For older children this playground sports a climbing structure, a large orb with a slide, and a shallow "stream" with water spouts. For younger children there is a separate, enclosed toddler area with a water feature and a climbing structure along with some bucket swings. The trees in the playground provide some shade. If you're hungry there's food along Prospect Park Southwest (pizza, ice cream, fast food, deli). There are no bathrooms but there is a water fountains and a bike rack.
History of Playgrounds in Prospect Park
The original design for Prospect Park did not include the seven playgrounds that dot its perimeter. At the time that Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux planned for the construction of the Park, the idea of a play space designated for children was relatively new, and the landscape architects’ philosophy of a strictly naturalistic environment did not accommodate such structured installations.
In the 1880s, New York City reformers lobbied for the creation of special small parks for children. As the City’s population more than doubled between 1865 and 1895, open spaces in which children could play were widely disappearing. By the turn of the century, the idea that recreational spaces were necessary for the health and well-being of urban children was gaining popularity, and the earliest playgrounds, called "sand gardens," were being built on the grounds of settlement houses on the overcrowded Lower East Side of Manhattan.
In the 1930s, federal aid through the Works Progress Administration enabled the City to greatly expand and improve its play spaces. It was during this era that Prospect Park’s playgrounds, along with more than 600 others throughout New York City, were built. Parks Commissioner Robert Moses and his 80,000 employees increased the number of playgrounds in New York City from 119 in 1934 to 777 by 1960 - the end of his career with Parks. These large, asphalted playgrounds were designed to accommodate children of all ages, and they usually contained features such as sandboxes, see-saws, metallic jungle gyms, swing sets, and slides.