While virtual tours of zoos and aquariums are a great way to pass the time with your family during lockdown, sometimes you need to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  If you’re in search of some lovely greenscapes, here are nine parks and arboretums (see on below map) within easy driving distance of Brooklyn. Each of these places are beautiful, walkable, and well-suited for families. So pack a picnic, bring a ball, and make some fun new memories with your kids this spring. Please double check the hours listed below as everything is subject to change and be sure to maintain social distancing.


Our Green Escape Map



Bailey Arboretum County Park

Formerly an estate that was bequeathed to the public as a park, this lovely 42-acre arboretum on the North Shore of Long Island draws many visitors. From family-friendly walking trails to a pond with turtles, there’s something for kids and kids at heart alike here. Admission and parking are free and there are plenty of great picnic spots. In light of COVID-19, all buildings, restrooms, and the children’s habitat are closed under further notice. The park is currently open every day from 9am – 4pm.

Bartlett Arboretum

This bucolic estate turned park in Stamford, Connecticut is dotted with lovely gardens and walking paths. With 12 gardens and hundreds of species, the arboretum bills itself as a living classroom where people of all ages can commune with nature and learn more about various types of plants. In compliance with Stamford’s current regulations, all trails and gardens will remain open to the public until further notice. The park is currently open every day from 8am – 6pm.

Lasdon Park Arboretum

Located in Westchester, this picturesque park provides plenty of open green spaces to enjoy with the entire family. While the arboretum is currently offering guided walks of blooming perennials and shrubs and macrame planter workshops, guests should check the website before visiting to make sure those events have not been changed or cancelled based on new COVID-19 developments. The park is currently open every day from 8am – 4pm.

Lovers Leap State Park

Straddling the Housatonic Gorge, Lovers Leap is a public recreation area on the Housatonic River in the quaint community of New Milford. The 160-acre park shows off historic ruins, panoramic vistas, and a plethora of hiking trails. While the park is currently open to the public, Governor Lamont is urging all Connecticut citizens to practice social distancing. The park is currently open every day from 7am – 8pm.

Macedonia Brook State Park

Located in Northwest Connecticut, this hidden gem includes a 51-site campground, picnic area, and the Macedonia Ridge Trail, which crosses peaks such as Cobble Mountain. It’s a great place for anyone in search of a good hiking destination. After picnicking along the brook, take your kids on a short walk or more involved hike, depending on their ages and your preference. Guests should maintain social distance while in the park to safeguard other individuals. The park is currently open every day from 10am – 5pm.

Planting Fields Arboretum

A stunning 400-acre estate with greenhouses on the North Shore of Long Island, Planting Fields Arboretum is a beautiful place to pass an afternoon. Buildings are closed but the grounds are still open. Make sure to arrive early, since this is a very popular place and spots fill up quickly. The park is currently open every day from 9am – 5pm.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Nestled into the eastern foothills of the Hudson River, Rockefeller State Park Preserve is a gorgeous place to embark on quiet countryside walks through tree-dotted hills and valleys. If you have a stroller, something with larger wheels is best. Parking capacity has been reduced by 50% to ensure proper social distancing, so make sure to arrive early if possible. The park is currently open every day from 9am – 4:30pm.

Snug Harbor

This quirky urban oasis on Staten Island is an ideal place for a walk or picnic. (Bonus points: It’s extremely easy to park here.) The botanical garden will serve as a drive-through testing site for the city of New York through June, but the main outdoor grounds will remain open for socially distant hikes and strolls. The campus is currently open every day from dawn to dusk.

Trumbull Rail Trail (Pequonnock Greenway)

If you’re in search of a beautiful bike ride or walk alongside the Pequonnock River, this is it. From a vine-covered bridge to tree-trimmed walkways, Trumbull Rail Trail is a beautiful place to spend a day. There are many options for free parking along different trail entrances, but guests should make sure to properly social distance while there. Open every day from dawn to dusk.

Though the world looks very different than expected right now, these parks provide a way to let go of our worries temporarily by reconnecting with nature. Regardless of which park you decide to visit first, you’re sure to enjoy soaking up the sunshine and admiring the scenery with your kids.