Battery Park City Esplanade
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:Battery Place and West Street (just west of Battery Park), Manhattan, NY
Hours:6 A.M. to 1 A.M. daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: At Battery Place and State Street; Robert F. Wagner Park; Winter Garden; The Solaire
Water/Snacks: Vendors throughout the park

This pristine, 1.2-mile park runs the length of Battery Park City along the Hudson River.

Enjoy fewer crowds along the Esplanade than in Battery Park.
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

Battery Park Esplanade is a 1.2-mile necklace of greenery that links a number of smaller parks, coves, harbors, and playgrounds along the edge of the Hudson River. It offers panoramic views of New Jersey’s shoreline, which composes the river’s western bank.

At the Esplanade’s southern entrance is Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, a blend of lawns and themed gardens. Visitors will first encounter the Hot Garden, which features flowers that bloom in yellows to reds. A little north is the Cool Garden, where blossoms are white, blue, and pink.

Continuing north along the esplanade, the South Cove has a boardwalk that leads pedestrians to a perch high atop a winding staircase. Farther along, West Thames Park includes community gardens and a destination playground. The restoration and reopening of this park in July 2010 was viewed as a local triumph following the damage the neighborhood sustained during the 9/11 attacks on the nearby World Trade Center buildings.

You will then pass through Rector Park; Monsignor John J. Kowsky Plaza, which has a small tot-lot playground; the Esplanade Plaza; and then the North Cove, which is a bustling marina area that will fascinate children who are in- terested in harbor activities. After the World Financial Center Plaza is the Irish Hunger Memorial, a miniature rural Irish landscape with remnants of a stone house and barren potato fields.

Nearing the north end of the esplanade is 2-acre Teardrop Park, which has both quiet lawns and a robust playground. Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, at the esplanade’s northern tip, also contains a destination playground with a series of trampolines and a small merry-go-round that children can power by pedaling. Remember: The esplanade is less crowded and better for biking than Battery Park (Trip 23).

Plan B:

To add some history to your outdoor adventure, consider Battery Park (Trip 23), Liberty Island (Trip 70), Governors Island (Trip 72), and Ellis Island (Trip 71).


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