Best Fountains and Sprinklers of NYC

by Time Out New York contributors, 07/23/2011

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As the New York temperature continues to boil, we've picked our favorite city parks to soak up the best fountains, sprinklers and water shooters offered to escape the heat.

Ancient Playground

A big draw at this Egypt-inspired playground, built by architect Richard Dattner in the ’70s and completely restored in 2009, is its novel spray fountain. In a nod to the mighty Nile, a not-too-torrential blast of water pours down several steps onto a stretch of sand that represents the Delta. Other pharaonic flourishes include scaleable pyramids and Cleopatra’s Needle–style obelisks. Central Park; enter at Fifth Ave bet. 84th and 85th Sts. 

Chelsea Waterside
Bask under one of the grooviest water features in the city: towering, turquoise blue sculptures resembling exploding raindrops, which drench those passing underneath. There’s also a wall of faucets for frontal soaking. W. 23rd St. at Eleventh Ave.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Playground at Pier 6
Kids can navigate a water-play area with three distinct features: a riverlike channel, a water lab (great for learning about measuring and pouring) and a water-jet field (for some old-fashioned, get-soaked fun). The park’s also home to a sandbox village, "slide mountain" and plenty of swings and Tarzan ropes. Furman St. at Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights.

Fort Greene Park 
This oasis offers two playgrounds with splash zones. The larger New Fort Greene, at Willoughby, features a compass-shaped sprinkler. The smaller and busier playground, on the corner of DeKalb and Washington Park, harbors a hydrant that squirts from all sides. Go on a Saturday to hit the adjacent farmers’ market for an organic doughnut. South Oxford St. at DeKalb Ave., Fort Greene.

The Bronx
River Avenue Park
Formerly a parking lot near Yankee Stadium, this space now attracts local youth with a skate park and play equipment. Passing subway trains activate the playground's water jets and lights, offering little ones an earthshaking way to beat the heat. E. 157th St. between Gerard and River Aves. 

Staten Island
Seaside Wildlife Nature Park
As they catch a breeze off the ocean, kids explore the nautical-themed playground's shipwreck, shark and lighthouse features. Spray showers and a sand play area allow your crew to feel like they're spending a day at the beach. Nelson Ave at Tennyson Dr.

For more outdoor fun, visit

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Chelsea Waterside Park
    W 23rd St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6
    Furman St
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
  3. 3
    Fort Greene Park
    Myrtle Ave and Cumberland St
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11205

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