Are Playgrounds Good For Play?: Notes from Central Park

Janes Walk

Led By Hadas Fischer

Playgrounds, an integral part of the urban landscape, are public spaces where the ideals of childhood, design, and citizenship have played out for over a century. In this walk with SUNY Historian Emeritus, Jim Wunsch, and Hadas Fischer, Manager of Interpretation at the Central Park Conservancy, we visit popular playgrounds along the west side of Central Park.

Together, we will consider different playground models including the visions of early 20th century progressives, contemporary designers, and Jane’s arch-nemesis, Robert Moses. Indulge in a bit of nostalgia—don’t stand up when swinging!— before wrestling with the basic question, what makes for a good playground?

Playful urbanists, design enthusiasts, and kids welcome.


This is a live, one-hour walking tour of the four Central Park playgrounds between 91st and 100th street along Central Park West. An easy walk and largely wheelchair accessible. Closest subway, the "C" at 86th-88th, CPW and for departure "C" at 96th-97th CPW. Easy walk east from same stops on the #1 Broadway or #2/3 train at 96th and Broadway. #10 bus stops along CPW close to playgrounds. Citi-bike station at 85th and CPW.

Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Sunday, May 7, 2023
11:00 AM
Greater than 1 hour

Borough: Manhattan
Theme: Advocacy, Art & Architecture, History & Culture
Language: English
The Diana Ross Playground in Central Park. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Daryl Vocat.