The Regatta Playground in West Orange opened in the summer of 2014 and is a stand alone feature of the South Mountain Recreation Complex. It is a magnificent playground, one of New Jersey’s best playgrounds!
10 Things to Know About Regatta Playground in West Orange New Jersey
As part of our challenge to write about 100 New Jersey playgrounds in 100 days we bring you the details about Regatta Playground, a playground in West Orange, New Jersey in Essex County.
Get to know Regatta Playground at the South Mountain Recreation Complex through our details, pictures, and video below. We’ve taken our 2018 Regatta Playground review with information, pictures, and a video and updated it for 2022 by reorganizing information for our readers. Some details may have changed since our last visit.
Where is Regatta Playground located?
The Regatta Playground is located at the South Mountain Recreation Complex at 9 Cherry Lane in West Orange. This West Orange playground is near Turtle Back Zoo. The park is part of the Essex County Park System.
What kind of playground equipment does the Regatta Playground have?
The diversity of features on a playground this size means there is plenty for everyone. We visited this West Orange playground on a busy afternoon with a packed parking lot and my children were not competing for any of the cool features available on the playground. The Regatta Playground has 2 playgrounds.
The large ship, called the Lion’s Pride, is the focal point of the large children’s playground. Its perimeter offers many climbing options as well as slides and stairs. The top level contains space to run while underneath there are beams and monkey bars.
The small children’s playground features the sailboat playground, called the USS Essex First, which also includes slides and a mini rock wall. Surrounding and in between are balance beams, rock walls, spinners, a seesaw in the shape of a dragonfly, and seating.
From the rubber ground to the Lion’s Pride to the USS Essex First to the ample seating, Regatta Playground was a well-thought-out design.
Watch our video tour of Regatta Playground below.
Are there swings?
Regatta Playground offers a multitude of swings: traditional swings, baby swings, and accessible swings.
Are there slides?
The Lion’s Pride playground equipment features 4 slides. The toddler playground also has 4 slides.
What special features does the playground offer?
The Lion’s Pride playground features
- Top Level
- Telescopes on both sides of the ship
- Large rock wall
- Several other climbing structures
- Lower Level
- Monkey bars
- Two large rock structures (literally shaped like rocks)
- Each structure contains two rock walls framing what looks like a spider web
- Balance beam
- The balance beam looks like a horizontal ladder with a rope overhanging for additional support
- Framing the balance beam are multiple mushrooms on one side and tree stumps on the other
- Musical Stand
- Multiple drums and rattles for children to explore
The second playground, a small toddler playground for ages 6-23 months has
- The main feature is a sailboat called USS Essex First
- Mini climbing structure
- Drum stand (two sets of drums)
- Log tunnel
- Playful forest
- Telephone in the shape of a flower
Other Regatta Playground equipment includes
- Dragonfly seesaw
- 3 spinning sticks
- Several balance beams
- Large spinner
- Adirondack chairs surrounding the playground
What kind of ground cover does the playground offer?
Both playgrounds have a soft rubber, wave-like, ground surface.
Is the playground at Regatta Playground accessible?
The main playground structures at Regatta playground are not wheelchair accessible. There are accessible swings. Some playground features are accessible.
Is there shade available at the Regatta Playground?
The Regatta Playground offers limited shade under the pavilion and with trees along the perimeter of the playground. Kids can also get out of the sun by playing on the lower level of Lion’s Pride.
Where is parking for the Regatta Playground?
Free parking for the Regatta Playground and the South Mountain Recreation Complex is available across the street from the playground.
Signage to the playground was easy to find directing visitors from the parking lot.
Are there restrooms at the Regatta Playground?
The Regatta Playground has restrooms located at the South Mountain Recreation Complex, a short walk from the playground.
What else is there to do at South Mountain Recreation Complex?
The Regatta Playground adds to the diverse options available at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. Located near the Essex County Paddle Boats, Safari Miniature Golf, and the Turtle Back Zoo, it offers families the option to couple the visit with another day trip to West Orange New Jersey. At the same time, it is such an outstanding playground that it can be a stand-alone trip.
Are there walking trails?
The five minute walk from parking put us on a beautiful path which included a paddle awning, passing Adirondack chairs overlooking the water, and meticulous landscaping. It was a pleasant walk.
There is a 1.7-mile reservoir walking path to and from the Regatta Playground as well as around the lake.
Are there fields or courts for sports?
We did not see any fields during our visit to the Regatta Playground at the South Mountain Recreation Complex.
Bonus information we want you to know about Regatta Playground
The Regatta Playground also goes by these park names:
- South Mountain Recreation Complex playground
- Lion’s Pride playground
- Regatta Park
Regatta Playground hours
For the Regatta Playground hours visit the Essex County Parks website.
Regatta Playground tables and pavilions
Tables and chairs in the shape of mushrooms are spread throughout the playground. In the South Mountain Recreation Complex, near the bathrooms, are a number of tables covered by a pavilion as well. Additional seating is available along the walkways. If you brought a lunchbox, then you have many options for where to sit and eat.
The design of Regatta Playground encourages visitors to stay. The seating options are wonderful. Brightly colored Adirondack chairs surround the entire playground. If you want to bring a book and relax as the kids play, then you have someplace to sit comfortably.
On the path to the playground are more Adirondack chairs in case you want to take a break overlooking the water. There was a pavilion that had picnic tables. Lastly, there are picnic tables by the parking lot. It feels as though the designers of the Regatta Playground not only want people to visit but they want them to stay.
During the warmer months, the concession stand, at the South Mountain Recreation Complex, is open for snack and drink purchases.
Make sure to bring your camera as Regatta Playground does make for an amazing background for pictures. To see more pictures of Regatta Playground visit this photo album on Facebook.
Who do I contact about having a birthday party or event at Regatta Playground?
We provide these details about Regatta Playground as a service to our readers and the park. However, Jersey Family Fun is not directly involved with this park. To reserve Regatta Playground for a birthday party or private event, please contact them directly by calling (973)731-5800 or visiting their website.
Find more great playgrounds in New Jersey
Visit Essex County parks and playgrounds to learn more about playgrounds near this one. Visit our series on New Jersey Playgrounds and Parks to learn more about the great playgrounds across our state.