Pleasant Ridge’s Best-Kept Secret: The 1000 Hands Playground

During college, I got a babysitting job in Pleasant Ridge — an urban suburb located a few miles north up Montgomery Road from Xavier. I fell in love with “The Ridge:” its walkability, bustling downtown and quaint houses. I loved Pleasant Ridge so much, in fact, that my husband and I bought our first house there: a two-bedroom, 80-year-old cape cod located a 5-minute walk from the downtown area, and, what I believe to be Pleasant Ridge’s best-kept secret: the 1000 Hands Playground.


Located at the Rec Center, this recently (in 2013) revamped playground is, in my opinion, one of the best and most unique in the city. If you don’t know, “1000 Hands” playgrounds are just that: community playgrounds built by hundreds (even thousands!) of volunteer hands. Pleasant Ridge’s playground was built in 2000 by more than 3,000 volunteers — then renovated in 2013 to be even better and safer. (In fact, this Cincinnati Recreation Commission playground was also expanded to include a water-park worthy spray ground.)

For more 1,000 Hands Playground fun in Cincinnati, check out Sawyer Point Playground!

But enough about that — let’s talk about the playground! From swings (infant, big kid and tire) to bridges, fairy tale castles to chomping crocodile slides, this playground is tons of fun. Here are some highlights:

Larger-than-Life Xylophones

1000 Hands Xylophone
What kid doesn’t love banging on stuff?

Ropes, Beams and Bridges

1000 Hands bridges collage
My kids love the various ropes, balance beams and bridges — these areas are really fun for kids to work on their coordination and balance!


The Crocodile Slide

1000 Hands Crocodile
This is just plain fun! My kids especially love being chased around by Mommy Crocodile. Chomp!

The See-Saw

1000 Hands See Saw
No kid can resist a see-saw — and this bouncy, springy see-saw is a blast!

1,000 Steps!

1000 Hands Steps
Maybe that’s an overstatement, but this playground boasts lots of steps and climbable structures. Kids will have a blast exploring and navigating. Most of these structures are connected, too, which makes for a fun challenge! (Can your kids make it from one to the next without touching the ground?)

As we get into fall, definitely make a point of checking out this Hidden Gem! My tip? Go on a Monday afternoon — the farmer’s market is located just across the street in the Nativity parking lot!

Pleasant Ridge’s 1000 Hands Playground is located at 5919 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45213.

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