Work, love, donations, and volunteer all poured in together to create the magnificent, accessible, and inclusive Field of Dreams Playground in Toms River, New Jersey.
Field of Dreams Toms River is a newly opened 3 1/2-half-acre recreational complex with a mission to encourage and engage the nearby communities, with a focus on those with special needs, in physical and social activity by building a community complex to provide opportunities for special needs individuals of all ages and abilities to engage, explore and socialize together.
10 Things to Know About Field of Dreams Playground in Toms River NJ
As part of our challenge to write about 100 New Jersey playgrounds in 100 days we bring you the details about Field of Dreams Playground, a playground in Toms River NJ.
Where is Field of Dreams Playground located?
The park is located at 1511 North Bay Avenue in Toms River, New Jersey. It sits behind a community playground. The Toms River Field of Dreams is managed by its own Board of Directors.
Please note that this is a gated playground reserved for members only. The playground gates can only be accessed using a key fob system that members are provided access to.
How do I join the Field of Dreams in Toms River?
Membership is free to anyone with special needs. To become a member, pre-register on the Field of Dreams website https://rwjbhfieldofdreams.com/member-registration.
Within 24-48 hours of pre-registering online, you will receive an email with instructions on how to complete your membership. This includes visiting the park during staffed hours with your special needs loved one, an IEP or doctor’s note clearly stating their diagnosis, and a signed copy of the contract (included in the email). Special note Jersey Family Fun is not involved in the membership process or the management of the park.
What kind of playground equipment does the Field of Dreams Playground have?
This space-themed inclusive and accessible playground in Toms River, Ocean County offers ALL children multiple ways to play. It may start with slides, swings, and monkey bars, but it doesn’t end there.
Are there swings?
There are four swing structures. The largest swing structure has 4 traditional swings, 4 accessible swings, and 2 two-person swings.
There is one swing structure with 2 web/flying saucer-type swings.
There are two separate swing structures that have a long bench swing.
Are there slides?
We counted 7 slides in all during our visit. All of the slides are straight and all are open. First, as part of the playground equipment, there is a slide with rollers.
There are 3 straight slides close together at the front of the playground equipment.
On the other side of the front of the playground is a side-by-side slide.
Between the moon crater climbing hill are two slides that seem to be built into the hill.
What special features does the playground offer?
There are so many special features. We have a tunnel towards the back of the hill and an accessible spinner.
There’s a 4-person see-saw.
There are monkey bars and climbing ladders.
Accessible Zip Line
There’s not one but TWO zip lines, side by side. One has a flat disc for children to sit on as they zip down the line. The other has an accessible chair for zipping. At Field of Dreams Tom River, every child has the chance to experience a zip line and race against their friend.
From the manufacturer’s website, “Sona Arch is a smart arch that will ask you if you want to play a game immediately as you step underneath it! You can select from a library of games at the touch of a button. The arch is equipped with audio-guided instructions and motion detection that easily will register kids dancing and playing underneath.”
Walk, climb, or roll to the moon through Gavin’s Galaxy
Between two of the playground structures is a padded hill that resembles the moon’s surface. Guests can climb up the moon craters or roll across the ramp. They can even moon roll along a padded pathway. Once at the top there’s a circular trampoline. Bounce to show you’ve reached the moon.
Musical Sensory Play
Towards the right side of the playground is a musical sensory play area with several large musical instruments that can be played.
Quiet Sensory-Free Space
Towards the outer edge of the space, behind the baseball field, and between two gardens is a quiet and sensory-free space for guests. It’s closed in on two sides with rock walls that can act as a noise barrier as well as block out views of the baseball field, gardens, and playground equipment. It faces the trees at the back of the park.
What kind of ground cover does the playground have?
The ground surface is all rubber padding in different colors.
Is the playground at Field of Dreams Playground accessible?
The playground is absolutely accessible. As the founders have said, “Our hope is to increase awareness of our special needs community and provide an inclusive environment in which they can play and interact together.”
Is there shade available at the Field of Dreams Playground?
Yes, there are awnings stretched out over several parts of the playground equipment. There is a large pavilion. The quiet space also has a large awning so that it is completely shaded from the sun.
Where is parking for the Field of Dreams Playground?
The playground shares a large parking lot with Toms River Youth Programs. There are several dedicated handicap parking spaces.
Are there restrooms at Field of Dreams Playground?
There is a male and female restroom located between the playground and the pavilion. They are accessed using the same key fob system that visitors use to enter the playground.
Both bathrooms are air-conditioned and outfitted with larger changing tables that have a hydraulic lift and can hold up to 400 pounds.
What else is there to do at Field of Dreams Playground?
In addition to the playground at Field of Dreams Playground, there are additional amenities available for visitors.
Are there walking trails?
There are some walking paths. Paths are double-wide to fit two power chairs at the same time. There are also several benches along nearly every side of the park and tables behind the swings and basketball court.
Are there fields or courts for sports?
Sports and therapy have no barriers at the Field of Dreams in Toms River. One of my favorite parts was the wheelchair-accessible basketball court.
In front of the basketball court was a strip of padding for Jenga, Connect 4, or other games.
As you make your way towards the back of the complex there is a wheelchair-accessible 9-hole mini-golf course.
There is also a baseball field.
The Field of Dreams offers 3 different therapy stations located around the baseball diamond.
Last but not least there were three different community gardens. One is located to the right of the pavilion. The other two are behind the mini golf course and near the baseball field.
Bonus information we want you to know about the Toms River Field of Dreams Playground
The Field of Dreams was founder Kane’s effort to level the playing field for people like his son, Gavin, who was seriously injured in a car accident at 19 months old. Gavin is now a delightful fourth grader who loves to play sports. You can learn more about their personal story in this NJ Monthly feature.
Visit GoFundMe.com/TRFOD to help donate and spread the word about the Toms River Field of Dreams.
Who do I contact about having a birthday party or event at Field of Dreams Playground?
We provide these details about Field of Dreams Playground as a service to our readers and the park. However, Jersey Family Fun is not directly involved with this park. To reserve Field of Dreams Playground for a birthday party or private event, please contact them directly through a contact form on their website or direct message on their Facebook page.