Pot of gold: Sunset Park’s Rainbow Playground debuts $1.6M makeover

kid at rainbow playground
Rainbow Playground in Sunset Park has reopened after a $1.6 million renovation.
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Sunset Park’s Rainbow Playground is living up to its name once again after a full $1.6 million renovation.

The well-loved Sixth Avenue playground received its name from a local contest after it was refurbished in the 1970s, but had lost some of its luster in the half-century since then. 

rainbow playground ribbon-cutting
The renovated playground features new equipment and a larger play space. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

But just in time for the warmer weather, the playground debuted with a new look and new amenities: a larger play area, new equipment, and a spray shower to help New Yorkers of all ages cool down on hot summer days.

One new piece of equipment is particularly fitting: an interactive rainbow Yalp Sona arch. The first of its kind in a New York City playground, the arch is outfitted with speakers and motion sensors and interactive games like dance contests, races, and more. 

In a statement, Parks Department commissioner Sue Donoghue said the Rainbow Playground is a space where “diverse communities come together and form something harmonious and beautiful,” and was glad it was once again living up to its name.

“Making our public spaces engaging and accessible is a top priority for us at Parks, and it is especially important in neighborhoods like Sunset Park, where greenspace is at a premium,” Donoghue said. “I am so pleased that we could redesign this playground to give the community more space to play and connect, and I thank our partners in the City Council for their generous support.”  

yalp sona arch
The interactive Yalp Sona arch at Rainbow Playground. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

The playground now features a climbing structure, a playhouse, and “tot tables” for the littlest park-goers, as well as painted games on the ground across the playground.

“As a mother of two young girls, I understand our parks are crucial to the development of our children and provide essential spaces for our families and community members to flourish,” said local Council Member Susan Zhuang in a statement. “It is a joy to be here to celebrate the opening of Rainbow Playground.”

new structure at rainbow playground
The space was outfitted with new seating and trees as well as play equipment. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

In addition to the spray shower, the Parks Department also installed new seating, shade trees, and a drinking fountain so Brooklynites can relax and cool off at the park. 

Rainbow Playground was the second local play space to reopen with a makeover in southern Brooklyn this spring: last month, officials cut the ribbon on the newly-redone playground at John J. Carty Park in Bay Ridge