How do New Yorkers relax in the city that never sleeps? Where do families escape the hustle and bustle of America's most populous metropolis to enjoy the sun on a pleasant summer afternoon? While New York City may seem antonymous with peaceful, we've discovered some serene getaways that are the Big Apple's Best Kept Secrets!
Hudson River Park, the pride of the west side, lies along the banks of the Hudson River and offers a plethora of family friendly options for a fun filled afternoon. Kayak or canoe for free at Pier 96, lounge out on tranquil greens, or explore one of the 5 fabulous playgrounds. This park is a hub for physical activity and its excellently manicured lawns and well maintained wooden planked piers are the perfect place to gaze upon New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty. To top it off, there are restrooms (that are clean) everywhere!
In the shadow of a European-esque arch lies Washington Square Park. Bustling with culture and lively with entertainment, this urban oasis surrounded by New York University offers up a unique experience with each visit. If you´re lucky, you can catch "The Piano Guy", Collin Huggins, stroking the keys of his grand piano, which he drags here via the subway 2-3 days a week, or be interviewed by Humans of NY's founder/photographer Brandon Stanton, who frequents the park to interview his photo subjects. Pack a picnic, find a spot near the playground and let the kids run free while you bask in the eclectic atmosphere.
New Yorkers love physical activity, and there is no better place to release steam than the West Side Highway Bike Path. With gorgeous views of the skyline, this riverside passage (prohibited to vehicles) is the place for New Yorkers to be seen being active. Dust off your rollerblades or grab some bicycles and take the family on a dynamic adventure through the city that never sleeps.
If you desire a more peaceful adventure, The High Line is the perfect place to (literally) get above it all. At 30 ft. above street level, this elevated former freight railway has been transformed into an unlikely and incredibly unique green space. Take a stroll in the sky while youngsters are entranced by the earthiness, grass, and sunlight, and quickly recharge internal batteries.
Although New York is a bustling metropolis, its green recreational areas excellently complement the concrete skyline and provide kids and parents with exceptional opportunities to be active in an urban jungle. To discover more ways to let loose with the kids in the Big Apple, check out Knok's New York City Travel Map for Families.