5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in New York City

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in New York City, but by no means is this an exhaustive list.

Central Park

The most famous New York City Park, by far, but for good reason, which is why Central Park makes this list. It is iconic. It is also extremely large and centrally located, making it ideal for picnics. Sheep Meadow and The Great Lawn are famous picnic locations. They can be crowded but have amazing views of the Park and the NYC Skyline. You can also head to Arthur Ross Pinetum for a quieter spot with picnic tables or wander even further to the North Meadow or East Meadow (vast expanses perfect for picnics).

Prospect Park

The largest park in Brooklyn and one of the best in NYC. The same people who helped design Central Park designed Prospect Park. There is a large lake with a dramatic boathouse, several monuments, lookout points, Duck Island, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (one of my favorite places in New York City). You can picnic on one of the vast lawns, at the edge of the lake, or on the trails of Brooklyn’s only forest. 

Astoria Park

An extremely beloved and popular park in Queens, NY. A good portion of its popularity as a park comes from its location on the East River – Astoria Park has views of both the East River and the famous NYC Skyline. It is also one of the best designed parks in the city and excellent for a recreational day followed by a picnic. There are tennis courts, a swimming pool, a running track, playgrounds, and a skate park. South Hill is one of the best spots to spread a picnic blanket. You could also choose to eat lunch on a bench along the river watching the waves, the passersby, and the NYC Skyline.

Governors Island

Not a traditionally famous New York City Park, but Governors Island has plenty to offer. The entire 172 acre island was converted from a U.S. Army Base to an island park. A visit to the island is only a short ferry ride away. Hammock Grove is one of the best places on the island, where more than 50 colorful hammocks are set up for lounging in the sun. On the Southern part of the island are giant slides for the kids in all of us. There are also quite a few restaurants and historical landmarks to visit. If you’re looking for a view of the NYC Skyline, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, then visit The Hills or Governors Island Picnic Point.

The Battery

A waterfront park on the Southernmost point of Manhattan. You can escape some of the noise of the city by heading down to The Battery. While it is a popular tourist location, it is less visited than other parks in the city. Enjoy the open lawns or stroll the walk along the harbor. The Battery Fountain and the SeaGlass Carousel are popular spots for a bit of fun while out for a picnic.

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