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.
Madison Square Park
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.
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.
Pelham Bay Park
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: College Point
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.
The Greenbelt: Moses Mountain
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.
Carl Schurz Park
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.
Central Park: The Great Lawn
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.