New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Best Outdoor Playground

  • Madison Square Park

    Madison Ave. at 23rd St.

    It doesn’t have the highest-tech equipment or the biggest ball fields—or any ball fields, in fact. But when you combine the free kids’ concerts on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the summer, free arts-and-crafts workshops, and a nifty fifteen-foot-high waterwheel sprinkler that kids never seem to want to leave, you’ve got a bona fide play-date destination in the beautifully rehabbed Madison Square Park. Centrally located, it’s clean, friendly, and buzzing with activity for kids and adults alike, from grown-up concerts throughout the summer to the annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party. Two-hour-parking meters are an added enticement, as is the playground’s proximity to Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s high-end hot-dogs-and-custard kiosk that opens this month and stays open until it gets cold again.

From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

Order the Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

Order This Issue

Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).