Favorite Hudson Valley Playgrounds

Our favorite playgrounds with a checklist for parents on playground safety

Although all playgrounds have permission to open during this pandemic, some towns have continued to have barriers which prevent entering the play areas.

Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Rd., Wappingers Falls
With its nature center, hiking trails, and handicapped- accessible playground with swings, slides, tunnels and climbing apparatus, it is easy to see why this 300- acre park is beloved by all. Highlights also include a seasonal water play area and unobstructed views of the Hudson River.

MacGhee Park, 26 MacGhee Rd., Wappingers Falls
MacGhee Park is a classic town park with playground, basketball court, and baseball/softball field.

Little Woods Play Trail at Freedom Park, 212 Skidmore Rd., Pleasant Valley
This unique trail features interactive stations such as a pirate ship, teepee village, musical instruments, fairy houses, butterfly garden, imaginations station, Kindness Rocks - Rock Garden and more special surprises along the trail. This peaceful and easy-hike, full of wonderful surprises, can be enjoyed by all.

Kowawese Unique Area at Plum Point, Rte. 9W, New Windsor
New playground equipment has arrived at Plum Point. Kids can now swing to their hearts content and play on the new piece of equipment. Slides, activities and great climbing are all built into this piece. Come and have a great time by the water.

Wee Play Tot Park, Robert Cahill Dr., Beacon
This toddler friendly park aimed at children ages 0-6 years sits at the base of a magical forest of trees and is one of the many great features of Memorial Park in Beacon. The play area features swings, slides, climbing structures, ride on toys and various toddler toys.

Hasbrouck Park, Mohonk Ave., New Paltz
The main attraction of this playground is the large wooden, castle style structure that allows kids to exercise their imagination as well. With nooks and crannies to climb, this fenced-in playground has a wood chip ground cover, a sandbox, slides and swings.

Grasshopper Grove, 120 Muser Dr., Cornwall
Located at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s outdoor discovery center, Grasshopper Grove is a half-acre safe, accessible nature play space where young children can run down hills, balance on logs, use their imaginations and develop their motor skills. Natural elements give young children the opportunity to find adventure and appreciate the wonder of nature by climbing on fallen trees, digging in dirt, balancing on boulders and creating imaginative worlds with sticks, pinecones and bark. Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members.

Thomas Bull Memorial Park, 211 State Rt., 416, Montgomery
The 20-acre park is home to Sally's Dream Playground, a beautiful handicapped accessible playground with plenty of share, ramps and platform bridges, swings and even some play instruments and puzzles.

Stringham Park Playground, 120 Stringham Rd., Lagrangeville
The playground has been newly renovated with brand new equipment. 
glider, ten spin, swing bays, inclusive swing seat, bumblebee rider, climber, musical instruments, and sensory panels, as well as poured in place rubber surfacing.

Turtle Walk Playground, James Baird State Park, 14 Maintenance Ln., Pleasant Valley
This is a great little playground with new equipment for kids. There is a spot for the little ones to play and lots of climbing equipment for the older kids. A wavy bridge and a unique swinging device round out the fun for the older kids. Even tweens and younger teens will enjoy this spot. Picnic tables in the shade give a nice respite from the sun.

Sally's Dream Park, 186 NY-416, Campbell Hall
Sally's Dream Park is one of the best outdoor play experiences for your children with special needs. The newly redesigned park now offers even more accessibility for children of all ages including ramps, full support swings and unobstructed views from all seating areas. For toddlers and babies, there's also a smaller jungle gym that provides smaller slides and activity walls.

Julie's Jungle, 5 Old Lime Kiln Rd., Hopewell Junction
Julie's Jungle is the first fully- accessible playground in Dutchess county. Inclusivity has been the main focus of this playground since its inception in 2012. Julie's Jungle caters to the needs of all children including those who are able-bodied and those with visual, hearing, cognitive or physical impairments. 
The state-of-the-art adaptive playground gives children who have been previously excluded the opportunity to participate in outdoor fun while improving their social skills. The grounds also offer ramps and spacious decks, shorter stairs, Braille play panels and even a sensory garden.

Inclusion Playground at Circleville Park, 50 Creamery Rd., Circleville
A fun new park with equipment that can be used by all kids. Lots of safe places for everyone to play.


Here are some things to consider when searching out the best playground for your kids:

East Fishkill Recreation area

  • Concrete, asphalt, and blacktop are unsafe and unacceptable. Grass, soil, and packed-earth surfaces are also unsafe because weather and wear can reduce their capacities to cushion a child's fall. 
  • The playground surface should be free of standing water and debris that could cause kids to trip and fall, such as rocks, tree stumps, and tree roots.

Robert E Post Park Kingston

  • There should be no dangerous materials, like broken glass or twisted metal.
  • The surfaces may be loosely filled with materials like wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or shredded rubber. Wood chips containing chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treatment are not recommended since the material can pose a potential health hazard.

Benedict Farm Montgomery

  • Surfacing mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials also are safe.
  • Rubber mats and wood chips allow the best access for people in wheelchairs. 
  • Loose-fill surface materials 12 inches deep should be used for equipment up to 8 feet high. The material should not be packed down because this will reduce any cushioning effect.

Sally's Dream Thomas Bull Memorial Park Montgomery

  • No surfacing materials are considered safe if the combined height of playground and the child (standing on the highest platform) is higher than 12 feet. 
  • The cushioned surface should extend at least 6 feet past the equipment. Additional coverage may be needed, depending on how high a slide is or how long a swing is.
  • If there is loose-fill over a hard surface (like asphalt or concrete), there should be 3-6 inches of loose-fill like gravel, a layer of geotextile cloth, a layer of loose-fill surfacing material, and then impact mats under the playground equipment.

Memorial Park Beacon

Keep in mind that even proper surfacing can't prevent all injuries. Also, the greater the height of the equipment, the more likely kids are to get injured if they fall from it.

Updated 1/4/2021

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