Living in an urban city comes with a lot of perks. People from all over the world dream to live in Manhattan, desperate to embrace themselves in the utter magic it could potentially offer. Although, with everything in this world, New York City also has its’ negatives. There are a few that I could think of off the top of my head but as an avid lover of nature one of the biggest faults of Manhattan is that there are very few good parks. Sure, Bryant Park, Prospect Park, and Central Park are beautiful destinations. Though, how many times can you visit the same place before you get utterly bored, though? Don’t get me wrong… I really do love the views that Central Park offers. Especially if you are there at the right time, you could catch a really beautiful sunset.
Even if you are not an outdoors person, being able to visit a nice park is never bad. Surprisingly enough there are a lot of hidden parks in New York City that you may not know about. I’m here to let you in on my secret spots, so shh, don’t tell anyone. These places are hidden for a reason and that is to avoid large crowds that often visit the more well-known parks. Parks are better enjoyed when you are more relaxed and if there is a lot of hustle and bustle going on around you, you probably will not have as much fun. So, expand your pallet and get ready to venture off into some of Manhattan’s hidden parks.
Secret Garden at St. Luke in the Fields
Located on 487 Hudson St., Secret Garden at St. Luke in the Fields is one of Manhattan’s best hidden gems. This park spans across two-thirds of an acre of land (which is retrospectively a lot in New York City), has rare flora you can check out, and is all around a very well-kept and beautiful sight. There is also an abundance of berries in which you can take a look at which is special to this garden. We recommend having a picnic here as you are allowed to take food in but leave the alcohol at home because it is prohibited! If you are interested in insects, this is definitely the place for you. According to their website over 100 species of birds and 24 types of moths and butterflies have been seen at Secret Garden at St. Luke in the Fields.
Elevated Acre is a personal favorite of mine. I frequent this park, making an attempt to go at least once a week. Located at 55 Water Street, Elevated Acre offers a large span of greenery and activities right on the water. Not only are you on the water, but can you get fantastic views of New Jersey City and the Statue of Liberty. At this park you can sit on the lawn, take a relaxing walk down the boardwalk, enjoy seasonal beer, play basketball on the courts, or take your kids to the park! This place is truly special, and I could not recommend visiting it more. I have seen people taking wedding pictures here due to the sheer visual beauty it offers.
This is another hidden personal favorite. Beginning at 217 E 51st, Greenacre Park is a privately-owned, publicly accessible space. Have you ever seen a waterfall in New York City? Well, look no further because Greenacre Park has a 25ft waterfall right in the center… Incredible, no? There are also trellis with heat lamps for cold days, chairs and tables, honey locust trees, azaleas, and pansies. The beauty of it all transcends all New York City boundaries and holds a very special place in many New Yorker’s hearts.
Right on 250 W 97th St. sits Lotus Garden. This is a community garden that caters to all, but really welcomes those interested in gardening. Located on the roof of a parking garage, this 7,000 sq. ft. space is sustained by a group of volunteer gardeners. They are open to the public every Sunday afternoon from mid-April to the first week of November from 1-4PM. If you are looking for a quick and easy weekend activity, I highly recommend checking this place out. There are places to sit, flowers to look at, and fish to wave to! If you love this place enough, they are always looking for volunteers to help with the garden. So, it could become more of a permeant spot for you. There are 28 plots on the land and each plot is overseen by a designated volunteer gardener. To become a gardener, you must first become a community member ($10/year for seniors, $20/year for all other guests). Then, you have the potential to be chosen for a plot if you are in good standing with the community and have been a member for a while.
Tudor City Greens
Located at 38 Tudor City Place #24, Tudor City Greens is run by a non-for-profit organization in New York City. This group strives to preserve Tudor City’s landmarked parks. Whether you are a resident or just a passerby, this park welcomes anyone and everyone. If you are looking for a park that hosts events, this is the one for you. They have concerts, holiday events, shows, and cultural programs that are available depending on the season in which you choose to visit.