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Irate moms hit out at fitness fanatics working out in their kids’ playgrounds

It’s the battle of the monkey bars.

Fed up moms in New York City have had enough of fitness freaks using kids’ playgrounds as makeshift gyms now that workout facilities are operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19.

They’ve labeled the sweaty musclemen — and women — “gross” and “selfish” for increasingly monopolizing equipment designed for toddlers.

According to parents, some don’t wear masks and could pose a health hazard during the pandemic.

“It’s unfair on the children,” said mom of one Ashley Ann Capone, of Astoria Heights, Queens, who regularly visits her neighborhood playground, Sean’s Place, on 38th Street. “They can feel intimidated by them and can’t play properly because of their presence.”

A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.
A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

While it’s mostly individuals exercising on their own, a growing number of personal trainers are bringing their clients within the playgrounds.

“My friend recently spotted a trainer with half-a-dozen clients in tow,” added Capone, 35. “They took up half of the available space with little regard for anyone else.

“They use the monkey bars a lot, which poses the danger for little kiddos being kicked in the face.”

The makeup artist and beauty activist is particularly concerned because her 2-year-old daughter, Bridget, is autistic. She loves using playgrounds like Sean’s Place for sensory input and socializing with other tots.

“Being outside in a safe environment is important for all children, but especially those with special needs,” said Capone.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld, 39, another Astoria mom, cited rules imposed by New York City Parks that only permit adults in playgrounds who are accompanied by a child under the age of 12.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld
Michelle Slonim RosenfeldTamara Beckwith/New York Post

“Perhaps they should start putting up signs,” suggested the author and comedienne, drolly adding: “Playgrounds are already filled with tears and dirty diapers. We don’t need to add sweaty armpits.”

The ick factor was also addressed by mom of two Annie, who asked for her last name to be withheld for professional reasons. She described buffed-up men running shirtless through the sprinklers at Hoyt Playground to cool off between workouts.

“It was gross,” she said. “There are plenty of other places to exercise so I can’t understand it.

“It’s selfish.”

A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.
A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

The issue was acknowledged by Anessa Hodgson, press officer for NYC Parks, who said city playgrounds and parks “have seen an increase in traffic for exercise” given the closures of indoor gyms over the past seven months.

“For many New Yorkers during the public health crisis, they have become their gym, their yoga studio and a space for active and passive recreation,” she added. “While it may appear that more adults are using our playgrounds for exercise, this has long been a trend and we ask that they are courteous and considerate to others.”

Her words are little comfort to Heather Timiraos, 43, who moved to Queens from

Manhattan Beach Playgrounds, Fitness Stations Open; Polliwog Not

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — Parents, caretakers, and kids got great news the other day when the Manhattan Beach City Council directed city staff to reopen all playgrounds and fitness stations that had been closed due to COVID-19. Recreation and Parks Director Mark Leyman confirmed with Manhattan Beach Patch Thursday that all but Polliwog Park play areas would reopen to the public by end of day Thursday and that his department was working with Public Works to establish cleaning protocols for the equipment and the frequency of those cleanings.

Leyman noted that Polliwog Park is not reopening its playground equipment areas since both upper and lower areas are scheduled for repair work. “Specifically, the surfacing needs to be replaced on the upper playground, and as you may have heard, the lower playground equipment and surfacing is a current capital project which should be completed by summer 2021,” he said. He noted that the upper playground surfacing replacement “is also part of the lower playground capital project, however, we are hoping to have this completed in the upcoming months.”

The outdoor playgrounds and fitness stations now open are

  • Live Oak Park Tot Lot

  • Live Oak Park north end playground

  • Sand Dune Park

  • Marine Avenue Park

  • Larsson Street Parkette

  • 8th Street Parkette

  • Manhattan Village

  • Manhattan Heights (open for limited hours)

  • Veteran’s Parkway’s Mariposa Fitness Station

  • The Strand Fitness Station at 26th Street

  • Polliwog Park upper level swings, and

  • Polliwog Park Fitness Station.

Signs at each playground and fitness stations location will inform the community they need to

  • wear face coverings

  • socially distance at least 6 feet from non-household members

  • wash hands frequently

  • limit equipment to 30 minutes of use

  • stay home if not feeling well, and

  • no food and beverages on the play or fitness equipment.

Each area has also a maximum allowed capacity to ensure social distancing can take place.

This article originally appeared on the Manhattan Beach Patch

Source Article

Seattle Parks reopens playgrounds, fitness equipment, but kids will have to wait their turn


For more coverage, visit our complete coronavirus section here.

Good news for those with stir-crazy kids: Seattle Parks and Recreation is reopening 150 outdoor play areas to the public with new safety guidelines Tuesday.

The play areas closed in March when the novel coronavirus first hit the region as they were considered “high touch” areas that could easily spread the virus. But with new research showing that the virus is unlikely to spread through surfaces, the city’s parks have gotten the green light to reopen with new rules in place to limit transmission.


To keep swings, climbers and slides safe, play equipment will be limited to five or fewer children at any one time. In accordance with the statewide mask mandate, all children above the age of two will be required to wear a mask although there are some exceptions.



To maintain social distancing and occupancy requirements, the department is asking parents to visit parks at less busy times and only stay for 30 minutes or less to give others the opportunity to play. Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson Park are some of the more popular play areas in the city and may be busier during weekends.


“We are all in this together, so kindly remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the play area gets too crowded,” Seattle Parks wrote in its blog. “We cannot allow play areas to be places where COVID-19 is spread, so we need folks to use these spaces safely.”

Cal Anderson’s playground will remain closed as the park has not officially reopened in the wake of summer protests.


Those who have canceled their gym membership in the past months are also in luck as outdoor fitness equipment at all Seattle parks reopened Tuesday. The equipment follows similar guidelines to play areas, including limiting use to five or fewer people at any one time and requiring masks.

The department also emphasized that play areas and fitness equipment are not regularly sanitized or cleaned and all users should wash or sanitize hands before and