14. Play:groundNYC on Governors Island

Courtesy of play:groundNYC

Hammers, saws and nails are usually not things you want to see on a children’s playground, but they are essential tools of play at this space on Governors Island. Play:groundNYC is a kids-only experimental adventure playground where parents aren’t allowed to interfere. Kids are given the freedom to play and create with the tools at hand, real tools that allow kids to experiment and take risks on their own.

Play:groundNYC is inspired by Danish landscape architect C. T. Sørenson’s proposed creation of “waste material playgrounds…where children would be able to play with old cars, boxes, and timber.” The first known playground of this type appeared in Denmark in the mid-1940s and several have popped up all over the world in the ensuing decades, including at least nineteen in New York City in the 1970s.