OUTDOOR NYC

Stay safe in the urban outdoors.

Also see our guides to museums, pop-ups and adventures beyond NYC in Westchester, Long Island & New Jersey.

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MANHATTAN

Electric Dandelions & Daisies

Seaport

Giant steel and acrylic dandelion flowers by artist Abram Santa Cruz and LA-based art collective Liquid PXL evoke an endless display of colorful fireworks. The 10 elegant 28-foot structures are pretty flowers in the daytime, then LED animations to work their magic when the sun goes down. Also see Daises, a sprawling exhibit of…

King Nyani

Midtown-30s

Nestle in the hand of King Nyani, a 23 ft long bronze gorilla sculpture by world-renowned public artists Gillie and Marc Schattner. Nyani will lounge in Bella Abzug Park, already a colorful, engaging place to play, near Hudson Yards for 11 months to bring awareness and raise funds for the critically endangered gorilla species through…

The Big Button

Midtown-30s

Hundreds of wisteria vines, roses, poppies, hydrangeas and green foliage transform the Garment District NYC kiosk into a traditional red pincushion tomato with twelve floral pins made entirely of carnations in different colors honoring all the hard working Garment District workers of the past two centuries. Look for butterflies.

East Village/Lower East Side Street Art

Lower East Side

Look for lots of cool murals around this hip neighborhood, on walls, sliding metal gates and on the sidewalk. Current favorite include a I ❤️ NY mural at The Jones NYC (Great Jones Street & Bowery), a swing you can sit on among tulips at Bloomeffects (Bowery & Bleecker), a heart door at

Ziggy

Seaport

Lounge and climb on rainbow colored inventive seating options on vibrantly colored painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord by Hou De Sousa.

Across the street from the fun Imagination Playground and the historic, cobblestoned Seaport District with cute shops and restaurants plus historic tall ships in the harbor.

Sam Moyer: Doors For Doris

Central Park

Try to open massive stone doors in a massive three-part sculpture on the southeastern edge of Central Park. Moyer’s hybrid sculpture unites imported stone with rock indigenous to the New York region with beautiful inlaid marble fragments. The title pays homage to Public Art Fund founder, Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981)

Bryant Park

Midtown-40s

There’s always something fun happening – performances, classes, games and more- at this lush midtown oasis with perhaps the cleanest public bathrooms in the city.

* Read books, newspapers, and magazines for all ages in the Reading Room open-air library.

* Create art inspired by the urban life, flowers, and monuments of Bryant Park with…

The Musical Brain

Chelsea

Nine artists approach music through different lenses—historical, political, performative, and playful—in new installations and soundscapes installed throughout the High Line.

Sit next to human shaped sculptures made with colorful musical instruments, explore what stories discarded objects tell when played and hear what happens when a railway spike becomes a bell. Daily at dusk, see…

Tulip Festival

Upper West Side-80s

Admire over 100 varieties of tulip tulips and other flowers in a charming community garden. The official festival hours are April 17–18 and April 24–25, 10am­–6pm, but visit on a weekday or early morning if you can- same tulips, fewer people.

During festival hours, 40 visitors at a time be able to enter on 89th…

Conservatory Gardens

Central Park

Enter the magnificent 1894 Vanderbilt Gate to Central Park’s only formal garden, a six-acre oasis within an oasis with European charm.

Climb onto the wisteria pergola in the Italianate Center Garden overlooking a yew hedges-bordered large lawn and 12-foot jet fountain. To the north, the French-style garden offers spectacular seasonal displays of tulips and Korean…

Brookfield Place: Anne Vieux: { float } & Tatiana Arocha

Fidi

Try to figure out what’s virtual and what’s real in Brooklyn-based artist Anne Vieux’s large-scale vinyl luminous hyperreal “painting.”

Also see Colombian visual artist Tatiana Arocha’s trasnformed flora and fauna that recreates and reimagines endangered ecosystems in a monochromatic palette of black, white, and grey with occasional shimmers of gold

Lots of food options at…

Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges

Midtown-50s

See works by the three Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria in 1938 including comic books, New Yorker cartoons, Mad magazine spoofs, caricatures, portraiture, fashion design, advertising, and children’s books, among other formats. Biographical material and ephemera amplify the artists’ personal stories of survival and help contextualize…

High Line

Meatpacking

Take a stroll on the unique public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Timed-entry passes required on weekends. On weekdays, the park is open at 7 am –7 pm without reservations.

Lots of nature, art installations (including current group exhibition The Musical Brain), …

The Loeb Boathouse

Central Park

Weather permitting, rent classic rowboats, available April through November, 10 am until dusk. Boats are $20 per hour (cash only), $5 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 cash deposit. Each boat holds up to 4 people. Life jackets provided.

Dine overlooking the lovely lake on a breezy. covered terrace at this elegant yet…

Central Park Zoo

Central Park

Visit sea lions, snow monkeys, red pandas, turtles, bears and other animals at the cozy Central Park Zoo.

* Most indoor areas are now open including the delightful penguins & sea birds exhibit and tropic zone. 4D Theater is closed.

* Climb, play and pet at the interactive children’s zoo across the path.

* Some…

Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Your ocular relief’

Chelsea

Explore light and rainbows with Olafur Eliasson’s investigation of the cognitive and cultural conditions of perception, seeking to offer an alternative to the current pressures that shape our existence. Trippy and gorgeous.

Exhibition is by appointment only. Closed Sunday & Monday.

Lazy Oaf at Galeria Melissa

Soho

Chill in a groovy pastel recreation of the Lazy Oaf studios in London with daisy pillows and checkered mirror at a friendly shoe store Galleria Melissa in celebration of the the return Melissa x LazyOaf sandal collabs, available in adult and kid sizes in a range of colors.

SHOWFIELDS

Noho/Nolita

The self-proclaimed “most interesting store in the world” features cool direct to consumer brands and rotating interactive art exhibits & brand-pop ups. Find a hidden fuzzy slide to a vibrant, dreamlike, fuzzy room created by Dominican American artist Uzumaki Cepeda as a safe spaces free from colorism, transphobia and homophobia. Hand sanitizer (in high-design dispensers)…

Red Grooms

Chelsea

See over 30 of of Red Grooms’vibrant paintings and “sculpto-picto-ramas.” Look for interesting details in these vibrant, these inventive and witty depictions of New York.

Claes & Coosje A Duet

Chelsea

See a garland of giant faux wildflowers in suspended animation in a celebration of the collaborative spirit that animated Claes Oldenburg and the late Coosje van Bruggen’s artistic achievements and romantic partnership. Survey seminal works in sculpture including some of the most famous landmarks in urban and civic spaces around the world and learn about…

Goodnight House

Lower East Side

Explore an immersive group exhibition of works inspired by the American children’s book classic, Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, first published in 1947. Through contemporary reimaginings of various objects found within the book’s bedroom setting, Goodnight House explores how the (slightly subversive) book has been woven into a…

The Peace Fountain & Children’s Sculpture Garden

Harlem

See charming small bronze animal sculptures created by K-12 students from NYC and tri-state area around a 40-foot high bronze sculpture by Cathedral Artist-in-Residence Greg Wyatt. Depictions of a giant crab, nine giraffes, a double helix, Albert Einstein  the sun and satan represent the eternal conflict between good and evil.

Also look for peacocks roaming…

Discovery Pop-Up Program: The Birds of Central Park

Central Park

Each year, more than 200 bird species make an appearance in Central Park, a popular stopover along the Atlantic Flyway. Discover how to spot and respectfully appreciate these winged wonders with park birding guides, stationed at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center Plaza Saturdays 11 am–1 pm and Belvedere Castle Sundays 11 am–1 pm.

Also borrow…

BROOKLYN/QUEENS

Reverberation

Use foot pedals to ring five cast bronze symphonic bell structures along the Brooklyn waterfront. Each bell has a unique pattern of drilled holes and distinct tones that match evocative titles: Reflector, Singer, Dreamer, Listener, and Mother.

Artist Davina Semo intends for these bright orange bells to sound an optimistic note. As we “ring out…

Welling Court Mural Project

Walk though multiple blocks of 100+ murals by artists from around the corner and around the world, providing new arrays of visual experiences that change how people interact with their environment. Mural map available online.

J.J. Byrne Playground & Old Stone House

Enjoy lots of modern climbing equipment juxtaposed with colonial themes inspired by the adjacent Old Stone House, site of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn. Explore a submarine periscope and interactive panels depicting the historic battle among natural stone and rustic pavement, then attack your enemies with water cannons.

A gated toddler area features bucket swings,…

Unisphere/Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The iconic Unisphere from the 1939 World’s Fair is the centerpiece of a lovely park with lots of green space, a skateboarding park, and some interesting structures to explore.

Rent bikes, 4-wheeled surreys, kayaks, pedal boats, and more from Wheel Fun Rentals at the northern edge of Meadow Lake.

For safety, all boaters…

Domino Park

This large waterfront park has cool design and amazing bridge and Manhattan views.

* The playground, designed by the artist Mark Reigelman, has fun features like spinning valve wheels cast from Domino Sugar originals and a 26-foot-high silo with ladders, webbing and slides pay homage to the manufacturing process of the nearby former Domino Sugar…

Brooklyn Bridge Park

This expansive park has great attractions and a gorgeous only-in-NYC view. Explore refurbished piers, most of which host playgrounds (our favorites are at Pier 6 including giant Slide Mountain, Sandbox Village, Swing Valley and the splashy Water Lab). Play in the sand and admire tide pools at Pier 4 Beach (no swimming/wading).

Lots of

Gantry Plaza State Park/Hunter’s Point Park South

Visit two Long Island City playgrounds within walking distance of each other set in a large riverside oasis with spectacular Manhattan views.

Lots of places to climb and spin (and splash in the summer) at the playground at Gantry Plaza State Park with a cushioned rainbow floor and groovy design. Stroll along the park’s four…

Zucker Natural Exploration Area

Strategically placed branches and stumps of trees damaged by storms and other materials from within Prospect Park invite engagement nature and unstructured play in this magical playground. several areas to explore including sand for digging and water features for pumping and splashing.

Monuments Now

This outdoor exhibition on a gorgeous park overlooking the East River seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorate underrepresented narratives such as diasporic, Indigenous, and queer histories.

Queens Zoo

This intimate zoo in Flushing Meadows houses wildlife native to the Americas including more than 4,000 Puerto Rican crested toads, Andean Bear Cubs, American bison and rare breeds of domestic animals including Flemish giant rabbits, Texas longhorn cattle, and Jacob’s four-horned sheep.

Some food and shopping available but only accepting credit card/apple pay. Advance online…

Industry City

The public art & high design at this innovative hub has cool art and photo-ops throughout plus tons of great international food options & with lots of heated outdoor seating including a fire pit by Sahadi’s and the lovely lantern covered courtyard of Japan Village. Try Korean comfort food, avocado everything, BBQ, pizza,…

Queens County Farm Museum

Visit 47-acres of the longest continuously farmed site in New York State (since 1697). See historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard and herb garden and livestock including cattle, sheep, chickens and llamas.

New York Aquarium

See sharks, rays, sea otters, octopus, jellyfish and more at the oldest continually operating aquarium in the US.

* Take in a sea lion show at the Aquatheater (limited seating), chill out while zebra sharks swim overhead and admire rainbow colored coral exhibits.

* Explore a new exhibit Spineless celebrating weird and wonderful invertebrates.

*…

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Bronze Statue

Make a free reservation for a 20-minute slot to view a new bronze statue of late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bronze statue be unveiled at City Point by GillieandMarcArt.

Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma

Enter an illuminated outdoor sculpture for communal meditation and reprieve by Brooklyn-based artist Ekene Ijeoma and breathe in time with the changing light. Created in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racial injustice in the United States, Breathing Pavilion offers sanctuary at a time of intense hardship and loss.

On Tuesday evenings, see site-specific musical performances.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Explore a 52-acre urban botanic garden with a variety of plants and habitats.

*  Don’t miss the lovely Japanese Garden’s pond, home to turtles, carp, ducks and its small Shinto shrine guarded by two stone fox statues (and gorgeous cherry blossoms in the spring).

* Download a kids field journal and see tips…

Art in the Garden: Spring Weekends

Celebrate the welcome return of spring at Brooklyn Botanic Garden with casual, pop-up music and dance performances on weekends. The diverse line-up is different each weekend with dance and music from Japan, Africa, Jewish traditions and more.

 

 

Downtown Brooklyn Car Free Earth Day

Join Downtown Brooklyn for an exciting earth-friendly activation at Albee Square Plaza and Albee Square West – which will be closed to traffic all day. Bring your bikes, roller skates, and beach chairs and enjoy a car free street plus eco-friendly performances by Artichoke Dance Company.

Pratt Fashion Live Lookbook

See a site-specific presentation of Pratt Institute’s senior class of fashion designers’ original works around Albee Square. The event will be live streamed on Instagram at @prattfashion.

Downtown Brooklyn Kid-Friendly Ping Pong Happy Hours

Enjoy friendly ping pong games with The Push with a DJ soundtrack.Paddles and balls will be sanitized after each use.

Mark Morris on the Plaza

Mark Morris Dance Group hosts a celebratory weekend featuring Mark Morris Dance Group’s first live performances in Brooklyn in over a year. Also see the school’s student companies perform and participate in free classes for all ages with and without disabilities.

BRONX

Bronx Equestrian Center

Bronx

Stop by this horse farm in Pelham Bay Park Park for pony rides ($5/three rides) or reserve relaxing trail rides ($65/hour). Long pants, closed shoes, helmets required and available at the stable. Bug repellent recommended.

Lessons for ages 6+ ($40/half-hour private lesson) and weekly camps also available.

Also visit nearby Orchard Beach, explore the lovely…

Bronx Zoo

Bronx

 See tigers, bears, gorillas and over 650 other species of awesome animals at this 265 acres+ zoo.

* Tons of indoor and outdoor attractions – expect lots of walking but strollers welcome and the roads are scenic with pretty trees (and some bold peacocks).

* Learn about gorillas and watch them play in the mostly indoors Congo Gorilla Forest, ride on a ladybug on the Bug Carousel, pet and feed sheep, cows…

Kusama: Cosmic Nature

Bronx

Experience a multisensory presentation of the work of internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Explore the artist’s profound engagement with nature throughout the changing seasons from spring into fall.

* Multiple installations across NYBG’s 250-acre landmark landscape and buildings include Kusama’s signature mirrored environments and organic forms – find polka-dotted sculptures of colossal flora, mesmerizing…

Wave Hill

Bronx

Explore 28-acre of gardens and woodlands with more than 4,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants and dramatic views of the Hudson River.

The delicious Café has grab-and-go items, snacks and beverages amn outdoor seating on a lovely terrace. Or bing your own food to a picnic area by the art gallery.

Join…

Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure

Bronx

Hangout in the treetops at the Bronx Zoo’s sustainably created aerial ropes course. Ride a 400-foot-long zipline over the Bronx River and/or swing from rope to rope, skateboard high above the ground, and navigate your way through the trees i seven courses of varying difficulties.

Make of it with a visit to the many animals…