You don’t have to leave town in order to escape from the hustle and bustle of NYC life. There are plenty of fabulous picnic spots right in the 5 boroughs to bring a few sammiches and a bottle of wine to unwind for the day. Bring your checkered blanket to Prospect Park or hit the trails for an adventurous hike up Moses Mountain. Wherever you decide to park your picnic basket, click through our gallery to discover our favorite city park escapes.
You’ll find plenty of space to lay back and enjoy the beauty of nature at this 600 acre park in Queens. It’s filled with playgrounds and ball fields, so you can catch some cardio after desert, or simply stick around to watch a game as you picnic. Become one with your surroundings on a walking trail at the Environmental Center. The park also boasts natural features like freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows, and forests and an abundance of birds (sharing your food optional of course).
Pelham Bay Park is riddled with paths and trails and is three times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park. The views of the 13-mile saltwater shoreline that hugs the Long Island Sound will take your breath away. You can also experience the diverse range of plant and animal life and learn about the land that once belonged to the the Siwanoy Indians, Ann Hutchinson and the Continental Army.
Spread out among the locals on the Great Lawn and catch a nap, a good read or simply enjoy the camaraderie. The 55-acre area was renovated last summer and rests in the center of Central Park making it one of the most famous lawns in the world. There’s plenty of space for the entire family to enjoy an afternoon retreat. Or, you can also roll solo for a private picnic you can enjoy alone.
This park boasts 273 acres of grassy land for planning the perfect picnic soiree. Turn your picnic into the ultimate culinary experience by using one of the many grilling areas that can be found throughout the south end of the park. Randall’s Island also features a 3,000-square-foot urban farm — created through a collaboration with GrowNYC — which serves as an educational platform for schools and groups to learn about nutrition. The garden produces over 20 vegetable beds made made from recycled and composted materials. If you forget to bring along your lunch for the day, you might want to pop on by and grab a few vegetables to munch on.
Get your workout on as you make your way up the Moses Mountain trail located in Greenbelt Park in Staten Island. Hike this 15-mile boulder-and-rock-formed mountain that gives way to great views of the harbor and provides excellent spaces for a picnic with that special someone. According to the Greenbelt Conservancy, the mountain is named after Robert Moses. Moses was a notorious New York City planner and parks commissioner in the 60s who attempted to construct the Richmond Parkway over Todt Hill cutting through what is today’s Greenbelt. Activists prevented the highway project from being successful now and today the formation allows visitors to see the views of the Greenbelt and New Jersey’s Atlantic Highlands.
Brooklyn’s Prospect Park offers an abundance of green space and perfect picnic scenery. Featuring more than 90 acres, the Long Meadow area in Prospect Park boasts large uninterrupted meadows. After you’ve cleaned up from your picnic, walk one of the four 2.5 miles of interpretive trails. If you’re feeling fancy there’s also a brick and glass enclosed Picnic House for private parties and events (for rental of course).