Sometime just after Brady was born, the Ancient Playground at 5th Ave and 84th St, right across from the Met, closed for renovations. A little over 2 weeks ago it finally, finally opened again. Local web sites and articles have been talking up the redesigned space for months and local parents have long-awaited a new place to play.
So the day after it opened I hustled Brady over there to play…and it was a NIGHTMARE!!!! The playground is amazing, there are tunnels, and climbing walls, and bumpy hills, and tire swings – all things that lead to heart attacks for the parents of toddlers.
Each section of the playground is separated by pillars connected by chains. Brady would just swoop right under the chains and take off as I was left clambering over them to chase after him. There is a really cool tunnel – with THREE entrances. So Brady would go in and I had the option of either crawling after him or trying to guess which side he would come out. When I guessed wrong I was left panicking until I found him again.
There are climbing walls all over the place! And I quickly learned that Brady has the skills to climb them. One of the “pyramid” tops can only be reached by climbing wall and on the top you have the option of either coming down the slide or climbing a ladder down into the aforementioned tunnel. So Brady would climb up and I would plead desperately with him to come down the slide and to stay away from the ladder of death into the tunnel of the lost children.
One end of the playground is a padded space with rolling hills built in. Brady loved running up and down the hills. Unfortunately, this is where they decided to put the giant tire swings. So Brady continually ran in front of them as I ran after him with visions of concussions in my head!
The only thing I really liked was the water area. The water ran from a cool little waterfall down an elevated walkway and then off another waterfall into an area where you could push a button to turn on overhead sprinklers. I liked it because I could follow Brady and cool off in the ankle-high water as he played.
So my review of the new Ancient Playground is a huge toddler thumbs-down!!!! What a cool place, but I think we’ll go back when he’s five.