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NJ Playgrounds

Ponderosa Farm, Scotch Plains NJ

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Maureen for submitting this review of a brand new park in Scotch Plains that includes a water playground!! Maureen will be adding a few more pictures once there is some nicer weather! For her submission Maureen earns 2 passes to IMAGINE THAT!!! Children’s Museum in Florham Park, NJ. If you want to earn tickets to Imagine That!!!, click here to find out more about our Roving Reporter Promotion.

Ponderosa farm (located on 1600 Cooper Road, Scotch Plains NJ) is a beautiful 23-acre park (opened June 2012) has two large playgrounds (one for older kids and one for younger kids). There are swings, rock climbing walls, multiple slides, tunnels and rope climbing sculptures. My three year old loved the ‘big boy’ playground – climbing up the rock walls and going down the tunnel slides. He walked across the safe and secure rope walk too. My one year old daughter enjoyed the swing but I imagine we will be back very soon for her to explore the ‘little ones’ playground. This playground is great for one and two year olds… and they can feel more secure being away from the big kids. In the middle of all the playgrounds is a large water playground. All of this sits on a very soft and colorful turf.

In addition, there are two soccer/multi-use fields, walking path, picnic tables and public restrooms. The landscaping is beautiful and the windy path into the playground area has beautiful lamp posts.

Tell us about the playground equipment:

Recommended Ages: Great for all ages – One playground for 3-12 year olds and a child playground for 1-3 year olds
Climbing: Rope monument, Rock climbing walls, monkey bars
Playthings: Spinning puzzles, tunnels, farm “castles”
Slides: Toddler slides
Swings: Big kid, bucket swings and swings for disabled
Parking: Larger parking near the playground area
Picnicking: Picnic tables scattered
Bathrooms: Large indoor bathrooms right next to the playground
Handicap Accessibility: yes

Sports Fields: 2 soccer fields
Walking Paths: Nicely paved walking paths

Other Cool Stuff: water playground

SPRAYGROUND HOURS (from 2013, currently confirming for 2014) 11am-7pm (approximately) according to Union County Parks. 

Make a Day of It: Town of Westfield is 1 mile away – walk around town and go shopping, for pizza and ice-cream. It is a very family-friendly town. There is a Trader Joe’s too!


Update- Made a quick video of this newest attraction!

31 comments to Ponderosa Farm, Scotch Plains NJ

  • victoria

    is the water playground restricted to residents only?

  • Laurie

    The whole playground (including the water part) is open to the public. I wonder when the water will be turned on?

  • Laura E.

    The water is turned on! It is on a motion sensor and shoots up water into spouts (kind of like a sprinkler). My 2 kids, aged 6 and 2 went there today and the kids had so much fun! There is a lot to do and the layout of the park is wonderful. There is a huge grassy area that you could have lunch on a blanket. I will definitely be returning! My kids absolutely loved it!!! :)

  • lorraine

    is there any fee? can you go on weekends?

  • admin

    no fee!!! it’s free. yes weekends too :)

  • Sarah

    Wow this looks great and there’s no fee! Finally a place locally to take our kids on hot days to cool off without going broke.
    Thanks for posting this. I will be checking it out soon.

  • Jennifer

    My boss told me about this new park and I am definately going to take my almost 5 and almost 3 year to the park, they will love it.

  • Brenda

    Went here today with the kids and they all loved it, from the 4 year old up to the 12 year old. Great shady areas to sit and the kids loved the water feature and the playgrounds. I recommend going early in the day, it got very crowded by 2pm.

  • Shweta

    We visited last weekend, amazing playground…my 5 years old son enjoyed water founatin alot..we will go frequently.If your kid is below 3 then s/he may not enojy it.

  • Kristin

    We went Saturday and Sunday and we’re praying for sun to go back. My 6,5, and 3 year old love it there. The playground is big enough that kids aren’t on top of each other but small enough they can go explore and you don’t have to constantly be on top of them. Just bring your own chair/blanket because there are a few picnic tables but not many and they are set kind of far back from the playground. Also, remember to bring some money they have many ice cream trucks that pull up and park there.

  • we went this past saturday and we love it, the good thing about it is free

  • J.G.

    This is a beautiful park! My only complaint is that there is nothing shading the playground. I went today with my kids and I think I was only there for about 20 minutes. It was so hot! The slides, swings, monkey bars, and everything else was so hot that my kids couldn’t go on them. The only thing they were able to do was walk around and get wet. My 4 year old has autism and was afraid to get wet. All he did was walk around. He wanted to go on the slide and the monkey bars, but I had to keep telling him that he couldn’t. I ended up leaving early because I was afraid that he was going to pass out. If they can do something about shading the playground it will be perfect, but until then I don’t think I’ll be going back.

  • cheri L

    hours of ponderosa park please


    beautiful park. wish it had more shade though. was super hot when we went. i ended up getting wet with my kids, but it was well worth it. will return 4 sure and pack a picnic lunch. swimsuit 4 me next time. lol

  • michelle

    THanks for the review! This is the only place where i found good info on this new park, along with pics and accurate info on the spary area.
    thanks again!

  • Donna

    Really wish someone would understand that playgrounds need shade! Otherwise this park is fabulous.

  • Mary

    Anyone have any idea when they will turn the water OFF? I’m hoping to take my son there Labor Day week as the local pools will all be closed.

  • Kathleen

    Are the Sprinklers still on?

  • Karen

    Yes, Can anyone tell me when the water is turned off for the summer?

  • Deepa

    Hi, I would like to know when the sparklers are starting this year and also tell me if we are allowed to arrange kids birthday party, if yes what is the process

  • Nikki

    The park is open. I called for info on having a party. It is on a 1st come, 1st served basis. No booking, just go early and set up before someone else does. Tents and grills are not allowed.

  • janette

    does anyone know if you would need to get permission or speak to anyone to have a birthday party here?

  • Heather

    Janette- I actually called the other day inquiring about having my daughter’s party there. You definitely can, with a few details: There are a few picnic benches that are first come first serve. Now that the park has become so popular, I wouldn’t be suprised if people get there super early to claim them on weekends. If they are taken, you can bring your own tables and chairs. They just don’t allow grills or tents. Only downside I see (besides having to lug tables and chairs) is you probably won’t be in the shade. What little there is, is covering the picnic tables.

  • Vanessa

    How early do you think that you should get their to reserve a covered table?

  • Jennifer

    This is one of the best playgrounds in the area. The only downside is there’s no shade over the playground equipment so it can get very hot on summer days. Fortunately there is the water feature for cooling off and some shade under the trees next to the playground. The picnic tables are in the shade so you can take a lunch break and cool off. There is also an ice cream truck parked at the playground during the summer months. Warning: This playground can get extremely crowded on summer days, especially on the weekends with parties, so keep a close eye on any little ones.

    Mara’s Cafe in nearby Fanwood is a great place for lunch, dinner or dessert.

  • Nikita

    They just turned the water on at 12 :)

  • rosario

    Is there any fee for birthday party .

  • Neelma

    can anyone advise what the parks hours of operation are? ( specifically the sprayground?)

  • jamila dixon

    What are the hours for the playground

  • Vicky Mayonnaise

    SPRAYGROUND HOURS (from 2013, currently confirming for 2014) 11am-7pm (approximately). Tonight they were open till 8pm.

    No fee for birthday parties – first come first serve for use of the picnic tables. No tents and no grills allowed.

    Went today for the first time with a 9m old and a 22m old. The 22m old loved it! The 9m old loved the swings :)

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