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5 Mind-blowing Backyard Playsets


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Central Park
The granite slide at Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park gets a thumbs-up. Kids in the know bring a piece of cardboard to help them whiz down even faster. Steven Greaves/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
The granite slide at Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park gets a thumbs-up. Kids in the know bring a piece of cardboard to help them whiz down even faster. Steven Greaves/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

What's better than an amazing backyard playset? How about 21 amazing backyard playsets?

We can't all loll around our backyard on a hot summer day, lazily climbing our crazy tree house. While a lot of us schlep to the one swingset at the park a mile away, those lucky kids in Manhattan get to enjoy a smorgasbord of playthings at Central Park.

Consider that the Bernard Family Playground in East Harlem carries fishing poles so kids can catch and release fish from the nearby Harlem Meer. Or that Diana Ross herself funded the Diana Ross Playground, featuring an awesome wooden play structure. Or the Robert Bendheim Playground, designed to be used by kids with and without disabilities . . . and with a really cool sprinkler water feature. And don't forget the Safari, Mariners' and Wild West-themed playgrounds as well.

And there's a lot more, all in an area less than 1.5 square miles (3.9 square kilometers), at no cost to parents.