Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vesuvio Playground

Vesuvio Playground, formerly known as Thompson Playground, takes its name from the popular Italian bakery on nearby Prince Street. The park was founded in 1920 and renovated a few times during its history. Most recently in the mid-1980s NYC Parks department redesigned the Playground to redefine the athletic and play areas for different age groups. The west side of the park was made into a children's play area with new climbing equipment, swings, benches and tables, and a new play unit was constructed near the spray shower area. The handball and basketball courts were reconstructed, and the low brick walls were extended to delineate courts from tot areas. The granite block walkway along Thompson Street was also reconstructed and extended. In addition, decorative squares of granite block pavement were placed throughout the park.

An in-ground pool - 3 feet deep - is  perfect for small children.

I recently spent a beautiful summer day there with 7 children. We were in and out of the pool, playing tag on the playground, eating pizza at one of the picnic tables and splashing in the spray shower. 6 hours later, those 7 - ages 5 to 9 - left reluctantly, having enjoyed a wonderful day at a great facility.

One word of warning.... the pool 'guard' is beyond rigid in her employment of the rules, and there are many. There is no fee to use the pool - it is open to all. No swim caps required. Also, no pics of your children frolicking in the water - she'll yell at you....yikes!


  1. You are so generous in your characterization of the guard. She is downright nasty and should be removed from that job. I am aghast at some of the things that I have witnessed there.

  2. I should add that Vesuvio is a wonderful facility but could use a bit of upgrading in the playground area. Vesuvio is the volcano that is the compass of Napoli, of which there are little decorative glimpses of that in the playground.