This 5-acre public park, located along the East River in Williamsburg has it all. It was built on the site of the former Domino Sugar Refinery, and is a tribute to the diverse generations of Domino workers and their families from the neighborhood. The tribute is reflected in the creative and colorful sugar factory-themed playground, the bright colors everywhere you look, the looming historic Refinery building in the background, and the cool features throughout the park that preserve the original structures of the refinery.
The park is about a 10 minute walk from the Bedford Street L train station, but it was 15 for us because we made a pit stop at the MASSIVE Whole Foods on Bedford Street on the way there. Upon arrival, we were in awe of the expansive river and skyline views everywhere we looked. There were wide paved walkways, patches of grass to lounge about, loads of benches to sit on, and an elevated walkway. We ran over to the playground to discover the most unique playground structure we have ever seen.
Little climbers will delight in the tunnels, webs, nets, stairs, ladders, and tubes that connect the different sections of this giant contraption, which is modeled after a sugar factory. Curious G could have easily spent at least an hour climbing, hanging, sliding, and exploring but lunchtime hunger beckoned us over to Tacocina. As a side note, you will have to scale a few nets and ladders yourself if you want to keep a close eye on your kids because some parts of this play structure are partially covered (but still well ventilated).
Tacocina is right next to the playground. It is Union Square Hospitality's taco stand that serves snacks, ice cream, cocktails, beer and wine, in addition to tacos served on freshly pressed tortillas. We were very taken by the vibrant atmosphere. Even the gravel on the ground adheres to the color scheme. Curious G proceeded to sit down and shovel some up after we entered the seating area, and noticed some multi-hued pieces which she mistook for chalk. I will definitely return to Tacocina for the fun scene and grab a few beers or Micheladas to go with some chips and ice cream. But, I probably would not order what we had today (chips and guac, pork and mango taco, vegetables with carrot crema).
The Fountain and Seating Steps were the most exciting part of the park for Curious G.
The pyramid of seating steps are made from wood reclaimed from the Refinery and provided the best space for Curious G to “stage a show”, as she likes to do. The 88 individually programmed water jets light up intermittently and create the most delightful sprinkler for kids and adults. When the water is turned off, the park will host events and performances in this magical space.
Next to the Fountain and Seating Steps we found the Fog Bridge, which features a set of misters that envelope anyone in the vicinity and create a dramatic cloud around the path to the towering syrup tanks.
We walked back to the entrance of the park via the Elevated Walkway. Next time, when we have more time to spend here, we will visit the volleyball courts and bocce ball area as well.
I would have strolled Curious G into slumber after we left the park, and browsed some of the shops in the neighborhood while she napped, but we had to head back for other plans that we had made. The shopping and dining in Williamsburg would require at least one separate post, but Brooklyn Bowl is a fun option pre or post Domino Park. It is about a 15 minute walk from the park, and hosts Family Bowl on the weekends from noon-5:00 pm. This summer you can also check out the interactive pop-up experience, Dream Machine, which is less than a 5 minute walk from Brooklyn Bowl.