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Best sledding hills in New York City for families

Grab a sled and get out to these cool sledding hills in NYC. When it's snowy, there's nothing better!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to outdoor activities for kids in NYC

City life has its ups and downs, but when it comes to sledding, that's a good thing! We can't think of a better way to enjoy the beauty of New York in the snow than with a day on the slopes, so grab your toboggan and head to one of our favorite sledding hills in New York City. These spots are spread across all five boroughs, and many happen to be in the best NYC parks for families. On especially snowy days, check in to see if the parks department is lending equipment for free, and don't forget to cap the day with some warming hot chocolate!

Sledding hills in NYC

Central Park, Pilgrim Hill

The grande dame of NYC sledding institutions—and rightly so, with its perfect steepness and gentle denouement (that's sledspeak for a smooth finish). This spot gets crowded, so prepare to slalom around a few human obstacles. Enter at 72nd St and Fifth Ave (centralparknyc.org). Subway: 6 to 68th St.

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Central Park Cedar Hill

Thrill-seekers need not apply: A less-crowded alternative to Pilgrim Hill, Cedar makes a good starter slide for beginners. Fifth Ave between 76th and 79th Sts (centralparknyc.org). Subway: 6 to 77th St.

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East River Park

Though this long, narrow park isn't known for its steep tundra, it's a great option for downtown kiddos to get their sledding fix. Since it's located right on the river, parents can enjoy the scenic view while their tots play. Montgomery St to E 12th (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: F, J, M, Z to Essex St—Delancy St.

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Inwood Hill Park

While this spot is great for hiking and biking in the summertime, the expansive space and sloping terrain offer some nice sledding opportunities when the snow hits. Dyckman St at the Hudson River (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: A to Dyckman St.

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Morningside Park

This is where the Columbia crew hangs out, using dining hall trays, cardboard boxes and snowboards. Take a cue from the undergrads and tote along a household item to use as a makeshift (read: cheap) sled. Morningside Dr at 115th St (morningsidepark.org). Subway: B, C to 116th St.

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Riverside Park

There are some gentler slopes between 92nd and 103rd Streets, but for some real excitement head to Hippo Playground (91st St at Riverside Dr), where you can catch a glimpse of the Hudson River as you dodge trees on your way down. Hay bales at the bottom prevent impalement on the fence beyond. You'll find another great slope up on 103rd Street, which is the Parks Department's designated Manhattan activity spot. On super-snowy days, Rangers supervise sledding, snowman contests and snowball fights, and hand out complimentary cocoa. Go to nyc.gov/parks for announcements. Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St (for Hippo Playground); 1 to 103rd St (for activity spot).

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Fort Greene Park

Anything goes at this mellow Brooklyn spot. Grab a giant garbage bag and join the mix of families and hipsters on one of the park's four hills, which range from beginner to painful. DeKalb Ave at Washington Park (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: G to Fulton St; C to Lafayette Ave.

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Owls Head Park

This popular Bay Ridge spot should be on every little daredevil's sledding shortlist. Slopes are just steep enough to provide the thrill of reaching full throttle, but the trip back up the hill can really tucker tykes out. The stunning views may be mesmerizing, but watch out for trees at the bottom. Colonial Rd at 68th St (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: R to Bay Ridge Ave.

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Prospect Park

For a little downhill action, hit the slopes situated in Long Meadow, the Parks Department's Brooklyn snow day site. On those days, kids can venture into the nearby Picnic House for free hot chocolate. Finish up by making snow angels on the Nethermead. Enter at 9th St and Prospect Park West (prospectpark.org). Subway: F to Seventh Ave.

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Crocheron Park

Bayside natives swear by this open space, which offers both a moderate pitch and a steeper one for daredevils. If you're into solitary sledding, come here to avoid the masses that dominate larger parks. 35th Ave between Cross Island Pkwy and 215th St (nycgovparks.org). Travel: LIRR to Bayside.

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