These Cities Have the Best Playgrounds in America, Report Says

Discover the insights from a recent report that compares 430 major US cities, unveiling the top 10 locales celebrated for their safe, easily accessible and high-quality playgrounds.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated April 16, 2024
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As temperatures warm up and National Playground Safety Week approaches (April 22), kids across America head outside for some springtime weather and fun. But some locales offer a few more places to play than others. A new study from LawnStarter sought to find out which cities provide the best places for little ones to get outside.

The report compared over 430 of the biggest US cities based on three categories. Researchers considered access based on the number of playgrounds; quality based on the average visitor ratings; and safety based on local crime rates.

Researchers then calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category and overall. A city’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories with the highest overall score ranked as No. 1.

The top 10 best cities for children’s playgrounds, based on the report are:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Cambridge, MA
  3. Somerville, MA
  4. Chicago, IL
  5. San Francisco, CA
  6. New Rochelle, NY
  7. Boston, MA
  8. Waukegan, IL
  9. Quincy, MA
  10. Jersey City, NJ

New York City takes home first place with more playgrounds than any other city. Many of the over 1,900 play spaces get extra points for walkability or public transit accessibility. Parents also love the creative and functional design of the play spaces.

Two Massachusetts cities, Cambridge and Somerville, take home second and third place, respectively, for their top-rated playgrounds and high safety scores. Rounding out the top five are two other big cities, Chicago and San Francisco, which, like New York, earn top marks for accessibility.

Overall, two states stood out in rankings: California boasts 34 cities in the top 100, and nearly all Massachusetts cities finished in the top 100, except for Brockton (No. 342) and Springfield (No. 350), where playgrounds have low visitor ratings. While less populous suburbs like New Rochelle, NY (No. 6), Waukegan, IL (No. 8) and Johns Creek, GA (No. 24) have fewer playgrounds to choose from when compared with New York, Chicago and Atlanta (No. 220) they scored near the top thanks to their top-rated playgrounds and safe communities.

To view the full report and see where your city falls, check out

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