Best Parks in NYC

Best Parks in NYC

When you live in a bustling city like New York, it can sometimes feel like the area is all buildings, traffic, and pedestrians. But a quick online search shows that New York City has over 1700 parks within its five boroughs. Central Park may be the most well-known park in New York, but there are actually hundreds of other great parks to visit in the city. Here are some of the best parks, besides Central Park, to visit in NYC.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Along the East River and under the Brooklyn Bridge, New York's oldest suspension bridge, you can visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers a spectacular view of Manhattan. This 85-acre waterfront park has dozens of things to do. Kids enjoy riding on Jane's Carousel, a 1920s merry-go-round.

There are many sporting activities to do at the park including basketball, biking, roller skating, soccer, and bocce ball. There's also an area for bouldering, which refers to climbing rock walls, or you can go kayaking in the river. The park has many children's playgrounds with different attractions, like the play area called Slide Mountain, which has two-story slides and a water play area at Pier 6. The 6,300-square-foot lawn of the Brooklyn Bridge Park is a wonderful place to spend a summer afternoon.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park. Prospect Park is a beautiful rolling 90-acre park in Brooklyn with many grassy areas perfect for picnics and people-watching. There are so many things to do here, you can spend a whole day and not fit it all into your itinerary.

There are paths for hiking, jogging, skating, and biking. While at Prospect Park you can also visit Audubon Center, which features many wildlife and conservation exhibits, or Prospect Park Zoo, which is home to around 400 animals. Wollman Rink hosts themed skating parties throughout the summer season.

Visit Brooklyn's only lake here and rent a kayak or paddleboat at the LeFrak Center. The park also has a scenic 3.5-mile bridle path and a nearby stable where you can rent horses. Tour Lefferts Historic House, a farmhouse built around 1783 that currently houses a period museum. Concert Grove Pavilion hosts live musicians at times.

The High Line

One of the most unique parks in NYC is The High Line, an abandoned elevated railway track in Manhattan that's now a vibrant, lush walkway. Stroll along this path to see the city from an entirely fresh perspective. The 1.45-mile walking trail, completed in 2009, is home to over 200 species of flowers and plants. Enjoy sculptures and several shallow pools along the path, stop at the food court for a meal, and see beautiful views of the Hudson River. There are wooden lounge chairs along the path where you can sit and watch the sun set over the city.

Attend some of the fun events on the High Line, like the Latin dance nights. On some summer evenings, the Amateur Astronomer Association hosts free star-gazing nights. Visiting the High Line lets you experience an entirely different aspect of the big city.

Washington Square Park

A beautiful park in Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park, home of the historic Washington Square Arch. The central fountain is the hub of this park, and the vibrant energy is palpable. Musicians like pianists, sax players, and drummers fill the air with lovely background music while families picnic and play in the area. Children cool off in the fountain on hot summer days while their parents relax in the shade.

Washington State Park hosts many fun public events like art in the park, yoga and barre classes, writing meetups, and both adult and child movement classes. There's always something going on in this friendly gathering space.

Bryant Park 

Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library. The park hosts many free activities year-round. In the summer, there are picnic performances, movie nights, and a carousel. Lounge with books, watch jugglers or other street performers or play a game of chess at one of the outside tables. There's free wireless access, making the park a great place to sit with your laptop or tablet and enjoy the sunshine while working or studying. Bring a picnic or eat at one of the kiosks or eateries in the park. In the winter a pop-up ice rink appears for skaters.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is NYC's second-biggest park. The park was the location of the World's Fair in 1939 and 1964, and the Unisphere is a huge steel globe made for the 1964 Fair. At Flushing Meadows, you can participate in all sorts of outdoor entertainment including soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and cricket. Or you can visit the Queens Zoo, the skate park, or the hockey center. There's a boating lake where you can do some catch-and-release fishing and a barbecue area for picnics.

The Queens Botanical Gardens, Citi Field where the Mets play, and the New York Hall of Science are all located at Flushing Meadows. The thriving recreational area is full of active people year-round.

McCarren Park

McCarren Park features play areas for soccer, baseball, bocce ball, handball, tennis, baseball, and more. The 35-acre park attracts a wide variety of people year-round. The park hosts summer movie nights and many other family-friendly activities. You can even bring the family dog for exercise at the dog runs.

The McCarren Park Pool and Play Center is a year-round recreation facility with an indoor swimming pool, a fitness room, a game room, a media lab, and indoor and outdoor basketball courts. For children, there's an afterschool program and a teen room. With an indoor gymnasium and an outdoor track, there is an almost endless variety of things to do at McCarren Park.

These are some of the best parks to visit in New York. Did we list your favorite NYC park? Contact us at Martin Busch Jewelers and let us know your favorite parks in the city.