We talk so much about NYC being a concrete jungle. So much so that even Alicia Keys sings about it.
Truth is, and what most people don’t expect, is that New York City has a lot of green area that we can enjoy. There are truly countless of parks, from small to large, crowded to more private, for strolling through, playing in, and enjoy a picnic in.
In this post, I am going to share with you just a few of the city parks that we love that we hope you, your family and friends get to enjoy this Summer, or any season.
Five Island Park in New Rochelle, NY – My family and I first came to this park a couple of years ago for an event and absolutely loved it.
As noted on their official website: The park has a large grassy area as well as a large sandy, children’s play area with equipment, sunbather’s beach, picnic areas, pavilion, outdoor amphitheater, and beautiful paths for nature walks. Here you’ll find barbecue pits, picnic tables, benches and open air pavilions for rent and a dock for fishing.
The park is named Five Islands because of the small walkable bridges that connect it with four other islands around it, making this location not only a fun place for the family to come visit, but also a romantic and peaceful retreat.
Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx – This is the largest city park, with over 2,700 acres hosting a diversity in wild life, a variety of environmental features, historical spots, and beaches.
This park has a lot to offer, from playgrounds to barbecue pits and picnic areas, golf course, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, baseball, and even boccie courts, just to name a few!
Inwood Hill Parkin Manhattan – This park is New York’s oldest living forest and upon our first visit there, even in the dead of winter, we were taking aback by its beauty and the serenity we felt while on our walk with the kids. It felt as if we had left the city completely and were some where far, far away.
Aside from nature walks, the park also offers tennis courts and soccer fields, eateries and spray playgrounds, barbecuing areas and baseball fields, just to name a few. It is one of the favorite destinations for educational tours in the uptown area, and that is because of the various historical sites and significance.
Flushing Meadows Parkin Queens – I will confess, I have a special place in my heart for Astoria Park in Queens, especially because of it’s proximity to the water, but it is much smaller than Flushing Meadows, which covers over 1,200 acres.
It also offers so much more, such as areas for cricket, tennis, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis…you name it. In addition to that it has a zoo, science museum, botanical garden, an awesome promenade, and six playgrounds, with plenty of green space to picnic and play. In the summer they also host events and concerts for the entire family to enjoy.
Sunset Park in Brooklyn – This little talked about park in Brooklyn is where I spent most of my time up to my early teen years in New York. I have very fond memories of this park. It’s not as chic and trendy as its Prospect Park neighbor, but it provides the most spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline at sunset, and is also the home of a state-of-the-art pool, know for hosting regular swim competitions and lessons.
I spent many afternoons playing and having picnics here, and I like that it is still a park of Brooklyn that hasn’t changed so much that you forget that you are, in fact, in wonderful Brooklyn.
Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island – One of Staten Island largest parks, it is also the most diverse in the area and one of the cleanest beach parks.
The host of a lot of same amenities as the other parks mentioned above, but has the special bonus of also being able to host family camping (see NYC Parks site for more info).
For some it is a place to observe and enjoy nature, for others it is a beach destination, either way, it’s a lot of fun and offers tons to do all year round.
These are just some of the parks in the New York area that are fun to hang out at and spend time in. We believe that an adventure can be had not just in traveling to far away places, but in the many discoveries to be made close to your home. Just get out and look for them!
Photos courtesy of NYC Parks and Recreation Website.