Let the fun begin! There’s a new playground in Lower Manhattan that is designed to be storm-resilient, educational, and—of course—fun for children of all ages and abilities. The Battery Conservancy and NYC Parks opened the Battery Playscape on Dec. 16 in The Battery right next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. It's got everything kids love in an outdoor play space, from twisty slides to climbing nets and so much more.
The idea for a storm-resilient playground wasn’t random. The conservancy initiated Playscape’s design after The Battery survived the full force of a 15-foot storm surge from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. So, sea-level rise became a focal point of the 1.5-acre playground’s design, turning climate challenges into creative play and learning opportunities for kids.
“We immerse children into the natural wonders formed by plants, trees, sand, and ancient stone while building an understanding of accommodating climate,” said Warrie Price, president and founder of The Battery Conservancy.
What to Expect at Battery Playscape
The educational and environmental aspect of Playscape is great, but a playground wouldn’t be a playground without all the amenities kids love. The fun is divided into kid-friendly ecological zones, each inspired by topography created by water shaping the land:
- The Bluff offers five granite slides for kids to enjoy.
- The Riverbed and Marsh has beautiful salt-tolerant gardens and elevated tree houses complete with walking bridges. There are even sand and water play areas, bringing a bit of the beach to Manhattan's bustling Downtown park.
- The Dune and Meadow is home to ShowBox, the first improv/puppet theater in a NYC playground.
The $18.3 million project marks the final major construction milestone in the more than 25-year history of The Battery Conservancy's work to revitalize The Battery, which is known as New York City's oldest continually used public space.
“Playscape will serve as a model for imaginative play and resilient design for years to come. From water-absorbent bioswales to a gorgeous puppet theater, this playground is truly different from any other in New York City,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, NYC Parks commissioner. “As the final piece of The Battery Master Plan, this 1½-acre playground completes the decades-long process of revitalizing this historic site. We thank the Conservancy for their leadership in reimagining this playground and establishing The Battery as a thriving waterfront park and a destination for New Yorkers and tourists from around the world.”
In other news from Battery Park City last week, the New York Economic Development Corporation, elected officials, and members of the community gathered at the Battery Maritime Building to celebrate the completion of extensive renovations on the landmark building. The renovated historic Beaux-Arts structure includes multiple grand event spaces, a hotel, spa and wellness center, as well as restaurants, bars, and lounges.
What You Need to Know About Visiting Battery Playscape
Where is Battery Playscape located?
Battery Playscape is located in The Battery on State Street, next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal in Manhattan.
When is it open?
Battery Playscape is open year-round, daily, 8am to dusk.
Is the playground free to use?
Yes, Playscape is free for the public to use.
How do I get to Battery Playscape?
Playscape is accessible from both State and South streets. The nearest public transportation options include the 4, 5, 1, R, and W subway lines. There are also bus and new bike routes nearby.
Is Battery Playscape outdoors?
Yes, the playground is completely outdoors.
Main image by Barbara Russo