NYC’s 11 Best Picnic Spots

Manhattan is home to arguably the world’s most famous park, along with plenty of other lesser-known gems. We’ve narrowed down the 10 best spaces for picnic lunches, dinners and dates across the 5 boroughs. By Carina Cruz.

More: NYC’s 4 Best Little-Known Parks | NYC’s 5 Best Spring Date Ideas

washington square park2 NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots

(credit: Madison Square Park)

Madison Square Park

E 23 St To E 26 St
New York, NY

More: NYC’s 7 Best Parks With WiFi

The lawn at Madison Square Park may be a bit crowded a nice day, so instead throw your blanket down by the silver rock near 24th street. This side of the park has plenty of trees so it’s the perfect shady spot with a back rest. Don’t leave your tablet at home, this park also has free public WiFi.

fort tryon NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots

(credit: Fort Tryon Park)

Fort Tryon Park

Cabrini Blvd. at Ft. Washington Ave
New York, NY 10040
Fort Tryon Park sits at the highest part of Manhattan. Picnic in a secluded place where rocks jut out and give you a view of the entire area. This park is also famous for being home to The Cloisters, a museum dedicated to medieval art.

Prospect Park

(credit: Prospect Park website)

(credit: Prospect Park website)


Prospect Park’s Long Meadow is a picturesque picnic spot, ideal for spreading out with a blanket and enjoying a packed lunch on a warm, New York City day. Not far from Prospect Park is Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue (433 Third Avenue), with takeout lunch specials to make for a makeshift barbecue. Get a quarter rack of wood-fired St. Louis Ribs with chips and a soda for just $10 – or get the ribs and chips with a beer for just $12. But if you prefer your barbecue between bread, get the same combo with a Chopped Pork or Chopped Brisket sandwich instead of the ribs. The deal is available all summer long from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

pier 63 NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots


Husdon River Park: Pier 63

Pier 63
New York, NY
(212) 255-5051
Pier 63 in Chelsea, part of the Hudson River park, offers the perfect place for a picnic with a view of the waterfront. Feel free to bring the kids along because right next door is the Chelsea Sports and Entertainment Complex as well as the Carousel.

pelhambaypark NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots


Pelham Bay Park

1 Orchard Beach Rd
Bronx, NY 10464

Home to many of the cities wildlife sanctuaries and more than three times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park, there’s plenty of space to picnic at Pelham Bay Park. Then burn off the calories from those picnic snacks – there are many hiking trails, fields, and ball courts. Pelham Bay park also offers two golf courses and 13 mile view of the shoreline.

macneil park NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots


MacNeil Park: College Point

Poppenhusen Ave.
Queens, NY

This Queens park is named for a famous sculptor who lived in the area for many years. At MacNeil Park you can take in the waterfront view of the Long Island Sound while sitting in the shade in one of the parks many trees – or organize a baseball game with  buds at their field.

moses mountain NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots


The Greenbelt: Moses Mountain

200 Nevada Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 667-2165

This “mountain” was made out of boulders and rock that were removed in the area in order to make way for a highway. The mound gives you a great view of the harbor and is a peaceful place for a picnic.

carlschurzparkpeterpan NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots

(credit:Carl Schurz Park)

Carl Schurz Park

East End Ave. at 86th St
New York, NY 10128

There’s no need for a blanket at this park. Head over to the benches at waterfront for a view of the East River, the Triborough and Queensboro bridges, and Randall’s and Roosevelt Islands. For a cozier spot, visit the bronze statue of Peter Pan situated in a circular courtyard.

fort washington park NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots

(credit: Fort Washington Park)

Fort Washington Park: The Little Red Lighthouse

Riverside Dr. at 181st
New York, NY 10033
Under the George Washington Bridge is the Little Red Lighthouse. Only 40 feet tall, the lighthouse was installed in 1921. Today’s restored version of the lighthouse is surrounded by picnic tables.  The park also offers tours of the lighthouse in the afternoons if you call ahead.

washington square park 3214 NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots

(credit: Washington Square Park)

Washington Square Park

Fifth Ave. at Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10003
Washington Square Park has been home to many fairs, festivals and events throughout the years. Join the many NYU students you’ll probably encounter there studying for their finals and find a spot for your picnic on the grass around the water fountain.

the great lawn NYCs 11 Best Picnic Spots


Central Park: The Great Lawn

86th Steet Transverse Rd
New York, NY 10024
(212) 874-6168

You knew we had to mention this one, right? Central Park boasts plenty of places to picnic: Sheep Meadow, Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge — but in the center of Central Park is the Great Lawn. Located from 79th to 85th street, it’s the quintessential New York spot. Spend the warm, lazy days sunbathing here, or pack a bite to eat to spend the day with friends.


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