Best sledding hills in New York City for families
From gentle slopes to steep inclines, these sledding hills in New York City span the five boroughs and appeal to thrill seekers of all ages
Tue Jan 27 2015
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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
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.
- enter at 72nd St entrance, (on Fifth Ave)
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.
- Enter near Fifth Ave and 79th St
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.
- FDR Dr, (between Montgomery and E 12th Sts)
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.
- Indian Rd, (at 218th St)
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.
- Morningside Drive, (from 110th to 123rd Sts)
- Critics choice
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).
- Riverside Dr, (between 72nd and 158th Sts)
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.
- Washington Park, (between DeKalb and Myrtle Aves)
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.
- 6700 Shore Rd, (68th St and Narrows Ave)
- Critics choice
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.
- Prospect Park West to Flatbush Ave, (between Prospect Park Southwest and Ocean Ave)
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.
- 214th Pl, (at 33rd Rd)
Although thrill seekers have been known to tackle "Suicide Hill" (Forest Park Dr at 79th St, nyc.gov/parks), the Parks Department says it's a big no-no. Not only is it located on a golf course, it's considered quite dangerous. Instead, try the park's Mary Whalen Playground (Park Lane South at 79th St, nyc.gov/parks). Subway: E, F, M, R to 71st Ave—Forest Hills.
- Forest Park Dr, (at Woodhaven Blvd)
The inclines at Clove Lakes Park are so formidable that park staff stack bales of hay at the bottom to prevent kids from gliding into traffic; this is where Rangers organize sledding races on the hill and oversee kids on school snow days. Doody Home Center (1677 Victory Blvd at Slosson Ave, 718-872-0099) is the sledding shop of choice, located just two blocks away. Martling Ave at Slosson Ave (nyc.gov/parks). Travel: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the S60 bus to Victory Blvd.
- 1150 Clove Road, (at Fairway Ln)
As the Bronx's most popular sledding destination (park staff have been known to show up bearing hot chocolate for sledders), the historic park's minipeaks fill up with everyone from babies to vagabonds—prepare to share. Fulton Ave between Crotona Park North and 172nd St (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: 2, 5 to E 180th St.
- Fulton Ave to Crotona Park East, (between Crotona Park North and Crotona Park South)
NYC's fourth largest park (over 1,000 acres!) gives kids plenty of space to set up their own little sledding spot, without running into other tots on the way down the hill. Van Cordtlandt Park South between Broadway and Jerome Ave (nyc.gov/parks). Subway: 1 to 242nd St—Van Cortlandt Park, 4 to Woodlawn.
- Broadway, (at 242nd St)
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