The Best Outdoor Activities in New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York , Fun , food , Nature , sport , parks , kayaking , climbing
The Best Outdoor Activities in New York
What to do outdoors in New York City
There are so many things to see and do in New York City but here we have assembled the very best outdoor activities to enjoy when you visit...

Like the above pictured Central Park, New York City is full of top attractions and exciting sites to see, including world famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But New York is also replete with wonderful outdoor activities to participate in, and with the temperature now starting to cool a little, this is the perfect time to visit and explore all that is on offer. There is far too much to list right here but take a look below and learn about some of New York’s outdoor activity highlights.


Bouldering in Central Park

Central Park is of course well known all around the world, but did you know there is a thriving climbing community that gathers there? Bouldering is a pretty demanding variation of traditional rock climbing, and one that doesn’t require any ropes; it’s a tough challenge, but for the fit and healthy, and those looking to work up a sweat during their New York holiday, it’s a must try. Central Park has three suitably named spots where one can participate – Cat Rock, Wave Rock, and Rat Rock. Central Park isn’t just a hub for climbing, however, there is all sorts to see and do. For more information, check out the Central Park website and


Ride a Bike

woman on bike in New York


New York has a great biking community and there are plenty of opportunities to participate during your stay in the city. If you want to take a different look at Central Park, you can rent bicycles starting from just $7. Wolfe’s Pond Park, located on Staten Island, is another great location, providing mountain biking lovers with a dense wood on the island’s southern side. There are numerous trails to be ridden, ranging from beginners to intermediate. The truth is that New York has many wonderful routes to cycle along, and luckily for all those excited by the prospect there are great resources like NYC Bike Maps available to help guide you.


A Walk in the Park

New York City is replete with wonderful parks to explore and they make for the perfect venue when the sun is shining or even during the winter months. While in NYC you should make sure to take a walk or two at a location like Inwood Hill Park with its 196-acres and the area’s last remaining remnants of virgin forest. There are some truly spectacular views to be had here and it’s worth keeping an eye out for some majestic American wildlife, such as the bald eagle. You can find out more about New York’s parks over at the NYC Parks website.


Picnics in the Park


picnic in the park


When the sun is out, there isn’t much that is better than a picture-perfect New York City picnic. This relaxed outdoor activity is one that should certainly be on your to-do-list. With many of the wonderful parks mentioned on hand, a picnic with your friends, family, and loved one’s is an easy task. It’s made simpler still by the great number of excellent picnic specialists ready to cater for you.

Companies like Upicnic, which will deliver picnic goodies to your desired location, are a great way to make this all possible. Upicnic spoke to us about their services, suggested their favourite locations, and explained why a New York picnic is such an attractive proposition:

“A picnic at Central Park is a must do tradition. Among the high towers of NYC, it’s perfect to feel the lawn and watch the sky. It's very iconic because it's home for all types of animals and natural habitats right in the middle of the city. We New Yorkers call it, ‘feeling alive’.

“There are several fantastic picnic locations available for couples; our favourite is Strawberry Hills. Strawberry Hills is the spot in all New York movies, looking out to the lake. The lake attracts many people for different activities, such as The Boathouse where you can rent a boat and enjoy your day on the lake. Another one is The Bow Bridge where a lot of couples get married, propose, and take pictures for their wedding. For all these reasons, it’s a perfect place to have a picnic and enjoy your day. Some other locations are: Sheep Meadow and Big Rock Area.

“Upicnic started working in the 5 boroughs of New York City two years ago. The way it works is straightforward; you pick a day and the time. After you start filling your basket, you can add food, drinks and more than 35 games that you can rent throughout the day. Even if you want something more, you can just rent a live musician to your location (sounds crazy right?). We deliver it to the location that you ask and come back and pick it up whenever you want! (No time limit).”


Kayaking in the Hudson


Kayaking in the Hudson river


The Hudson is one of the most famous rivers in the world and you will be hard pressed to find a location with better views of the iconic city than when you’re kayaking through its waters. There are a true bevy of companies catering to this specific outdoor activity and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. One such company is Manhattan Kayak + SUP who offer group courses for those really wanting to perfect the craft. Eric Stiller, the founder and owner of Manhattan Kayak, told us why visitors to NYC should be giving kayaking a go:

“To see and feel the most modern and impressive human made mountain range in the world from the seat of one of mankind’s oldest means of traveling on water. Bottom Line: this could only happen in New York.

“Our Skyline Tour was designed to make this the most memorable way to experience the aforementioned while still being accessible for beginners. We have been providing these experiences for 21 years and are located 1 mile due west of Times Square. Less than a half hour after arriving you will be in a totally different world!

“For very experienced paddlers we have an even grander menu of experiences to choose from.”


Fun at Hudson River Park


Hudson River Park kayaking


If you are looking to just make a splash in the Hudson, however, there are a number of free kayaking services available from different piers, along with a variety of other activities. Hudson River Park is full of great games, sports, and events to enjoy, and we were lucky enough to speak to the park about the location and just what is on offer.

“Hudson River Park, the longest waterfront park in the United States, is definitely a must-visit in NYC” the park told us. “Attracting 17 million visits each year, the Park offers a myriad of recreational and educational activities for local residents and visitors alike, and plays a critical role in protecting the Hudson River environment itself.

“There’s kayaking, catch-and-release fishing, tennis courts, mini golf, a carousel, dog parks, playgrounds, a trapeze school, bike paths, and tons of free events like concerts, exercise classes like Healthy on the Hudson, children’s programming like Hudson RiverKids concerts, the upcoming SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival, and so much more.”

As you can see, if you are looking for fun times outdoors in NYC, you can’t go wrong with Hudson River Park.


Eat and Drink on the Water

With all the exciting attractions in New York to visit, and after walking around the city gazing at the wonderful sites, a nice refreshing drink and delicious meal by or even on the water will probably be sounding pretty good. Luckily, you won’t have to look too far for a great spot. There are a number of top dinner cruises available in the city, providing some exquisite views that you won’t want to miss. Also, Grand Banks on Pier 25, an oyster bar set aboard a historic wooden ship, serves “nautically inspired” cocktails and, of course, a superb menu of oysters.


Visit a Popup Street Fair

New York is legendary for its shopping but if you are looking for a more unique experience during your visit, try heading down to a popup street fair to grab yourself some crafts, clothes and food. Pop Up New York attempt to create a truly new wave street experience, working with up-and-coming restaurants, designers, and musicians. There is a jam packed schedule available on their website so make sure to take a look before your trip so you know when and where to be for a slightly different shopping experience.

Image credit: Central Park


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York , Fun , food , Nature , sport , parks , kayaking , climbing