and loved the small slides. The second structure has more climbing features and three larger slides, and now, at almost 3, my son is all over it. Along with the playground, there are baseball fields and tennis courts, with seasonal bathrooms. Parking is on the street (be sure to feed the meters), and there are a few delis—we’re partial to Roosters—and restaurants close by. One note: The park doesn’t get a ton of shade, so in the warmer months it’s ideal for early risers or evening visits.
If the only reason you head to the Kensico Dam is to see the fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, now’s the time to go back with your toddler in tow. The park has a huge field for picnicking and a circular path that’s great for pushing a stroller or riding a balance bike or tricycle. The recently renovated playground has one set of equipment that’s ideal for little ones and includes slides, bucket swings, and fun things to climb. There are lots of picnic tables throughout the area, as well as vending machines nearby and restrooms right by the playground. In the summer, you’ll find lots of free events happening at the park, too.
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Little ones can test their climbing skills at Sagamore Park in Bronxville.
Tucked away off Sagamore Road, this nature-inspired park has lots of trees and vegetation, which makes it feel off the beaten path even though it’s a quick drive into the heart of Bronxville. The majority of the playground equipment is made of wood, and there are two structures for toddlers. In the middle, you’ll find a large sandbox that’s well-stocked with pails and shovels, as well as a ride-on train ideal for creative play. There are also two modern-looking bucket swings, a picnic table, and an open area with rubber flooring. There is on-street parking, and though there are no restrooms, you’ll find lots of restaurants and shops nearby when it’s time for a diaper change.
Located in a peaceful wooded area next to the Somers Library, this park offers plenty of shade and great play structures for toddlers. The park features a large pavilion with picnic tables, basketball and tennis courts, and fitness and nature trails. Amenities include bathrooms with changing tables and a snack bar serving food and ice cream. If kids get hot or grow tired of playing outside, they can cool off in the kids' section at the library.
Scenic Hudson Park is a 12-acre park along the Hudson River with lots of activities for the whole family, including baseball fields, basketball courts, and a stretch of paved road that’s great for walking, biking, or pushing a stroller (hello, naptime!). But one of the best features—at least for parents of young kids—is a small, fenced-in playground right near the basketball court. There’s one manageable structure with three slides, a “bridge” to walk over, and a ladder and stairs to climb. There’s also a large sandbox, though be sure to bring your own sand toys, since there were none when we visited. Another plus: There are restrooms right nearby and, in case you run out of water for the sippy cup, a few vending machines.
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The car at Sunset Park in Croton is great for creative play.
This one’s especially for Croton residents: This playground is particularly great for preschoolers and for encouraging creative play. It includes a smaller, wooden play structure with a slide and areas to climb, a car kids can drive—complete with a gas station for them to “fill up”—and a sandbox stocked with plenty of toys. A couple of other resident-only parks we love: Riis Park in Harrison, which has great equipment for kids to ride on and is right near the library, and Bedford Hills Memorial Park in Bedford Hills, which is fenced in and has fun, but manageable play structures for keeping the toddler crowd entertained.
There's more than one playground to enjoy at this large Yonkers park, and plenty of areas to sit and enjoy a picnic or snack. If you're visiting in the summer, be sure to bring along your bathing suits for a dip in the pool, a run around the splash pad, or a trip down the "lazy river." Is your toddler closer to preschool age? They can try their hand at mini-golf here, too. And, if all else fails, there's lots of green grass to kick around a ball or two.
RELATED: Top Playgrounds for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
The toddler area at Turnure Park in White Plains is totally fenced in.
Turnure Park isn't too far removed from a major renovation, and the result is great for toddlers and their parents. With totally new and colorful playground equipment, there’s a separate play area for little ones that’s fenced in and set off from the older kids’ area. The play structure includes a slide, places to climb, and a toddler-sized space underneath that my son and his BFF deemed the perfect spot to play with their cars and trains. Along with the tot lot, the park itself has lots of green, grassy areas to walk or run around. There is street parking—and, in our experience, it's not too hard to find—and restrooms are available.
Tot Lots Near Westchester Worth a Drive
In addition to the many other attractions at this picturesque apple farm, Barton Orchards has great wooden play structures for toddlers, including a train, a pirate ship, and a cute wooden treehouse with a slide. Kids also love the petting zoo and treats for sale at the farm store and snack bar. For adults, there is a taproom with food and live music on the weekends. Admission is charged only during festivals. During the week, the playground and petting zoo can be enjoyed free of charge.
With stunning Hudson River views, a seasonal splash pad, and multiple play structures, Bowdoin Park is definitely worth the drive. Big play structures include multiple slides, monkey bars, and even a climbing boulder for kids. The park also features nature trails, ponds, and a sledding hill in the winter. Families can rent one of the many covered pavilions for birthday parties or other events, and indoor restrooms are available as well.
You know how kids love playing with other kids’ toys so much more than their own? They’re in luck at this Cold Spring park, which is home to a whole slew of them—from trucks to ride-on toys. Plus, there’s a sandbox, swings, and lots more. And when they’ve had their fill of park time, check out the rest of the kid-friendly to-do’s the town has to offer.
Located on a small peninsula in the Hudson River, this riverfront park boasts beautiful views of the Hudson Highlands on one side and the majestic Newburgh-Beacon Bridge on the other. On those summer days when everywhere else is unbearable, the river breeze in this shady park provides a welcome respite from the heat. The park features two toddler-friendly play structures, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic tables, and a river pool in the summer. Kids also love watching the trains pass by as the Beacon train station is just across the street.
For another outside-of-Westchester option, try this Beacon playground at Memorial Park. Designed specifically for the toddler and preschool set, there are large, colorful slides and structures to climb on in the fenced-in space, plus lots more. The park falls under the Wee Play Community Project, a group that helps build and fundraise for parks and playgrounds in the city. Find more fun things to do while you’re in Beacon here.
All photos by the author.
Originally published in 2017, this post has since been updated.