As the end of January approaches, it’s hard not to feel a little annoyed at the cold weather, wishing it would just go away already. Symptoms of the January blues include: trying (and failing) to eat healthy, noticing how dirty and worn-out your winter coat is getting, and daydreaming about when the temperature will rise above 60 degrees again. We’re here to indulge your daydreams, and start planning your spring weekends around getting some fresh air! Here are some great, away-from-the-crowds places to go picnicking in the New York City and Long Island area:
- Shore Road Park & Parkway
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
This park runs along the southwest portion of Brooklyn, following the path of the Belt Parkway. Most of the time, you’ll see people jogging and enjoying the shoreline, but this park is a totally under-the-radar area for a picnic. It’s southern, east-to-west orientation also makes it perfect to view the sunset. You’ll also get fantastic views of the Verrazano bridge, the Manhattan skyline, and even catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Afterwards, you can visit the quaint neighborhood of Bay Ridge for dessert.
- Eisenhower Park
Westbury, Nassau County
If you’re one of those people that thinks Jones Beach is just way too crowded, Eisenhower Park might just be the place for you. This 930-acre park is the perfect place to find some solitude, as it’s one of the largest recreational spaces in the metropolitan area. If you feel like getting a workout before your picnic, head to the Aquatic Center, Ice Center, Athletic Fields, Fitness Trail, or Golf. In the summer, you can even catch a concert or movie at the outdoor theatre. You’ll never be bored here!
- Fort Tryon Park
Hudson Heights, Manhattan
This park is as dynamic and natural as it gets, you’ll hardly believe you’re still in Manhattan! In it, you’ll find the Met’s Cloisters, a beautiful medieval castle that stands as a testament to the rich history of New York, as well as spectacular views of the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge. The park features many patches of grassy areas, ensuring you’ll get a spot for a picnic while remaining away from the crowds.
- Steppingstone Park
Great Neck, Nassau County
Positioned along the Great Neck shoreline, this park remains one of the best places for sand and sea. The park features a boat ramp, if you’re feeling up to sailing the Long Island Sound, as well as a garden where you can stop and smell the roses. Perfect for picnics as well, it’s a favorite spot for locals to view the sunset.
- Corona Park
Although this is one of the most well-known parks in New York, It’s also one of the grandest. With an expansive 897 acres of recreation area, you have the option to go swimming in indoor pools, fish at Flushing Lake, rent a paddleboat, and visit the Queens Museum, all in one location. It’s truly massive, and there’s no shortage of picnic areas for when the weather finally warms up.