Improvements to the beachfront playground include an upgraded pavilion. (Courtesy Sea Isle City)

By Donald Wittkowski

When you put the words “beachfront” and “playground” together, what usually comes to mind?

An exclusive, oceanview hideaway where some hard-partying billionaire keeps his mansion and yacht, perhaps?

Well, in Sea Isle City, there’s no reason to let your imagination run wild. A beachfront playground is exactly that – a place where the kids can play next to the ocean.

Sea Isle’s 85th Street Playground is a popular beachfront spot for families in the Townsends Inlet section. Now, it’s about to get even better.

The city is giving it a nearly $55,000 facelift that will include new playground equipment, an upgraded pavilion, new picnic tables and new park benches.

“Because the playground is just a few steps from the sand, it makes the 85th Street beach very popular with children and their parents,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer said. “I am certain the new playground equipment will be put to good use this summer and for many summers to come.”

A lifeguard substation and public bathrooms also make the 85th Street beach a family-friendly location during the summer.

It is Sea Isle’s only beachfront playground. The city also has a playground at its Dealy Field athletic complex between 59th and 63rd streets and another playground on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Upgrades to 85th Street began over the winter with the design, purchase and installation of a new handicap-compliant playground equipment. The city is also building a new retaining wall at the site. Upgrades to the pavilion include new vinyl railings, posts and flooring.

The project is expected to be completed in April, according to the city’s website.

“Like all city improvement projects, the updated playground on 85th Street will benefit our entire community. It’s one more great reason for families to come to Sea Isle City,” Custer said.