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Gear up for a giant picnic inside Grand Central

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

Next week, Grand Central will be rolling out the green carpet (er, Astroturf) in Vanderbilt Hall for a massive indoor picnic. The faux-grass space will be open from Monday, August 18 through Friday, August 22 from 7am–7pm. Buy pastries, snacks and sandwiches from a rotating group of vendors throughout the week—including New York favorites like Murray’s Cheese, Junior’s and Magnolia bakeries, Café Spice, Ceriello Fine Foods, and Ciao Bella Gelato—from 11am–4pm. 

Pop over for lunch, or brown-bag it, and drop your business card for daily drawings that will win you “GCT swag.” (We’re thinking that means touristy t-shirts and miniature clocks, but hey, free gear is free gear.) Stick around through the afternoon for live music from string quartet ensembles, jazz guitarist Jason Green and singer-keyboardist Gabriel Aldort, plus magic acts from the Big Apple Circus and dance shows by iLuminate (of America’s Got Talent fame). On Friday, there’s an hour dedicated to Broadway performances from the casts of Chicago, Cinderella, Motown and Pippin. To see the full schedule of eats and activities, go to

If you're not up for dealing with the inevitable crowd, we've got you covered. Plan your perfect alfresco lunch with our guides to finding the best picnic food and ideal outdoor spots to thrown down your blanket. 


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