Welcome to play:groundNYC 2017 on Governors Island. We are so excited to offer youth throughout NYC and beyond, another season of play. In order to have the best time possible we want to prepare you with a few tips.


We have 50,000 square feet of space in which we supply young people with materials for building, exploring, imagining and destroying. Some tools provided are nails, hammers and saws, paint, tires, wood, fabrics and more. Expect your child to get messy! Our junkyard play area is for kids only, with a  recommended age of  6 and up. Parents can enjoy a grassy area with some shade to enjoy some time relaxing. Please note, while we do not allow parents into the older kids area, children are free to come and go. It is up to each family to decide if the parents stay waiting outside the playground or choose to go enjoy other parts of the island for a while. Please note there are  play:groundNYC playworkers in the JunkYard at all times.

There is a Family Play area, open to all ages, adjacent to our Junkyard play area. Adult supervision is required.

Please note that the ages for both the Junkyard Play area (6 and older) and Family Play area (5 and under) are recommended.


Waivers: Each participant for both junkyard play and family play will need a waiver filled out by a guardian. If possible, it is recommended that you print and complete this waiver prior to arrival and bring it with you to the site. Please note, that each child will need a separate waiver. You can find that waiver here. We also have waivers at the entrance of play:groundNYC where one of our staff or volunteers is able to answer any questions you may have. Each and every time you come to play:groundNYC a waiver is required. Incomplete waivers cannot be accepted. If you plan on coming multiple times, and we hope you do, you can acquire a season pass card. For this pass you will only need to sign a waiver once for the entire season. More information to come on how to obtain a Season Pass cards.

Shoes: Closed toe and thick soled shoes are required to enter our junkyard play area. In order to reduce risk of injury, rubber shoes (i.e. Crocs) and shoes with cut-outs (i.e. Keen sandals) and soft soled-shoes (i.e. Converse) are NOT permitted. If you have any questions regarding appropriate footwear please email us here.

Sun Protection: Hats, water and sunblock are encouraged.

You can find the ferry schedules here.

Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12pm-4pm, May 6th - October 1st

Cost: Free!

We want all kids to be able to play!

If you are able, there is a donation box at the entrance. You may also donate here. Your donations are what keeps us up and running. We appreciate whatever you can provide. More information about how we got here and how we can stay coming soon!


Large groups, such as birthday parties and organized visits need to be prearranged with play:groundNYC. If you would like to visit playground with a group of more than four children please visit our Private Events for information on scheduling a private party or session. We cannot accommodate visits from other summer day camps, sorry.

play:groundNYC reserves the right to ask children to leave if their behavior puts others in danger of physical or emotional harm.


From the Brooklyn Ferry turn right along the water. Take the second left turn and you will see play:ground on your right.

From the Manhattan Ferry walk up, turn left at the T junction. Once you pass the entrance to the Fort, turn right onto a path between houses and trees (Colonel’s Row). Walk straight until you reach play:ground.

Feel free to also explore the island, go on an adventure and find your own way to play:ground.


From Manhattan Ferry Terminal

From Brooklyn Ferry Terminal



Do you wish your school had more Free Play? Come join us at play:ground!

play:groundNYC will be hosting educational group visits on our Governors Island site for the months of May, June, September and October. If your school or group is interested in arranging a weekday visit please contact for pricing and availability.



Professional development at play:groundNYC looks a lot like play. Though, just like when the kids are here, there's some serious work to be done : )

We will provide your group with an introduction to playwork principles and underpinnings. Your team will learn about supporting and facilitating the play process, play cycles and risk benefit analysis, as well as how free play and loose parts impact children's development. The Playwork Primer by Penny Wilson will be read and discussed providing a brief history of adventure play and it’s contemporary role in an over mediated society. After instruction and’ll play! Your team will experience the power of play on our adventure playground. Finally, we will finish with the playwork practice of reflection, as well as brainstorm how to translate our environment into yours.

Please note that play:groundNYC is a not-for-profit that though the support of donations, grants and various programming is able to provide - FREE open to all - weekend adventure play.

The fee’s for Professional Development are as follows:

  • Up 15 ppl: Two hours $385
  • 16-30 ppl: Two hours $700

For more information contact


Parties goers will have run of the entire 50,000 sq-ft playground all to themselves. To ensure a fun and safe event, play:groundNYC playworkers will be on site at all times. Along with time to play, there will be time to eat. We can provide cups, plates, utensils and tablecloths for you to use with any food and/or cake that you bring onto the island. In addition the birthday child will receive a play:ground tee shirt.

Some things to know:

  • play:groundNYC does not have any refrigeration or kitchen for preparing or storing food. Please plan on bringing things that will keep in the potential heat or bring your own cooler.
    *All persons entering play:groundNYC will need a signed waiver. For children a waiver can only be signed by their legal guardian(s). It is suggested the party host email all guests with a link to the waiver, then collect signed waivers prior to their scheduled party. The party host can then hand in all the signed waivers at once for quick entry onto the playground.
  • All party goers need to come with closed toe shoes, and hard soled shoes are strongly recommended. In order to reduce risk of injury, rubber shoes (i.e. Crocs) and shoes with cut-outs (i.e. Keen sandals) and soft soled-shoes (i.e. Converse) are NOT permitted. If you have any questions regarding appropriate footwear please email us here.
  • Parties can be scheduled in July and August from 10:15am - 12pm or 4:15pm- 6pm on weekends and starting at 3pm on weekdays (during summer camp weeks). For birthday parties and special events in September please email us for available time slots. Parties are approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes on the play:ground site. Their is no setup or clean-up required.

Prices for Birthday Parties and Private Event

Up to 8 kids:
First two hours: $250
Each additional hour: $45

9-20 kids:
First two hours: $425
Each additional hour: $60

21-30 kids:
First two hours: $550
Each additional hour: $90

For more information contact


Coming soon