Located in Queens, New York. At 655 acres, Alley Pond Park is the second-largest park in Queens. It’s a true green oasis since the wooded trails are so peaceful and quiet that they provide a refuge for City dwellers. The Woodlands at the southern end of the Park contain 100 acres of continuous forest canopy, with many trees that are 200 years old. There’s also plenty of open space for picnicking and social distancing, as well as playgrounds.
Located in Great River, Long Island, New York. This beautiful arboretum was originally a private estate built for William Bayard Cutting that dates back to the 19th century. The 691-acre property features a number of lovely nature trails, gardens and a farm. The property is located on the Connetquot River. The arboretum grounds are currently open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 4pm. Closed on Mondays.
Located in Stamford, Connecticut. The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is spread over 93 beautiful acres. There are hiking trails that pass through gardens, ponds, rivers and forested areas including wetlands full of wildlife. The trails are well marked and easily accessible for families. The park is currently open every day from 8am – 6pm.
Located in Bear Mountain, New York. Bear Mountain State Park, on the west bank of the Hudson River, has over 5,000 acres of open space featuring trails, lakes, shady picnic groves, and even a Trailside Zoo housing rehabilitated wildlife. The trails around Hessian Lake are kid-friendly. You can also drive to the top of Bear Mountain, where there is a handicap-accessible summit loop with amazing views. The zoo is open daily 10:30 am to 4 pm (Last entrance at 3:30 pm). The park is open dawn to dusk.
Located in Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, New York. This is a beautiful state park and nature reserve located on the Long island Sound. It features gardens, a farm, horses and equestrian center, a historic mansion and other buildings, and plenty of green spaces for picnics. It’s a great family-friendly outing that features a paved, flat path that is a favorite for casual cyclists and also good for walking. The park is currently open Monday – Sunday 8am – 9pm.
Queens, New York. If you’re looking for something closer to home, Forest Park is an underrated treasure on the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Originally called Brooklyn Forest Park, this 538-acre park contains the largest continuous oak forest in Queens. The park has easy hiking trails for exploring the woods with little ones, as well as a walking/bicycling path that’s perfect for strollers.
Staten Island, NY. The Greenbelt is made up of 2800 acres of parks, trails, and natural areas within the heart of Staten Island. The park includes New York City’s largest remaining forest preserve, wetlands, open meadows, and rolling hills. High Rock Park is the cornerstone of the Greenbelt and one of the area’s most popular “Forever Wild” parks (a program established by NYC Parks to protect New York City’s most ecologically valuable lands). It contains 6 trails, 5 ponds and a 260-foot man-made hill (named after Robert Moses) with a 360-degree panoramic view of the park. The Greenbelt is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Rockland and Orange counties, New York. Harriman State Park is the second-largest park in the New York State parks system, with 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, two beaches, and miles of streams, scenic roads, and vantage points. Pine Meadow Lake is easily accessible by car and has kid-friendly trails surrounding it. Off peak or early morning is best as this popular spot can get crowded.
Located in the northern section of the Bronx, in Pelham Bay Park. This lovely park has stunning views of the Long Island Sound and plenty of waterfront areas for collecting rocks. This beautiful island off the Bronx has hiking trails and beautiful greenery. It is busiest on summer weekends, so consider visiting during the week or spring/fall.
Katonah, Westchester, New York. 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.