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INSIDE: All you need to know about the Diana Ross Playground Central Park New York City. 

This is one of the best Central Park Playgrounds in NYC for adventurous kids.

The centrepiece of the playground is a GIANT SIZED timber fort structure.

In my mind, the Diana Ross playground timber fort has a likeness to the “Giant’s Causeway”, a natural wonder of  hexagonal, lava-forged rocks in Ireland, made by the forces of nature.

It’s the upright timbers of varying heights that does it, and makes it a wonderful unique playground to visit in New York.

DIANA ROSS PLAYGROUND is the BEST nature playground in New York.

Take a look below for details. 

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Guide to Diana Ross Playground Central Park New York

The boys see something different.

To them, the Diana Ross Playground is a parkour-lover’s dream destination with a multitude of structures and levels to climb, jump, skip over, and scramble along.

Whatever you and your bunch see, the Diana Ross Playground is tonnes of fun for kids of all ages.

Related: The Ultimate Guide of Best Things to do in New York with kids

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Diana Ross Park Playground equipment

Surrounded by a colossal ring of bench seating perfect for tired moms (and bums), this Central Park playground deserves a mention, and a visit.

I cannot write this story without mentioning that the Diana Ross playground was funded by singer Diana Ross and family after her historic Great Lawn concert in 1983!

It’s totally her doing that this epic playground in New York exists.

What a gal.

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What you’ll find at the Diana Ross Central Park playground

The EPIC timber fort playground

  • The aforementioned timber fort playground in New York city has:
    varying levels and heights
  • ascending stairs
  • platforms
  • balance beams
  • ladders

This timber fort is THE perfect playground for a game of hide-and-seek with new friends in Central park.

image - diana ross playground Ross Playground bridge

Swing Bridges

Log bridges and swing bridges help the kids to get from fort to fort.

image - diana ross playground Ross Playground Central Park

Medieval Fort Fun

There’s a medieval feel to the fort, just right for children who love to dress up as Kings, Queens and Jesters for imaginative play

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BYO Sandbox Toys

One giant sandbox hides within the fort structure as underfoot soft fall.

BYO sandpit toys:

  • buckets and spades
  • ice cream scoops
  • shovels
  • spare containers
  • cookie cutters.

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A super-long and super-high metal slide was Ned’s favourite thing of all.

image - diana ross playground Ross Playground Central Park slides


Jack took his turn to slide down too. Thankfully, his big brother was there to catch him.

It’s FAST!

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There’s a bunch of smaller metal slides for younger children too, plus a covered slide, and a twirly corkscrew slide.

image - diana ross playground Ross Playground view

Bonus! Golden Light at Diana Ross Playground NYC

Visit in the late afternoon and be bathed in magnificent golden light!

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It’s one of the few times in New York that the light has thrilled me to the core.

Playgrounds in New York are so often cast in the shadows of the New York skyscrapers so to be enveloped in warm golden light for an hour or so was a real treat.

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Central Park Playground Swings

The Diana Ross playground features two tire swings, plus a row of bucket seat swings separated from the main playground by a fence.

This is the toddler playground area for kids.

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Water Play at Diana Ross Park

The hexagonal water feature at the Diana Ross playground is chockablock with kids in summer.

This Central Park water playground is a fave spot to beat the heat during summer vacation.

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THE INSIDE SCOOP: Manhattan Playgrounds in New York with Kids

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in US dollars, unless otherwise stated

Address: The Diana Ross playground is located inside the park at West 81st Street and Central Park West.
Telephone: +1 212-310-6600
Website: Click here
Opening Hours: 8am to dusk
Entry Fees: Free

image - diana ross playground Ross Playground sign

How to get to Central Park Diana Ross Playground

By Bus: M10 bus to Central PK w/w 79 St

By Subway Train:  Take the B or C train to 81st St-Museum of Natural History

On Foot:  25 minutes wander from Heckscher Playground

By Car/Taxi/Uber:  Disembark at Central Park West & W 81st St

Central Park Parking

Many parking garages are available nearby.

Diana Ross Playground Map

Facilites at Diana Ross in Central Park

Nearest takeaway coffee and/or food options: Good Enough to Eat Cafe at 520 Columbus Ave, New York. All-day menu of updated American comfort fare served in casual, farmhouse-themed cafe.
Toilets: No. Closest at the American Museum of Natural History, or across the park at Conservatory Water.
Disability access: Limited.
Closest ATM: Citibank ATM across the road at 441 Columbus Ave, New York
Shade: Trees.
Enclosed: Fenced.
Ground cover: Timber platforms, sand soft fall, gravel, recycled rubber
Picnic tables: No, but lots of bench seating
Electric BBQs: No
Water Bubblers/fountains: Yes
Scooters and Bikes: Yes
Dogs: No

Toadstool Rating: Diana Ross Kids Playground

Pop this on your list of Central Park playgrounds to discover. Make it a must-do stop by on the way home from your visit to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

diana ross playground new york with kids reviews

Looking for BEST Things to Do in Central Park with kids?

Click the blue links below for more New York activities.

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