Whether you’re looking for a day out in the park or a place to get some exercise, there are plenty of parks near you. Some are tree-filled while others are open green spaces. Regardless, all of these places offer unique features and facilities. These parks are sure to make for a memorable outing!
1. Central Park
A stroll, bike ride, or horseback ride through Central Park’s 843 acres of rolling fields, ponds, and paths is like visiting one of the world’s greatest urban oases. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 19th century, the park is a place to unwind from city life. You can find amenities ranging from a carousel to picnic areas and plenty of places to rent a bike or wheelchair. Plus, there are plenty of spots to take in some of the park’s beautiful architecture. One of the most popular things to do is to visit the Central Park Zoo which houses over 100 species from around the world. You can see penguins, snow leopards, sea lions, and many other animals.
2. Pelham Bay Park
Pelham Bay Park is the largest city-operated park in New York. It’s more than three times the size of Central Park and offers a wide range of amenities. One of the best things to do in this park is to take part in nature walks. These educational walks are hosted by a park interpreter and can be very informative. In addition, several trails wind through woods, meadows, and marshlands within the park. There’s also a picnic area to enjoy with friends and family. Another great place to visit in Pelham Bay Park is Orchard Beach, which has a sandy shoreline that’s popular with tourists in the summer. It’s also home to several food stands and bathhouses.
3. Van Cortlandt Park
Located within the Bronx, Van Cortlandt Park is the third largest in New York City and offers families the chance to escape the bustle of Manhattan. It’s also home to several amenities including playgrounds, fields, picnic areas, and a lake. The park is also home to the Van Cortlandt House Museum, a nationally landmarked Georgian-style mansion built in 1748 by Frederick Van Cortlandt and the oldest building in the Bronx. It’s a great place to learn about the park’s history and experience what life was like in New York in the 18th century.
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4. Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park may not be as well-known as the other parks in New York City, but it’s an important part of the city’s history. With its stately arch and playful central fountain, it’s been a popular gathering place for generations of Greenwich Village residents and students. With wide swaths of grass, it’s also a great picnic spot. You can set up a table and grill your food, or rent one of the two picnic pavilions for a fee.
5. Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a lush green space in the center of Brooklyn that’s renowned for its wetlands, forests, and trees. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the park has an enticing mix of amenities and attractions. Many visitors come here to bike, run, stroll, or just relax. It’s also home to a zoo, ice-skating rink (which turns into a water-play area for kids in the warm months), and a bandshell for free concerts. The park also has a picnic area, and there are plenty of historic buildings and sites to see. The Picnic House, located in the Long Meadow, is a romantic venue that’s perfect for a wedding. The Boathouse, a Beaux-Arts landmark overlooking Lullwater Lake, is another great place for a celebration.