Hands down the best playground under a bridge
While you wouldn’t typically think to look for a playground under a bridge, the 1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point is one playground you don’t want to miss. Located under the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, this steamboat-themed playground is not only great for kids of all ages, but was designed for kids of all abilities.
1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground
at Sawyer Point
1000 Hands Playground Sawyer Point Highlights
- Large, steamboat-themed playground located along the Ohio River front
- Built for children of all abilities and is wheelchair accessible
- Lots of shade due to its location under a bridge
- 8 swings, including an ADA swing and tire swing
- Has a rock wall with a cool mural of downtown
- Best for kids ages 2-12
1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground is located at Sawyer Point, along the Ohio River front. There is another, more well-known, 1000 Hands Playground located in Pleasant Ridge. This playground is located directly under the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge (aka the yellow “Big Mac Bridge”), between the sand volleyball court and Sawyer Point Park.
The playground is mostly fenced and is easily accessed by the main entrance across from the sand volleyball court. There is a second entrance along the side of the playground closest to the access road. The ground is solid surface throughout and the playground is built from composite wood. There are many different levels and interactive features throughout this park to keep kids of all ages busy for at least an hour or two. If you need a snack break, you can find plenty of picnic tables along the side of the playground closest to the volleyball court.
There is a lot to take in when you first enter 1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point. To the left are monkey bar-type features, and beyond that is a ramp that goes up and around to the back of the playground. To your right is a separate area with an interactive roads sand table and musical toys. Next is the first set of swings, then the little playhouse, second entrance, and another ramp leading to the back of the playground. In the center is a giant playground structure with many different tunnels, ramps, stairs, and slides.
Walk a little further in to see the main steamboat playground structure in all its glory. Steamboat touches can be found throughout the playground. Very fitting, I think, given the playground’s location next to the Ohio River.
The steamboat play structure is teeming with nooks and crannies to explore. It can be accessed by one of two playground ramps or the many different types of stairs and ladders throughout. There are two slides – one at each end of the playground. Some of the interactive features on the playground include a giant steamboat steering wheel and a tic-tac-toe board. One of my favorite features is the little rock wall with a mural of downtown Cincinnati.
There are 8 swings total at 1000 Hands Playground Sawyer Point. Four regular swings can be found not far from the main playground entrance. The other set of swings is in the back area of the playground. Here you will find two bucket seats, one ADA swing, and a tire swing.
The bathrooms are in their own little building located under the bridge but closer to the river. The doors to the individual bathrooms face the river (away from the playground), and are on their own little path. It’s about a minute walk from the playground to the bathrooms.
There are several parking lots along Pete Rose Way. The parking lot at Sawyer Point is closest to 1000 Hands Playground, but it does have a parking fee. Free parking is available further down, such as at International Friendship Park, but it’s a bit of a walk to the playground from there.
The not so greats
Not fully fenced. While 1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point is mostly fenced, it’s important to be aware that this playground is not completely fenced in. The main playground entrance (facing the sand volleyball court) does not have a gate, but there is a bit of an entryway that makes this spot more manageable.
The spot to be aware of is the secondary entrance along the side of the playground closest to the access road. This entrance is a bit deceiving because it doesn’t look like a way out at first glance, but you can exit the playground via the little playhouse and the ramp next to it. It exits out to the access road and then a parking lot.
Not the cleanest. While I wouldn’t consider any playground to be clean, 1000 Hands Playground is one of the least clean of the playgrounds we frequent. Although the ground is solid surface, this is not the playground I would take a crawling baby. To be clear, this playground is far from filthy, but we do sometimes find trash throughout and the whole area could use a good hose down. Because of it’s location under a bridge, it doesn’t receive a lot of rain that would normally wash away dirt, sand, pollen and the like that has built up on the playground.
No good vantage point. Because 1000 Hands Playground Sawyer Point is so big and has so many levels, it can be tricky to keep up with your kids as they run and play. This is not a playground where you can stand in one spot and have eyes on the little ones the entire time.
Overall, 1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point is one of the hidden gem playgrounds in Cincinnati. I love how it honors the city’s history with the steamboat-theme. This playground has so many areas to explore, yet is still accessible for kids of all abilities.
1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point is located at 801 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
BONUS: After working up a sweat at 1000 Hands Every Child’s Playground at Sawyer Point, head 5 minutes down the riverwalk to cool down at the Otto Armleder Memorial Aquatic Sprayground.