Top nature spots for a picnic in New York City

Pelham Bay Park (Courtesy of Nature Conservancy)
Pelham Bay Park. Credit: Nature Conservancy

With the weather in New York City finally approaching warm and sunny, it’s time to plan the year’s first picnic.

To get you started, the Nature Conservancy just released its Top 5 best picnic spots in New York. The group says these are the best spots to find beautiful parks teeming with natural life in the five boroughs.

To get in the green spirit, make sure to pack eco-friendly foods and compost or recycle your trash.

Pier 5 Picnic Peninsula at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Picnickers can cook on hibachi-style grills and eat on tables made out of salvaged wood. Brooklyn Bridge Park reuses materials in projects like planting native vegetation and rehabilitating coastal wetlands.

Visitor Contract Station at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
You need a free walking permit to hike the trails, but you can enjoy a picnic at a table outside the visitors center at this Queens spot. The 8,000-acre Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a well-known bird sanctuary and one of the best spots to see more than 325 species of birds.

Picnic grounds at Staten Island’s Willowbrook Park
At the Eaton Place Entrance, you can find picnic grounds and barbecue spots. The park includes lowland forests with tuliptrees, sweetgum and red maples. You can also work off your lunch at one of six major hiking trails.

In the midst of pine trees in Central Park’s Arthur Ross Pinteum
This spot is in the middle of the park between about 84th and 86th streets. Designated picnic areas and playgrounds make this a great spot for families, and you can sit in the shade of 17 different species of evergreens.

Orchard Beach at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx
Pelham Bay Park is New York’s largest, and it offers two different areas to picnic and grill. The 3,000-acre park encompasses trees, marshland and a rocky coastline with more than 400 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and birds.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City street closures, September 19,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on September 19, 20 and 21. There will be many streets and…

Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…