Best Picnic Spots in Central Park
Central Park is a picnicker’s paradise. There is the right spot for everyone whether you are going on a picnic with your family, friend or lover. The park accommodates both people who want privacy and those who want to watch people. Of course, the park is large, and you don’t want to spend all your time finding the perfect patch of grass. Since our location has given us insight into the best spots and now that spring is in full bloom and summer is around the corner, we wanted to share our favorite picnic spots. We will start from the south end of the park and work north.
The Pond is a primo locale for Midtown workers on their lunch break and the lush surroundings are a nice break from the Midtown pace. It is located just north of 59th street, but you are away from the street, wrapped in foliage. The Pond at certain times of day can attract a lot of foot traffic but if you enjoy watching people, then you should definitely take up beside The Pond.
This is a big grassy field that looks out onto the Midtown skyscrapers where you can soak up the sun and relax. It may be better than the Great Lawn as a large field of grass because it does not have ball fields around it. There, you will set up your picnic amongst people throwing around Frisbees, tanning in bathing suits or reading the latest novel on their Kindle. You do not have much foot traffic but you definitely can watch people with their friends. Some choose the shade by the Mall or Park Drive. This is an exciting space for children–just keep an eye on them.
This is the best place for a picnic if you do not mind a bench and like the shade. You will be under a canopy made by beautiful American elms and next to the statues of writers on Literary Walk. The Mall is an iconic park of Central Park and you feel when you sit there as if in the nave of a natural cathedral. You will see a lot of people new to New York or pigeons that know New York all too well, but it does not change the picturesque beauty.
Cherry Hill is a gentle slope looking over the Lake and in view of the dazzling Bow Bridge. The key to Cherry Hill is to get a good spot . Where you set up could mean a view of the bridge or it may mean that you only see the lake. Here you can see people coursing past to the Bethesda fountain or people rowing across the lake. Another idea is to go out in a row boat and bask in the park from the water. This little stretch is classic Central Park.
The sight of Strawberry Fields can be busy with tourists who have come to see this tribute to John Lennon of the Beatles. What isn’t known is that south of 72th street (Strawberry Fields is just north) you find the best private picnic spaces in the lower half of the park with lovely shaded patches of grass. Few people go there and it can be the secluded spot for you to enjoy the park with someone special.
These benches (no grass again) over here are a favorite amongst children and those who want to feel young at heart. You see people sailing toy sail boats in the water and a statue of Hans Christian Andersen that invites children to play around it. This part of the park is not far from the thick of Museum Row as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection are only a minute or two walk away. It is a quaint spot that is particularly peaceful.
Stay tuned as we tour the northern reaches of the park.
Creative Commons photos from Flickr