Your Picnic Paradise: The Finest Guide to Fun and Food in NYC

Summer is the season of fun and adventure, especially for the whole family. There are endless activities available that are ideal for the summer, and picnicking is one of them. Many beautiful parks across the city would be the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. Eat outdoors during the summer, enjoy the beautiful weather and let the kids have fun by running free. Your very own picnic paradise in NYC awaits! However, outdoor summer fun doesn’t just mean food. When it gets too hot and you need to cool off we’ve got guides to the most accessible pools and beaches in New York City. A  family picnic is a prominent family outing. Whether it is the traditional picnic basket, or a family cookout or a barbeque. It is a great family occasion that you and the kids will love. We have the guide for the best picnic spots in NYC! So break out the basket and blankets or fire-up the grill!  You can count on us for the ultimate picnicking fun!

Manhattan


Fort Tryon Park via NYC Parks

Fort Tryon Park

Riverside Dr. To Broadway, New York, NY 10040
212- 795-1388
Fort Tryon Park continues to be one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor pieces of art. Park-goers can run or walk on the park’s 8-mile pathways, play on the lawns, and enjoy the city’s largest garden with unrestricted public access. The park is home to Manhattan’s largest dog run, complete with a gazebo for dog owners to sit and socialize, as well as two playgrounds, volleyball courts, and built-in ping pong tables.

The pristine views of the Hudson River make the park the perfect setting for exploring, meandering strolls, and, most importantly, picnics.  You can picnic in an isolated area where you have a great view of the area.

Neighborhood: Fort George

Governors Island

910 Gresham Rd., Brooklyn, NY 11231
212-504-4115
Governors Island is just a ferry ride away and has a section called Picnic Point. Allowing visibility of the Statue of Liberty, this serene public space features picnic tables and hammocks. You are free to bring your food, however, Governors Island has a variety of options available. Snacks, food, and frozen treats all to satisfy your cravings.

The food courts are there for you! Also, grilling is only allowed at grilling stations which are available by permit.

Neighborhood: Off the coast of Red Hook

Madison Square Park

11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
212- 520-7600
The park is a beautiful site filled with public green space and culinary events that are held throughout the year. Providing food options besides bringing your own. You’re in luck as the park is located in an area where you can grab a meal to bring to the picnic. Including, a Shake Shack right inside the park itself.

Neighborhood:  Flatiron District


Union Square Park via NYC Parks

Union Square Park

201 Park Ave., New York, NY 10003
212-460-1200
The neighboring park to the aforementioned Madison Square Park. Union Square Park is a meeting place, hangout spot, subway hub, home to a bustling greenmarket, and a great picnic spot for you and the family. The park also comes with a backyard of its own, Bocce Union Square, located in the middle of the park.

Neighborhood: Between Greenwich Village and Gramercy Park

Washington Square Park

5 Ave., Waverly Pl., W. 4 St. and Macdougal St.
212-639-9675
One of the best known of New York City’s public parks, it stands as an icon as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity. A playground and the ultimate hub for a family getaway. In-park food options include a pizzeria and gelato cart. Eat and have fun in one of the most recognizable spots in NYC!

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Battery Park City

75 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280
212-267-9700
Battery Park City houses multiple parks filled with greenspaces and tons of areas throughout that can host your family picnic. One of the best being Rockefeller Park which has a playground and seasonal Parkhouse — perfect for kids to play before or after they eat. Rockefeller is located at the north end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace.

Neighborhood: West side of the World Trade Center


Central Park’s Great Lawn via NYCgo.com

Central Park

86th Street Transverse, New York, NY
212-310-6600
A list of parks in NYC would be incomplete without this one. Central Park is humungous and has multiple locations within it that are perfect to picnic at. In the link above there are seven top spots for you to pick from.  We highly recommend that you try out The Great Lawn which is right in the middle of Central Park. It spans 55-acres of wide-open space and is the ideal picnicking spot for anyone.

Neighborhood: The heart of Manhattan, between the Upper West and East Side

Brooklyn


Prospect Park via Brownstoner

Prospect Park

Brooklyn, NY 11225
718-965-8951
Prospect Park is a historic piece of Brooklyn. Featuring a scenic picnic spot, excellent for laying out a blanket and having lunch on a warm, New York City day. There are about 15 different picnic areas riddled throughout the park, making it the premier destination for picnicking. Barbeques are welcomed as long as park regulations are met. The park is also home to The Picnic House which comfortably seats up to 175 guests for dinner, so check it out!

Neighborhood: Between Parkslope and Prospect Lefferts Gardens

East River State Park

90 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-782-2731
This seven-acre waterfront park provides picnickers a remarkable view of the Manhattan skyline, a pleasant play area, and the green space presents various chances for recreation and relaxation. Picnic tables are a part of the park’s amenities, so feel free to plan out a family picnic trip to this beautiful park.

Neighborhood: Williamsburg


Fort Greene Park via NYC Parks

Fort Greene Park

100 Washington Park, Brooklyn, NY 11205
212-639-9675
Fort Greene is a 30-acre monument standing as a vibrant and diverse public space. It’s known as Brooklyn’s first park and it continues to be a hub for its community. With plenty of food selections in the area, you can buy all the food you want or need to bring to a picnic. Many summer events take place in Fort Greene as well, so check out the link above and begin planning your family picnic!

Neighborhood: Fort Greene

John Paul Jones Park

101st St., Shore Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11209
212-639-9675
Named for American naval hero John Paul Jones, who became known as “the father of the Navy,” this park is a treasure trove for picnickers and history buffs alike. Among its many historical monuments is a 75-foot-tall obelisk, part of the Dover Patrol Monument, which commemorates the titular unit of the Royal Navy during the First World War. You can even picnic among the park’s historic cannonballs.

Neighborhood: Bay Ridge

Leif Ericson Park

66th St., Brooklyn, NY 11220
212-639-9675
This park has a Norse theme (think Viking ships and Norwegian animals) in honor of its namesake. Leif Ericson Park has a perfect balance of green space, perfect for a picnic, and playing fields. Here, you’ll find plenty of sports courts, including basketball and tennis courts, as well as a baseball field and multiple playgrounds.

Neighborhood: Bay Ridge

Owl’s Head Park

Colonial Road & 68 St. & Shore Road, Brooklyn, NY 11220
212-639-9675
This riverfront park provides picturesque city views, a playground, a spray pool, skate park, sports courts, and a wonderful spot for a family picnic. This park has a serene atmosphere with its rolling hills that will make you feel like you’re far away from the city. Make this your escape and the destination for a family outing.

Neighborhood: Bay Ridge


Brooklyn Bridge Park via HR&A Advisors

Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-222-9939
This urban oasis features shaded picnic tables, hibachi-style BBQ grills & river views. Picnicking in this park is a treat for the eyes as well, with the beautiful Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. The ideal picnic spots in the park are at Pier 1, 2, 3, and 5. All of these Piers feature exquisite scenery and many entertaining activities for the kids to take part in.

Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights

Queens


Astoria Park via NYC Parks

Astoria Park

19 19th St., Queens, NY 11105
212-639-9675
The nearly 60-acre park includes a large pool, bocce courts, trails, & playgrounds. A variety of eateries surround the park’s location, and with the wide-open space, it is a great open place for an outdoor meal. Picnic perfection right in Queens!

Neighborhood: Astoria

Elmhurst Park

57th Avenue & Grand Avenue, Queens, NY 11373
212-639-9675
Elmhurst Park is a community green space with jogging paths, a splash spot and play area for the kids. This park is a family-oriented picnic venue. It’s best to pack your lunch since the nearest eatery is about a 15-minute walk away from the park. So bring your blanket, food, and set your picnic spot up.

Neighborhood: Elmhurst


Flushing Meadows Corona Park via Allianceforfmcp.org

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Grand Central Parkway, Whitestone Exwy. bet. 111 St. and College Point Boulevard, Park Drive East, Queens, NY 11375
718-760-6565
Being the largest park in Queens, it offers enormous greenspace for any of your recreational passions. Baseball, soccer, tennis, cricket, et cetera. So much more as well, including a stunning recreation complex, a zoo, an art museum, a botanical garden, a science museum, and a baseball stadium. Utilize this luscious greenspace for your picnic trip, family cookout, or more!

Neighborhood: Between Corona and Flushing

Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11106
718-956-1819
With large-scale sculptures & multimedia installations, this park comes with unique and exquisite views, making your picnic adventure one of a kind. Enjoy the beautiful garden and landscapes at this waterfront picnic spot.

Neighborhood: Astoria


Gantry Plaza State Park via Jazzfoundation.org

Gantry Plaza State Park

4-09 47th Rd., Long Island City, NY 10007
718-786-6385
A 12-acre park on four piers along the East River. Waterfront parks are a recurring theme in this list of picnic parks thus far, and this park is no exception. Offering restored gantries & Manhattan views. The gorgeous picturesque view of the waterfront and Manhattan make this a great picnic spot away from the city.

Neighborhood: Long Island City

The Bronx


Van Cortlandt Park via NYC Parks

Van Cortlandt Park

Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park S, The Bronx, NY 10471
718-430-1890
This park comes with a museum, playgrounds, sports facilities, dog runs, BBQ areas, trails & more. Pick your preference between the table and lawn space at the Allen Shandler Recreation Area, close to grills, and playgrounds. Or if you prefer a more remote or backwoods experience, retreat into the Northwest Forest’s 188 acres of humungous oak trees or, just west of there, Croton Woods, a 158-acre area with streams, and a variety of stunning wildlife.

Neighborhood: Between East Bronx and Fieldston

Seton Park

Independence Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10463
212-639-9675
Despite it being just over 10 acres, Seton Park feels like it’s a far-reaching greenspace. It’s broad and smooth enough to seem like a meadow, yet also woodsy enough to feel like a forest. Making it a small but sweet spot for a family trip and picnic.

Neighborhood: Riverdale

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd., The Bronx, NY 10458
718-817-8700
The name says it all, you can explore the gorgeous botanical garden and enjoy your outdoor dining experience all in one location. Plan your trip to this iconic destination, a sprawling spot of 50 gardens and 30,000 trees. Also, see its landmark glasshouse with rain forest and cactus displays. A visit to this garden can make any dining experience feel luxurious!

Neighborhood: In between West and East Bronx


Pelham Bay Park via NYC Parks

Pelham Bay Park

Watt Avenue & Middletown Road, The Bronx, NY 10465
718-430-1891
Pelham Bay Park stands as New York City’s largest park with more than three times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park. Visitors to the park enjoy miles of bridle paths and hiking trails, Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, riding rails, and golf courses. It is a wonderful place for family barbeques, parties and to just bring your family for a peaceful picnic.

Neighborhood: East Bronx

Staten Island


Clove Lakes Park via NYC Parks

Clove Lakes Park

1150 Clove Rd., Staten Island, NY 10301
718-390-8000
Take a stroll down the trails or paddle out on the lakes to appreciate its beauty. Clove Lakes Park is an amazing recreational zone. Your kids would be able to take advantage of the several baseball diamonds, a soccer field, basketball court, playgrounds, and football field that make up the park’s landscape. Fun and food all in one!

Neighborhood: Castleton Corners

The Greenbelt: Moses Mountain

200 Nevada Ave., Staten Island, NY 10306
718-667-2165
Right in the heart of Staten Island is 2,800-acres of nature’s raw beauty, the Greenbelt. See “Forever Wild sites,” mature forests, wetlands, meadows, wildlife and over 35-miles of marked hiking trails. Hike up Moses Mountain, a 200-foot “mountain” and take in the breathtaking sight. A picnic along the Greenbelt trail or on Moses Mountain is like a vacation from the bustling city, if you and your family are huge nature lovers then this spot is for you.

Neighborhood: Lighthouse Hill

Silver Lake Park

Victory Highway & Silver Lake Park Road, Staten Island, NY 10301
212-639-9675
Silver Lake Park comes with an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, sports fields, and many other facilities. However, the true centerpiece of the park is the titular lake. This park is an excellent place for family and friends to have a picnic, barbeque, and go kayaking! The Ambiance is perfect for a family fun time.

Neighborhood: Silver Lake


Wolfe’s Pond Park via NYC Parks

Wolfe’s Pond Park

5700, 420 Cornelia Ave., Staten Island, NY 10312
212-639-9675
Here we have a seaside city park with tennis courts, BBQ area, playgrounds, and nature & wildlife preserve. A park that can be so much in one. It can be a beach, wildlife preserve, or recreational space for your kids to run, jump, and play. In addition, it also makes a great picnic area with a selection of tables.

Neighborhood: Prince’s Bay

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