Monday, June 27, 2011

Playground Tour Stop #8: Pier 6 Playground

The eighth stop on our playground tour is the newest, largest and possibly the most popular (or at least hyped) playground in Brooklyn. The playground at pier 6 opened up last year after much anticipation and has consistently attracted more and more families as word has spread and development of the area has increased.

The pier 6 playground might be better described as the playgrounds of pier 6, as there are really 4 separate play areas. In addition to the play areas, there is a long pathway with a plethora of benches between north and south sides of the playground that connects the end of Atlantic Ave to the pier/water. Their pier itself has just been further renovated in the past couple months and there is now access all the way to the end of the pier. Brightly colored tables and chairs have also popped up in this area now, right next to the restrooms - which are the nicest/cleanest playground bathrooms I have even encountered (they even have soft toilet paper!).

The 4 sections of the playground consist of a swing area that takes up the entire south side of the playground, a slide and climbing area, a massive sandbox and a water play area.

In the swing area you can choose from traditional baby swings, seated "big kid" swings which are paired off in individual alcoves or the bungee-link swings that let kids hang on to a rubber rope and fly through the air like Tarzan. There are also plenty grassy areas in this section, which can be nice to lounge or picnic on.

The slide area consists of three giant slides... two tall open ones that run between bamboo thickets and another enclosed one, accessible by climbing up a tepee-like structure. Also in this area are two of the new modern climbing globes (does anyone know the proper name for these?) and a giant sand pit that all of the equipment is situated atop.

Behind the slide area - accessible via a pathway on the left or a large set of steps/benches on the right - is the massive sand box. There are platforms to hang out on, houses to play in, a train to "ride" on, rocks to climb on and water to play with (when it's warm enough).

And finally there's the amazing water area. Located behind the sandbox in the rear of the playground, the water area has streams, sprinklers and lots of cool gadgets for kids to work with. It's more of a mini water park actually and most of the kids get fairly wet, so it's a good idea to bring a bathing suit/change of clothes.

The trees are starting to grow up a little more now so there is a slight bit of shade in some areas, but for the most part this playground is as sunny as the beach - so come prepared with your floppy hats, sunscreen, etc.

Aside from the sun, the only drawback to this playground is getting there... even if you have a car it is difficult to find parking in the area and the nearest trains (the 2/3, 4/5 or R @ Borough Hall) are a good 15 to 20 minute hike with kids in tow. The closet public transportation ins the B63 bus, which runs down Atlantic and 5th Avenues. If you have the ability to bike, that is certainly going to be the most time efficient means.

I'm giving pier 6 an A, leaving off the + mostly just for the inaccessibility (it's pretty awesome otherwise... and that's without even mentioning the great city views/water views). So if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, it is definitely worth the trek. 

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