Where to Picnic in NYC (Plus Food Safety Tips)

Thinking of squeezing in a picnic in NYC before the summer ends? Check out the tips below on food safety and where to go, and enjoy a picnic with your family.

August 08, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

A picnic in NYC is a fun, low-cost way to get the whole family together, all while enjoying the outdoors.

Soak in summer’s last month with a picnic and even some summer events at one of the parks below or explore your local area for a park near you.

Brooklyn Bridge Park—Piers 1 and 5

Check out incredible panoramic views of Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park while you enjoy a family picnic on one of the shaded tables. You could even make a day of it and try free kayaking there as well.

Astoria Park

Head to the west bank of Queens to take in the views of the water and Hell Gate Bridge and take some food with you. Escape the city bustle with some much-needed green space at this popular spot this summer. You can even cool off in the free pool afterward.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park NY Picnic
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If you don’t mind a crowd, go to Bryant Park to sit on the huge lawn space with your family and listen to some music, get involved in arts and crafts, and more. The park hosts more than 1,000 free activities, classes, and events, so the fun doesn’t end with a picnic.

Randall’s Island

Plan a picnic along the East River, between East Harlem, the South Bronx, and Astoria, this summer. Randall’s Island has undergone restoration in the past few years, so it is now an even better location for the family to try out.

Governors Island

Want to feel like you’ve left the city without actually leaving? Take a quick ferry ride from Manhattan or Brooklyn to the ever-growing Governors Island for a picnic. Bring your own food and then head to the slides and events available for kids and adults. It’s open only from May 1 to October 1, so make sure to get there before the summer ends.

Before you head out to one of these spots for a picnic, make sure to take the precautions below.

Food Safety Tips for Your Picnic

Food Safety Tips
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It’s important to take the proper steps to avoid food poisoning and contamination if you plan to picnic with your family. Before you go out, check out the quick tips below to stay safe this summer.

  • Prepare wisely: Make sure you’re ready to bring ice packs, a cooler, clean utensils, and containers for leftovers. Most parks will have picnic tables, but find out ahead of time whether you need a blanket to sit on or a grill to cook your food.
  • Bring easy, healthy snacks: Get some on-the-go healthy snacks here
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands before eating. If there’s nowhere to wash your hands at a park, bring wet wipes.
  • Be careful with raw foods: If you’re eating meat, make sure it’s cooked through, and use different plates/utensils for eating and cooking
  • Be cautious of leftover food: If your leftover food has become warm, throw it out
  • Do not:
    • Thaw meat overnight; keep it in the refrigerator or cook it from the frozen state
    • Leave foods in the sun; if it’s 90 degrees or higher, food should not be left out for more than an hour
    • Partially cook meat beforehand

Want to explore the city even more before the summer ends? Check out seven free ways to get out and be active in NYC right now.


© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“Eat Outdoors, Handling Food Safely,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed July 12, 2017.

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