Best picnic spots in New York City

Bring a blanket and some snacks, and set up camp at these spaces.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Alley Pond Park

    Alley Pond Park

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Central Park

    Central Park

  • Fort Greene Park

    Fort Greene Park

  • Fort Tryon Park

    Fort Tryon Park

  • Governors Island

    Governors Island

  • Randalls Island Park

    Randalls Island Park

  • Riverside Park

    Riverside Park

  • Pelham Bay Park

    Pelham Bay Park

  • Prospect Park

    Prospect Park

  • Willowbrook Park

    Willowbrook Park

Alley Pond Park

Alley Pond Park

Alley Pond Park
There are plenty of things to do in this gigantic park, which covers more than 600 acres in Queens. In addition to standard park provisions (ball fields, playgrounds), the park also features an Environmental Center that provides walking trails and educational programming (212-229-4000, alleypond.com), as well as free fitness classes and an adventure course for kids. Three barbecue areas are available, but the one on Springfield Boulevard is farthest from the sounds of the highway. Union Tpke at Winchester Blvd, Bayside, Queens (718-846-2731, nycgovparks.org)

Brooklyn Bridge Park
This park-in-progress incorporates Pier 1, which overlooks Manhattan and the landmark Brooklyn Bridge. The Picnic Peninsula at Pier 4 isn't open yet but visitors still have their choice of picnic spots. After arriving via Water Taxi, snag a bench on the playground at the park's northern edge, or set up camp on the steps of the Granite Prospect, which faces north and is made from granite salvaged from the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Main St at Plymouth St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (brooklynbridgepark.org)

Central Park
Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn will inevitably be crowded with people when the weather is nice; luckily, Central Park is big enough to offer plenty of other, more secluded spots that are perfect for vegging out. Head to Cedar Hill, a quiet, gently sloped field near 79th Street and East Drive, or, take the footpath down to the Glade Arch, formerly used to get carriages across to Fifth Avenue. Enter at Fifth Ave and 79th St (centralparkconservancy.org)

Fort Greene Park
This enormous green space, located in one of Brooklyn's prettiest neighborhoods, is the borough's oldest park. (It was founded in 1847.) A barbecue area is open in the northwest corner of the 30-acre space, while picnickers can also eat in a nearby playground that offers plenty of shade and fewer crowds. Washington Park between DeKalb and Myrtle Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-965-8900, fortgreenepark.org)

Fort Tryon Park
You may forget that you're in Manhattan at all when you enter this idyllic green space, located in the upper reaches of the island. The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focuses on medieval works, is located within the park; there are also plenty of spots to hunker down and have a picnic. Choose a patch of grass on the western edge of the park for stunning views of the Hudson River and New Jersey's Palisades. Enter at Margaret Corbin Circle, Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd (forttryonparktrust.org)

Governors Island
On weekends, take the free ferry and have a sit at Picnic Point, which covers eight acres that are dotted with picnic tables, swings and hammocks. Beginning June 11, Bike & Roll will reinstate the Free Bike Fridays program, where you can ride around the isle on a loaner two-wheeler for free between 10am and 3:30pm. Governors Island (govisland.com)

Randall's Island Park
Talk about change: Randall's Island once housed institutions for quarantined smallpox victims and insane asylums; now it's home to the Randall's Island Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that recently added more than 60 fields for a variety of sports. Visitors can picnic on many of the grassy areas in the 273-acre park, but a grilling area can be found at the south end near the Sunken Meadow baseball fields. Randall's Island Park, 1 Randall's Island (randallsisland.org)

Riverside Park
This four-mile stretch of land along the Upper West Side is sandwiched between the Hudson River and the undulating curves of Riverside Drive and Riverside Boulevard. Meditate upon the beauty of the 91st Street Community Garden, and then make your way down to the South Lawn at West 74th Street to spread your blanket. Enter at Riverside Dr and 91st St (riversideparkfund.org)

Pelham Bay Park
This park in the Bronx is three times the size of Central Park—there are more than 2,700 acres of land, including beaches and marshes—so there's no shortage of green space perfect for lounging. The park contains 13 miles of shoreline, including the mile-long Orchard Beach, and offers barbecuing areas at both its north and south lawns. But grillers beware: They fill up early in the day on weekends. 1 Bronx River Pkwy, Bronx (718-430-1890, nyc.gov/parks)

Prospect Park
Head to the Long Meadow, along the western side of the park, for an abundance of green space: At more than 90 acres, Long Meadow is thought to be one of the largest uninterrupted meadows in a U.S. park. There are several grilling areas throughout the park—we like to set up camp at the one near the Grand Army Plaza entrance—and scattered trees along West Drive between 3rd and 5th Streets can provide shade on hot summer days. Enter at Prospect Park West and Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (prospectpark.org)

Willowbrook Park
If you're looking for a spot that's off the beaten path, this Staten Island park—which is part of the borough's Greenbelt—would be a good choice. Bring your own grill and enter at Eton Place for a barbecue area and picnic benches, then take the kids on the Carousel for All Children ($1.50) or spend some time fishing in the pond. Enter at Eton Pl and Richmond Ave, Staten Island (718-667-2165, sigreenbelt.org)

Users say

1 comments