The Best Places to Have a Picnic in New York This Year

We often imagine New York City as being a jungle of concrete without much green space, but the city nevertheless provides ample opportunities to have a delightful outdoor picnic.

The Big Apple is liberally dotted with parks and squares, and serves as one of the best places to dine al fresco while watching city life unfold, as this guide by explains…


Central Park

The most iconic of all parks in New York City, Central Park provides many different locations for a picnic. Pack a lunch and lounge on the Great Lawn to people watch on a sunny day, or if you want more privacy, find a spot near the lake or pond, and watch in peace as ducks putter by. Children will be especially amused by a quick meal near one of the many well-maintained playgrounds.

If you happen to be Brooklyn and want to enjoy a peaceful outdoor meal, Prospect Park is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the borough. With this lush green lawn, carefully planted trees and many food carts, this verdant getaway will relieve the weary traveler with its scenery and its meal options. Whether you take your own meal or buy snacks from vendors, try sitting under one of the many large oak trees relaxing in this peaceful urban environment. This is another park designed by Olmsted, and its thoughtful design serves as a beautiful place to enjoy lunch. After your meal, head on over the Prospect Park Zoo and delight in the many exhibits.

Ellis Island

Satiate your love of history and your appetite by visiting Ellis Island for a tour and then a picnic. Learn about New York City’s history of immigration by visiting the famed Statue of Liberty. Marvel at the incomprehensible size of this copper beauty and then head indoors to visit the island’s thoughtful museum as it beckons you to step back in time and into the shoes of hopeful immigrants bound for a new land. Afterwards, avoid the lines for the food carts by unpacking your picnic and enjoying a delightful meal by the river. Take your time to explore the island before you head back to Manhattan on the ferry.

Washington Square Park

Located near New York University, Washington Square Park hosts an eclectic range of visitors that never cease to delight tourists.  If the weather is nice, you’ll be entertained by a variety of musicians and artists. Walk under the Washington Arch from the north side of the park towards the circular fountain where a delightful meal can be had along its perimeter as you take in the lively culture of New York City.

Pelham Bay Park

Located in the Bronx, Pelham Bay Park is an enormous green-space riddled with many paths for hiking and horseback riding. This is an attractive site for the active tourist to visit, and if you happen to be in the borough, you cannot miss the gorgeous coastline this park showcases with its view of Long Island Sound. Nothing could be more picturesque than a picnic amidst the famous osprey of this delightful locale that seems worlds away from the bustles of Manhattan. If you are interested in history, Pelham Bay Park delivers its fair share with stories of the Siwanoy Indians who defended this beautiful territory.




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