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Places to Go on a Date in NYC Parks: Winter

Planning a date? Here's a list of places to go and things to do on a date in New York City's parks during the winter: 

Central Park, Manhattan


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Skate along to music while enjoying this spectacular view of Manhattan from Wollman Rink, at the southern end of Central Park. 

If you're looking to explore more of Manhattan's largest and most iconic park, there's no shortage of things to do and see on your next adventure. To help you out, here's a map of Central Park.


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Head north up the Mall to Bethesda Terrace for a magnificent view of the Angel of Waters. Head northwest on the trail, pass the the lake, and cross Bow Bridge. This 19th century bridge is a favorite spot for lovebirds, wedding photos, and capturing the view of the park's west end. Continue north on the trail through the Ramble—the wilder side of Central Park— where birds frequent, especially owls during the winter.

As you hike up the hilly pathways, you'll see a castle peeking up ahead. That's Belvedere Caste where, since 1919, the National Weather Service has measured the weather for New York City. Step inside (admission is free). Climb all the way to the top of the castle for a panoramic view of the park. This is the highest point in Central Park.

Other places to see: Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory Garden, Strawberry Fields, the Arsenal Gallery, and the Harlem Meer. More information about Central Park

Wave Hill, Bronx


Photo courtesy of Wave Hill

On warm winter days, come to this 28-acre garden that looks out on a stunningly serene view of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. Things get steamy at the Tropical House, an indoor garden in the Conservatory that's filled with ferns, bromeliads, and rainforest cacti. Have lunch at the indoor cafe, and be sure to check out the art gallery. Wave Hill offers tours of the gardens year-round and hosts events for kids and families, aspiring chefs, gardeners, and artists. 

General admission is $8 per adult, but you can visit Wave Hill for free on Target Free Days—Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. More information about Wave Hill

Carl Schurz Park, Manhattan


Photo courtesy of Gracie Mansion Conservancy

Join a free tour of NYC Mayor's official residence here at Gracie Mansion in Carl Schurz Park. To sign up for a tour, please visit on.nyc.gov/gracietour.


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Or, enjoy the park's beautiful landscape and quiet seating areas. Head out on the promenade for a stunning view of the Queensboro Bridge and the East River islands, like Randall's Island and Roosevelt Island.

More information about Carl Schurz Park

Prospect Park, Brooklyn


Photo by Martin Seck, courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

Warm up with some hot chocolate and go ice skating at LeFrak Center. More information about the Prospect Park ice skating rink


Photo by Michael Moran/Courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

Grab lunch at the Bluestone Lakeside Cafe. The menu features fried zucchini sticks, burgers (including a veggie burger), West Indian chicken curry, and Spanish croquettes, as well as a variety of wines and beer. More information about Bluestone Lakeside Cafe


Photo by Paul Martinka/Courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

If you're venturing out into the park, head to Lookout Hill. This is the highest point in Prospect Park. From here, you can capture a panoramic view of Brooklyn. Stop by the Boathouse by the lake. It's the first urban-area Audubon center in the nation. Step back in time to the 1800s at Lefferts House, a Dutch farmhouse that's now a museum.  Visit the park's newest residents—two red panda cubs and three little pigs—at the Prospect Park Zoo. Escape to a tropical paradise at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Tropical Pavilion, a recreation of a rainforest, complete with waterfalls. Admission to the garden is free on weekdays from December through February. More information about Prospect Park

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Staten Island


Photo courtesy of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

There's so much to do and see at this cultural wonderland in Staten Island. Catch a show at the historic Music Hall, wander through a bamboo forest path at the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, see how the garden's rarest and most beautiful parks grow at the Carl Grillo Glass House, and learn about the borough's amazing history at the Staten Island Museum. More information about Snug Harbor

Bartow-Pell Mansion, Bronx & The Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Tucked away in Pelham Bay Park is the grand Grecian-style Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and garden that overlooks The lagoon in New York City's largest park. The property dates back to the 1790s, when it was purchased by John Bartow Prevost. Today, the museum offers tours of the 19th century mansion that give insight into the lives of prominent New Yorkers. These New Yorkers included Mayor LaGuardia who used the mansion as a summer office and Aaron Burr (the third vice president of the United States and shooter of Alexander Hamilton) who was married to John Bartow's mother Theodosia Bartow. 

Aaron Burr was John Bartow's stepfather. Nearly 40 years after Theodosia died, Burr married the wealthiest woman in 19th century America, Eliza Jumel.


 

She lived here at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Roger Morris Park. Burr married Lady Jumel 29 years after he killed Alexander Hamilton. But when Eliza decided to divorce him three years later, she hired Alexander Hamilton's son as her divorce lawyer. The divorce was finalized on September 14, 1836, the same day Aaron Burr died. Eliza lived in the house until her death in 1865. Some believe the mansion is haunted by lady Jumel.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion is open to visitors on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The garden and grounds are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to dusk.

Oakland Lake, Queens


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Take a stroll around this scenic 30,000-year-old pond in Alley Pond Park that's a haven for birds all year-round. Have a seat by the waterside or venture out on one of the many hiking trails that lead through a forest that boast being home to the tallest and oldest tree in New York City.

More information about Oakland Lake at Alley Pond Park

Bryant Park, Manhattan


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Admission to the Rink at Bryant Park is free! Grab some skates (or rent a pair) and hit the ice with your sweetheart. During the holidays, there's plenty to see, shop, and eat at the Winter Village holiday shops, but there are a few other park staples worth dining in. Make reservations for the Bryant Park Grill, an open-late restaurant overlooking the park. Come for the panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan. 

More information about Bryant Park

Inwood Hill Park & Muscota Marsh, Manhattan


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks 

If you're a nature lover, you're in the right place. This park is home to Manhattan's only natural forest that's also one of the best places to see owls that live in New York City. More information about Inwood Hill Park

Head north to Spuyten Duyvil Creek to enjoy a romantic view of the Henry Hudson Bridge at Muscota Marsh.


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

You'll most likely see majestic birds like blue herons and snowy egrets here. Stick around for a beautiful sunset! More information about Muscota Marsh

Hiking with a park guide


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Hiking is a great way to explore our parks and discover New York City's best views and fascinating history, all while keeping warm. Our Urban Park Rangers host low intensity to vigorous hikes in parks in every borough. Find a hiking event

If you prefer to venture out in the great outdoors on your own, visit our hiking trails page to find a list of trails around New York City.

Van Cortlandt House, Bronx


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

It's the oldest house in the Bronx! George Washington stayed here a few times during the Revolutionary War and turned the mansion into his temporary headquarters. Come check it out. The house is open to the public on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about Van Cortlandt House

Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters, Manhattan


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Escape to this beautiful waterfront park built by Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr. whose father was the architect of Central Park and Prospect Park. The park's massive pathways feature awe-inspiring views of the Hudson River, the New Jersey Palisades, and the Heather Garden—the city's largest free public garden, which is in bloom all year! More information about Fort Tryon Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The park grounds is also home to The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and home to more than 5,000 pieces of medieval works of art for more than 150 years. More information about The Cloisters

Silver Lake Park, Staten Island


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Take a stroll around Staten Island's Silver Lake Reservoir, a sparkling beauty amidst the massive 205-acre park. Enjoy a romantic stroll on a walkway that spans the lake or hang out with your dog pals at the dog run. More information about Silver Lake Park

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