Summer has finally arrived in New York City, and with the current lockdown finally ending in many regions of the city, New Yorkers are going to come out in droves to their favorite picnic spots. It must be said that even though the lockdown is ending, the threat of coronavirus is still very much real, and as such, you should avoid hanging out in public places where there are a lot of people.
Social distancing must still be practiced out of respect for the virus and to ensure that you and your loved ones don’t come in harm’s way. We understand that New Yorkers can’t wait to unfurl their blankets and drink outdoors once again. So, to ensure that you are safe and can practice social distancing while enjoying a picnic, we have come up with some less crowded spots for you to enjoy a picnic in New York.
1. Roosevelt Island
It’s quite easy to forget about Roosevelt Island as this funny little sliver of an island sits in the middle of the East River that is between Queens and Manhattan. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from taking a spot at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.
You should just take the F train or even better and hop on the tram for a bird’s eye view of the city skyline for a similar price at the subway station. The park was designed by the late Louis Khan and opened in 2012, sitting on a triangular-shaped lawn with trees that frame the views of the water and city that’s perfect for a lazy afternoon hangout.
2. Red Hook Waterfront
Another decent spot that isn’t much crowded for when you want to enjoy a picnic is Red Hook Waterfront. The nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park is always packed with tourists and families, but if you make your way down to Red Hook, Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier is an urban gem.
There’s a small patch of beach sand and benches with serene views of the surrounding waters along with a green space that is ideal for picnics.
3. Isham Park
Isham Park is a 20-acre oasis that is easy to overlook because of its location at the northern tip of Manhattan. However, once you’re there it provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic on a sunny day, and only a short walk away is Inwood Hill Park, from where you can spot the area’s favorite neighbor: a harbor seal that is nicknamed “Sealy” and you can often find it sunbathing on the rocks and wooden dock in the marsh.
It provides you with the perfect place to enjoy a picnic as not many people know about this park, and you can rest easy with your family while contemplating life.
4. Ridgewood Reservoir
Highland Park is home to Ridgewood Reservoir, which spans 50 acres and rises above the surrounding Jamaica Bay outwash plain. The elevated area provides you with sweeping views of the nearby cemeteries, the Rockaways, and even the Atlantic Ocean in certain parts. Once here, you’re soon going to forget that you’re on the border of Queens and Brooklyn.
It is a quiet and dainty place to enjoy a picnic and one where you’re not going to find a large crowd of people gathered. That makes it ideal for when you want some quiet time and don’t want to mingle with a lot of people.
5. Van Cortlandt Park
The third-largest park in the city doesn’t receive the same attention as Central or Prospect Parks, but it’s a true treasure with its acres of ridges and valleys that are home to the borough’s largest freshwater lake. Once here, you will find lots of shady oak trees for that idyllic summer picnic.
This is truly one of the best-secluded picnic spots that you can find as most people don’t tend to visit it, and you can have the place to yourself. You wouldn’t have any problems with large crowds here and can have that quiet picnic that you wanted all by yourself.