Whether you want to sit and enjoy the view or jog on a path, NYC’s parks are the perfect place to unwind. They’re more than just a concrete jungle, and they make the city feel a little more serene than it is. The first parks were created in the 1860s and 70s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as a way to bring nature to New Yorkers from all walks of life. Today, they’re still popular spots to relax and spend time with family or friends!
Located across from the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is one of the most popular parks in NYC. Its lush gardens, free daily amenities, and cultural programming draw more than 12 million visitors a year. In summer, Bryant Park is the home of outdoor concerts and Broadway in Bryant Park events. The park also hosts fitness classes and wellness programs throughout the day.
Aside from offering an expansive lawn and elegant fountain, Bryant Park is a great place to relax with friends and family. Take in the city views from its tree-lined pathways and savor a meal from a food stand. In the winter, Bryant Park transforms into a Winter Village. This includes an ice skating rink that’s free to visit, plus skating shows and other special events. You can also enjoy a holiday market filled with food and artisanal boutiques.
With 840 acres, Central Park is New York City’s largest park. It was created in 1858 to meet the city’s growing recreational needs, and it remains a vital public space today. It’s a place to enjoy a morning jog, a romantic date, a lively concert, or simply to take in the scenery. It’s also a playground for kids of all ages, and its home to countless iconic attractions. In the spring, watch the Yoshino cherry trees bloom and the Kwanzan figs bloom in a show of colorful foliage. In the summer, enjoy a concert on the Great Lawn, a picnic by the lake, and free events like Shakespeare in the Park and Summer Stage.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Located in DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a recreation ground with a stunning view of Manhattan. Its features include open lawns, playgrounds, and an amphitheater. There are many activities to enjoy here, and you can find a variety of restaurants and food trucks that serve both local cuisine and international dishes. The park also hosts several events and programs throughout the year, including sunset yoga and stargazing.
Another great place to visit is Pier 2, which has basketball courts, sports fields, a roller skating rink, and picnic tables for a break. It’s an excellent spot for families to spend some time playing and enjoying the great views of Manhattan. The park is divided into different sections, and there is a pathway that connects the various areas. This pathway is called the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway. It connects all of the smaller parks, piers, beaches, promenades, and viewpoints within the park.
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Brooklyn’s premier green space is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. With more than five million annual visits, Prospect Park is a must-visit for those looking to escape the bustle of NYC. Its 585 acres, designed by Central Park architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, boast lush wetlands, woodland areas, and a large number of trees. Some of its most popular attractions include the band shell, Audubon Center, and zoo. In the summer, Prospect Park comes alive with a series of events and attractions like Celebrate Brooklyn!, free concerts, and movie screenings. The shady Long Meadow is perfect for a picnic, and Lake Prospect can be explored by bike or on foot. There are also Citi Bike stations all around the park so you can easily rent and re-dock your bike.