Eating Out: The Best Picnic Spots In NYC
July is the perfect time to picnic in NYC! Take “eating out” to a whole new level by taking your food “to-go” in style. Grab a blanket and a basket, we’re going to find the best picnic spots in all of Manhattan!
For A Work Week Lunch Picnic: Bryant Park
For those of you working in Midtown Manhattan, consider taking advantage of the great oasis you have at your fingertips: Bryant Park. Located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, not only is it likely right downstairs or down the street from your office, but it’s ideal for a “professional picnic” because of all the chairs and tables it offers! Unlike most other spots in NYC where you will have to bring your own blanket, there’s never a shortage of places to sit in Bryant Park, making it ideal for picnicking while in your work clothes. And of course if you are a Midtown East Glenwood resident, such as at Paramount Tower, you can picnic here anytime!
In addition to picnicking, you can take advantage of Monday night films in the park every week during the summer, taking your little New Yorkers on rides on the carousel, or participating in one of the countless free activities hosted by the park on a regular basis, such as live music, book club discussions, and juggling lessons.
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For A Picnic With A View Of The Manhattan Skyline: Gantry Plaza State Park
If you’re looking for a picnic with a view, search no further than Gantry Plaza State Park. Located across the East River in Long Island City, Queens, this is an ideal spot for Manhattanites because of the ease to get to: you can jump on the water taxi from Midtown and be there in a matter of minutes (which is an adventure in and of itself)!
Along with the best view of NYC, you’ll also have access to modern and beautiful playground equipment, plenty of riverwalk area to stroll for a sunset walk, and food trucks parked along the side of the park for scoring dessert. You can practically see The Bamford from where you’ll be picnicking!
For A Picnic With Lots Of Room To Throw A Ball Afterwards: Central Park
Central Park is ripe for picnicking just about anywhere, but one of our favorite spots is on the Upper East Side at 79th and 5th Avenue. There’s a sidewalk you can enter the park in there, and plenty of room to lay down a blanket without worrying about hearing other people’s conversations (a luxury in New York!) There are spots with trees providing shade, as well as plenty of sunlit areas, depending on your preference. We love this area because it’s perfect for a game of pickup football or frisbee afterwards, too! Residents living at The Marlowe will adore its location.
After you eat and play, consider heading to one of the UES’s iconic museums, also located in the neighborhood, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Frick. And if you’re a card carrier of a New York Public Library Card, you can now get free passes to these museums, too. What a perfect NYC day!
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Wave Hill Public Gardens
If you are a resident of Briar Hill, there is an exceptionally beautiful place for you to picnic! Try Wave Hill in Riverdale! The 28 acre estate is full of views overlooking the Hudson River and gardens you won’t want to miss! The main house dates back to 1843 and is on the National Register of Historical Places. If you were a history buff, this home was both lived in by Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain!
Glenwood downtown residents can easily hop on a ferry to Governors Island to find vast grassy havens to spend the afternoon picnicking in! Not only is it beautiful, but there are so many great events going on at Governors Island to check out! They have things for the entire family ranching from dance and musical performances to STEM kids programs running through August 4th! Click here if you are interested in learning what else Governor’s Island has to offer you this summer.
Don’t let the stress of throwing a picnic together deter you from doing it…they really can be so simple! Whether you head to your local market to pick up pre-made dishes, the farmer’s market for in-season tomatoes, a loaf of bread, and fresh goat cheese to put together sandwiches on the spot, or even pick up take out from your favorite restaurant, these are all great alternatives to spending the morning in the kitchen prepping!
In addition to food and drink, make sure to pack the following to maximize your picnic success:
–a blanket to sit on
–any silverware needed
–plenty of paper towels
–a trash bag to use afterwards to clean everything up in
–a wine opener (if needed)