We’ve scoured from Central Park to Jones Beach to bring you the top open-air volleyball courts around. For more fun-in-the-sun happenings nearby, be sure to check out our ginormous summer preview of the season ahead. And if you need to get away, we’ve got you covered with these weekend getaways.
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This harbor-front park features three regulation-size sand courts, open late for under-lights play until 10pm. Use of the courts is first-come, first-served, and nets are provided, so all you’ll have to bring is a ball. After the game, quench your thirst and hunger with pizza, sandwiches, fro-yo and other goodies from Fornino’s new location on the pier. Pickup games free, one-hour rentals $25.
NYC’s backyard is home to one sand and two asphalt courts east of Sheep Meadow, which host pickup games throughout the year. And on the northeast side of the Great Lawn, at 86th Street, you’ll find two more asphalt ones. Permits aren’t required (unless you’re planning a tournament or special event)—though to square off on the asphalt, you’ll need to bring your own net. Locations vary; visit centralparknyc.org for more details. Free.
When you’re done at the office, work up a sweat at BPC’s free pickup games, which go down each Wednesday (6–7:30pm). The coed matches are meant to be fun (no pro spikers, please), and come with scorekeepers and balls for no additional charge. Free. Registration required. Starts June 5.
Home to an 18-hole minigolf course, this riverfront area also sports three sand-filled courts. On Saturdays, participate in community volleyball (11am–3pm; requested donation $5), which includes both instruction and game play. If you’re looking for something more serious, Metro Beach Sports (metrobeachsports.com) and NYC Social Sports Club (nycsocialsportsclub.com) run leagues on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (6–11pm), respectively. Rental times and prices vary; visit manhattanyouth.org for details.
After being clobbered by Hurricane Sandy, this swimming destination reopens to the public on Saturday 25—and is just a 45-minute train ride from Penn Station. Take the LIRR to Freeport (one-way peak $12.50, off-peak $9) and then the weekend-only bus to Field Four (one-way $2.25). Blow off some steam during a set on one of the eight lighted courts before cooling off with a dip in the Atlantic. One caveat: Check that the Long Island Volleyball Association (longislandvolleyball.com) isn’t hosting a league night before heading out. (516-785-1600, nysparks.state.ny.us); $10 plus $10 deposit.
For a sand-and-sun–filled seaside match within city limits, book it to Rockaway Beach. You can find courts in three areas along the shore (at Beach 26th, Beach 73rd and Beach 108th Streets)—just make sure you bring your A-game: You’ll be on display for both boardwalk strollers and sunbathers. Locations vary; visit nycparks.gov for details. Free. Beach opens Sat 25.