Best spot for pickup basketball for kids (2008)

The North Meadow Recreation Center

The North Meadow Recreation Center is a little-known spot tucked into a small rise about halfway into Central Park nearest to 97th Street. Next to a small brick building once used as stables are three kid-sized courts, perfect for any aspiring McGradys, Yaos, and Steve Nashes to hone their hoop skills without having to run the full 90 feet of a regulation court. Unlike most city courts, the hoops actually have string nets. And, best of all, the courts aren't mobbed by weekend warriors trying to recover their glory days and bickering over the score. The center also sports a mean handball area and a small snack bar. And the center offers other programs, like rock climbing (indoor and out), aerobics, and low-cost activities for kids. Most days it's open until 6 p.m., a bit later during the summer.


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