The Best Picnic Spots in Manhattan

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With warmer weather just around the corner, we know you’re itching to shed those layers and enjoy time outdoors, whether that be through a morning jog, meeting a friend for coffee and feeling the sun on your shoulders, or seeking out the trendiest new restaurant that offers romantic patio seating. Summer is approaching quickly, adding picnicking in the city’s beautiful parks to this list and prompting us to put together a guide to the best picnic spots in Manhattan. So pack up your blanket and fill up your basket for an authentic outdoor dining experience at one of these Manhattan spots.

Sheep Meadow – Central Park

The Park’s largest lawn and originally home to purebred sheep until the 1930s, this spot’s name is still relevant today, as New Yorkers tend to flock to this part of Central Park whenever the weather permits. A beautiful oasis in the middle of the city, Sheep Meadow comes complete with a lush, wide open lawn and is surrounded by beautiful trees, as well as the city’s iconic skyline in the background, never letting you forget you are still a part of living, breathing New York. Located at the southern end of the park, you can pick up something to eat either at Columbus Circle or somewhere on the Upper East Side – depending where you’re coming from – and head for this spot. With plenty of space to lay out, toss a frisbee, or just people watch, Sheep Meadow is the perfect place to spend your summer Saturdays and Sundays.

Madison Square Park

While Madison Square Park may not be as scenic and secluded as Central Park, it’s the perfect spot for a lunchtime break from your daily office grind. Enjoy a coveted Shake Shack burger (and maybe treat yourself to a shake!) under the shade of the trees and stop by the temporary art displays on your way back to the office. Located in the Flatiron district, this spot may not be as lavish as some of the others, but it makes up for this shortcoming in its incredible view of the Flatiron building and in providing you with a midday getaway from the stresses of your day. With ample bench seating, you don’t have to worry about bringing a blanket along; however, after work hours, we encourage you to return to this spot with a picnic spread in tow to enjoy the romantic string lights and cool evening breeze.

The High Line

Renovated in 2009 and elevated above street level, the High Line is a beautiful and unique way to see the city and enjoy a meal. The combination of cityscape views, the glimmer off the Hudson, and artwork sprinkled along the 1.5-mile walkway makes this a truly fantastic spot with a private park feel. Scenic in more ways than one, the High Line is a true urban oasis and the perfect place for a picnic at any time of the day. Whether you’re on your lunch break, enjoying a Saturday afternoon stroll through Chelsea or visiting this area of town, stop by Chelsea Market to pick up some great eats and head for the High Line.

Bryant Park

The perfect place to reflect and take in the beauty of the morning before work, to enjoy more of the same after quitting time, and a great spot to picnic on the weekends, Bryant Park is a city favorite. With offerings from movie nights to yoga in the park to Shakespeare readings throughout the summer months, Bryant Park is a great place to lay down a blanket, set up a hearty picnic and escape the busyness of the concrete jungle. Whether you’re power lunching or settling in for an afternoon of eating and people watching, Bryant Park is the place to be!



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