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Best Places to Picnic in the NYC Area

Best Places to Picnic in the NYC Area

With the mild weather upon us, it’s time to get outside. Picnincs are a great way to spend time with the family while enjoying the outdoors. Here are some great spots to enjoy a family picnic in New York City.

Picnicking in Manhattan

Fort Tryon Park
Riverside Drive to Broadway, West 192nd to Dyckman streets, Washington Heights

What could be lovelier than a picnic overlooking the Hudson River? John D. Rockefeller gifted this land to the City of New York in 1931 and in 1935, he and Robert Moses dedicated the park for public use. This park is the city’s largest garden with unrestricted public access. There’s also artwork at the Cloisters and a restaurant on the premises. Bring your pooch to the dog run and plenty of food and drink for your perfect picnic!

Governor’s Island
Ferry departs from 10 South St., Slip 7, Lower Manhattan

Spend a one-of-a-kind day at Governor’s Island, a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics and enjoy one of the tables around the island. There are also tons of food vendors if you’re not great at packing your own basket. Be sure to take advantage of the Play Lawn with two ball fields and the Hammock Grove. All day fun awaits!

Madison Square Park
23rd to 26th streets, between Fifth and Madison avenues, Flatiron District

This 7-acre urban park is located in the heart of the Flatiron District and NoMad. There are lush gardens to admire and lots of artwork always on display. Enjoy a family picnic on the lawn or grab some grub from the ever-popular Shake Shack located along the park. This summer, there are sure to be live concerts and other attractions.

Picnicking in Brooklyn

East River State Park
90 Kent Ave., Williamsburg

Enjoy a nice day of picnicking overlooking the East River. There’s 7-acres of park to enjoy with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline. There’s a fun children’s playground for the kids to frolic and plenty of picnic tables to chow down at. Be sure to take in the historical remnants like the old cobblestone streets and embedded railroad tracks.

Prospect Park
Prospect Park West to Washington Avenue, between Prospect Park Southwest and Eastern Parkway, Park Slope / Prospect Heights / Prospect Lefferts Gardens 

Prospect Park is a stunning natural area for a quaint picnic with family. Eat at one of the shady knolls or on the lush Green Meadow. After some tasty bites, play some baseball or birdwatch. You can also paddle in the lake or even fish. Check out the Prospect Park Zoo for the animal lover in you!

Picnicking in Queens

Astoria Park
19th St. between Astoria Park S. and Ditmars Blvd., Queens

Pack up your picnic basket and head over to Astoria Park. While this park is best known for its pool, there’s plenty of time to picnic on one of the many benches or on the Great Lawn with the family overlooking the East River. Enjoy some tennis, basketball, or take a hike on one of the park’s trails after lunch.

Picnicking on Staten Island

Clove Lakes Park
Forest Avenue to Victory Boulevard, between Clove Road and Brookside Avenue, Staten Island

This special park is a protected “Forever Wild” site thanks to its ecological attractions like lakes and ponds, rocks, and its 300-year-old tulip tree! Bring a picnic feast to enjoy in this beautiful park and enjoy by the barbeque area or the middle lawn. After dining, try some paddling, baseball, or playground fun with the family.

Picnicking in the Bronx    

Van Cortlandt Park
Broadway at Van Cortlandt Park South, Fieldston / Kingsbridge

There’s plenty of space to enjoy a relaxing picnic at Van Cortlandt Park. This park is the 3rd largest in NYC! Check out the Allen Shandler Recreation Area near the playgrounds, where you can use the grills for a scrumptious BBQ. Otherwise, head deeper into the Croton Woods near the picturesque streams. Play some sports or hike on one of the park’s many trails after lunch. Be sure to marvel at the various monuments situated throughout the park.

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Melissa A. Kay

Author: Melissa A. Kay is a writer, editor, and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in the publishing field in the areas of family, beauty, health, employment, lifestyle, entertainment, and more. She lives in Manhattan with her loving husband and inspiring cat, and enjoys reading, fitness, cooking, music, and the amazing experiences New York has to offer. See More

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