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Flatiron and Union Square Playgrounds Shower Kids With Heat Relief

By Claire Oliver | July 15, 2013 8:18am
 Kids cool off in Madison Square Park, Union Square, St. Vartan Park
Sprinklers for Kids
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FLATIRON — The sprinklers and spray showers in the East Side's public parks have opened for the summer season, offering kid-friendly heat relief that's fun, convenient and free.

Here are some of the best playground water features in Gramercy, Flatiron, Kips Bay and Union Square:

Madison Square Park, Madison Avenue and 26th Street

Madison Square Park's Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground contains one of the area's most colorful options for cooling off. Its spray shower area features several small bubblers and a spinning, water-spreading pinwheel.

"They have concerts here on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so it's a fun afterwards thing," said Rachael, a first-timer at the playground who was there with her daughter, Sadie, who is almost 2.

Union Square, Union Square West and 16th Street

Union Square's 15,000-square-foot playground, renovated in 2010, is spacious, easily accessible and offers a water feature with plenty of room for kids to play and parents to watch nearby, parents said on a recent hot afternoon.

Irmina, originally from Poland, brings her son Stanley to the playground at least once a month.

"He loves everything," she said. "The sand, the water — and it's near the [Barnes & Noble] bookstore."

St. Vartan Park, First Avenue and 35th Street

Located in Kips Bay on First Avenue between 35th and 36th streets, this tree-filled park provides a shady respite near several city hospitals. Kids can cool off in a sunken sprinkler area with a bubbling fountain in the middle and jets spraying from the sides.

Augustus St. Gaudens Playground, Second Avenue and 19th Street

Augustus St. Gaudens Playground, amid a concrete spread of swing sets and basketball courts, offers active kids a change to cool down with its shower-like spray fixture.