Kent Ave. between N. 7th and N. 10th
Not everyone will agree with me because it’s over grown, is adjacent to construction, and frankly, rather odd, but I find the playground at the East River State Park charming and strangely dreamy.
It’s like a faraway, mixed up childhood memory: abandoned tracks lead to a wooden child sized train, ancient looking ruins from jut up beside pint sized hidden bridges.
It’s especially special on overcast mornings when no one else is around and as for the construction, well, nothing could make a playground visit cooler to Van than the view of a real live digger.
As it’s nestled among a larger park, I didn’t even know about it until fairly recently. It’s a neighborhood gem and, selfishly, one I hope stays a bit hidden.