New York City. Just saying those three words will conjure up an image in your head, of tall buildings, busy streets, yellow taxis.
A beautiful urban jungle. But, did you know that New York has many green spaces too? The way this wonderful city was designed, meant that parks and areas of green space were incorporated, to ensure the workers and residents alike had areas that they could go to relax and enjoy their surroundings.
Let’s have a look at some of the best spaces in New York to go for a picnic.
Of course Central Park has to be at the top of the list. Central Park is THE park that comes to mind when you think of New York.
Central Park can make you feel as if you are no longer in the middle of one of the most busy cities in the world, it has been created in such a way, that traffic noise quietens, and although this park is completely man made, it looks as if the city was built around it, rather that the other way around.
Central Park actually only has one straight path in the entire park, which adds to it’s feeling of being completely natural.
Central Park is just under 850 acres in size, which is 350 more acres than the principality of Monaco! There are almost sixty miles of pathways in this prk, which makes it the perfect place to have a romantic wander, and find somewhere to eat a delicious picnic.
Bryant Park is tiny compared to the splendour of Central Park, but it has a beauty of its own.
Bryant Park is slap bang in the middle of MidTown, just behind the New York Public Library, and you can see both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building from this park.
In the summer, the London Plane Trees that fill the park are in full leaf, providing plenty of shade from the New York heat, that can sometimes become a bit overwhelming. The summer also offers free film screenings, along with many other free of charge activities, such as yoga and ping pong.
In the winter, an ice skating rink, that is free for all to use, appears, with its own heating and plumbing system. Holiday shops surround the rink, and Frank Sinatra sings from the speakers.
Whatever time of year you choose to go, it is always perfect for a picnic, either one you bring with you, or if you buy something from one of the vendors that are there year round.
The High Line
The High Line is not a park in the traditional sense, but it is considered a park in New York City nonetheless, and is a perfect place to go, at any time of the year, for a romantic date.
The High Line used to be a railway line, and you can still see some of the lines embedded into the wooden walkway to this day.
The High Line is raised above New York City, and is around one and a half miles long.
The High Line starts – or finishes – in Chelsea, just next to Chelsea Market, which is the perfect place to grab some food and have a look at the unique shops located there.
The Highline gives amazing views of the City, and at some points, views over the Hudson River, in the summer the plants along this stretch of walkway are all in bloom giving a beautiful scent and a colourful walk.
In the winter, the city can be seen in it’s snowy coldness, with many dramatic views.
There are lots of places to sit and admire the views, and eat those snacks you purchased at the wonderful Chelsea Market. Visiting the Arches National Park is also a great option if you want to see spectacular sites.
Now, you may not be that familiar with Governer’s Island, but this is a really beautiful and relatively unknown place to take your date on a picnic.
It only became open to the public in 2006, and since then it has become increasingly popular, there is a large amount of parkland to sit in and enjoy the views back across to Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty herself.
There are many food and drink vendors, including pizzerias and bakeries to satisfy all your food cravings.
It is accessed via a ferry, that is a beautiful ride in itself.
Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park is not huge in stature, but it is beautiful, with views of the classic Flatiron building just cross the street.
This park is filled with trees and offers the bonus of free wifi should you need it.
During the summer months, there are often free art installations in this park, allowing you to wander around after you’ve eaten.
If you’ve forgotten your food, there are many options nearby, including the famous Eataly, the famous Italian greengrocers / restaurant that offers many delicious different types of food.
Greenacre park is another hidden gem, that is at 217 East 51st street. There isn’t much grass in this park, but there is a waterfall, that is beautiful soothing, and the noise of the traffic isn’t as noticeable here.
This park is sometimes closed, as it is privately owned, so always check before going, just to make sure you’re not going to be disappointed.
Like most parks in New York City, Greenacre Park gets very busy around lunchtime, so if you would like to claim a bit more space, and maybe a more romantic setting, try and go at the more off peak times.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This park is located just under the Brooklyn Bridge, and offers some stunning views across to Manhattan.
The easiest way to get here is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, which can be a part of your date in itself.
There are some beautiful walks around the park, and many places nearby to eat, including the famous Grimaldi’s, a favourite of the late, great Frank Sinatra himself.
You can easily get your pie to takeaway, and sit in the park to admire the view.