StuyTown Is a Playground Paradise for Kids and Families
StuyTown Is a Playground Paradise for Kids and Families

Hello! I’m Kayla White, a StuyTown resident and family photographer at Kayla Rochelle photography. I used to tell anyone who would listen that we would live in Manhattan until we had kids, and then it was off the island for us. Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong! We’ve lived in Stuyvesant Town in the East Village of Manhattan for four years, and our daughter is now two.

We’ve had two full years to experience living in the city with first a baby and now a toddler, and the idea of living elsewhere has me terrified. The community here has embraced us, the families here have welcomed us, and it’s on these playground that we’ve met our friends and watched them all grow right alongside of us. We find so much support in this community, and the options for my daughter to explore the world outside our home is one of our favorite parts of living here.

This beautiful neighborhood at STPCV has numerous playgrounds right in the complex. When you live in an apartment, you need to take advantage of any and all opportunities outside of your home. For us, the local playgrounds have been one of those resources, and each have been used as an extension of our living room.

Train Playground

(Photo Credit: Kayla White)

Playground 8 is located right off 1st Avenue and is a great playground for younger kids. I think that each playground has things to keep both younger and older kids happy and busy, but it’s the easy-to-climb stairs -- and the big splash pad that has kept my toddler entertained for full afternoons. I often find parents whose children are similar ages to mine at this playground and routinely watch my daughter make new friends here. The splash pad boasts structures that squirt water from above and below, and I love sitting on the benches and watching kids of all ages chase each other in and out of the spray.

Clock Tower Playground

The playground affectionately known as the ‘Clock Tower’ Playground is formally called Playground 12. This playground is located right across from the Oval Lawn, in the center of Stuyvesant Town. It has lots of room for the kids to run, a flat area perfect for playing catch or drawing with chalk, as well as a series of small houses and play structures kids love to play make believe in.

I have been served many cups of tea in those playhouses, and I have to say, sometimes that imaginary tea rivals any of the local coffee shop in the area.

The playgrounds in StuyTown are open year-round based on weather. When my daughter first started to walk in the winter and wanted to explore for hours, this is the playground we spent the most time at. We’d be bundled up against the cold, going up and down the slide from the minute she woke up to the minute she fell back to sleep.

Pirate Ship Playground

(Photo Credit: Kayla White)

It’s easy to guess why Playground 4 has been named the Pirate Ship playground by residents. Tucked just above Avenue C, this playground has a pirate ship play structure located just besides a large open area splash pad. Older children love this splash pad because there is so much room for free play.

All of the playgrounds at STPC have a rubber floor which provides fun shapes and designs for the kids and safety from slipping and protection against falls for the parents. When my daughter first started crawling, I liked to take her to this playground, so she could safely roam on the blue rubber ground. Each of the playgrounds also have swings for both babies and children. It became a weekly part of our routine to stop by the pirate ship for crawling exploration followed by an hour (or so it felt!) of swinging. Plus, when it was hot, we enjoy watching all the big kids run and play.

(Photo Credit: Kayla White)

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[Editor's Note: The playgrounds at PCVST are for residents only.]

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Author Bio: Kayla White is a NYC family and children’s photographer focused on capturing all of the important details of childhood. She lives at StuyTown with her husband, daughter, puppy and is a photographer to all 3. Find her at Kayla Rochelle photography, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.