Islip Marina Park
|The playground at Islip Marina in East Islip is a bit of a hidden treasure -- even from the marina the playground is out of sight. But if you venture over towards the town beach, you'll find a new playset with a lot to offer.|
The main drawback to the beach and playground at Islip Marina is the distance from parking. The entrance to the marina has a gatehouse that is manned during the summer season, but in our experience they are pretty lax about waving anyone through. There's a restaurant and softball fields there -- people come from all over. You'll want to park at the south end of the lot for the playground, near the fields and the beach. Then you have to walk over to the play area.
The playset here is new and in very good condition, especially for a waterfront location. This modern take on the classic see-saw was a big hit during our visit, although you will have to give smaller kids a boost (it's pretty high off the ground). The play surface here is all beach sand that continues right on to the water. There are public restrooms, and the aforementioned restaurant is a casual affair that is open in-season.
There are two banks of swings at the Islip Marina Park, with four standard swings and four toddler swings. There is plenty of capacity, and while the chains are bare the swings are in good condition. The swings location gives kids a good view of the happenings at the Town of Islip shellfish hatchery. It's not open to the public, but you can see the large beds and we even got to watch a batch get "planted" off the beach while playing at the playground.
The playset itself is really well-designed. There are multiple challenging climbs, including a pair of rock walls, wire ladders, lilypad steps and ground level stairs. The high platform here features one of those three-section slides that actually works (we've seen nearly a dozen that are roped off). It is a doozy -- steep and fast. One other wavy slide descends from the opposite end for those kids who get to the top of the big one and have second thoughts.
Another highlight is the appearance of a playground classic, the bottle-shaped monkey bars. These are practically nonexistent on Long Island these days, but at Islip Marina Park there is a bright new one that can be scaled from the outside or the inside.
The water views from the playground are good, although it suffers a bit from the seaweed excess you find on many Great South Bay beaches. There is, however, an unparalleled view of the Robert Moses bridge and the lighthouse on Fire Island. There is also a pier and a jetty to explore, not to mention the large marina with a myriad of boats to watch. This playground is a perfect stop if you're planning a visit to the nearby South Shore Nature Center.
Islip Marina ParkFind it with Google Maps
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