Spring is nearly upon us, which means New Yorkers and tourists alike will be escaping the confines of their homes or hotels to sit outside, eating and drinking. While Central Park is the obvious picnic choice, it’s definitely not the only patch of green in NYC that makes for an ideal place to lounge with some pals. Here are the best places to have a picnic in New York.
Central Park — The Great Lawn or Sheep’s Meadow
If you’re going to go for the most famous park in NYC, you’ll want to know which part to aim for because it is massive. The quintessential picnic spot in NYC is the Great Lawn, which sits in the center of the park. It stretches from 79th Street to 85th Street and offers a beautiful, open green space that is the perfect spot to lounge around and soak up the sun. Sheep’s Meadow is a bit smaller and a bit further south, stretching from 66th Street to 69th Street, but is no less idyllic.
Prospect Park is nestled between some of Brooklyn’s most beloved neighborhoods: Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and Windsor Terrace. It was designed by the same team who did Central Park, and as a result is a kind of quieter, slightly wilder little sister to the more famous park in Manhattan. The Long Meadow offers a similarly open, green space to lay a picnic, and is within easy reach of a few grill spots if you really want to go all-out.
Madison Square Park
Not to be confused with Madison Square Garden, Madison Square Park is located in the Flatiron District and offers a convenient, beautiful little green space in the heart of lower Manhattan. On the weekdays, you’ll find it crowded with office workers taking their lunch outside, and many days of the week the park has music and other programming. It is also home to the original Shake Shack, whose line you’ll see snaking around the park on warm days. This is perfect if you want to grab some food from one of the many restaurants in the area, and take in some fresh air.
Bryant Park seems to be buzzing no matter what time of the year it is, but it truly comes alive in the spring and summer months. From the yoga and tai chi classes to the summer movie and concert series, this green space is full of activity. While not as calm as some of the other options, it’s a time-honored tradition to partake in some of the wonderful programming that takes place here every year.
Fort Tryon Park
If you’re up for a bit of a trek, Fort Tryon Park is truly worth the effort. Designed by the son of the man who designed Central Park and Prospect Park, it is one of the most beautiful places in all of NYC. This 67 acres of land is located in the Inwood neighborhood of upper Manhattan and, as the highest point in Manhattan, it looks out over the city — providing views of the George Washington Bridge and Hudson River. It is also home to the Cloisters, a recreated medieval monastery that houses 5,000 pieces of the Met’s collection.
NYC is home to more green space than you’d think, and though this is just the beginning of all the wonderful places to have a picnic in the grass in NYC, hopefully, we’ve expanded your knowledge of the many possibilities.