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A picnic area. There is a barbecue grill in the foreground with food that is cooking. In the distance are colorful umbrellas and people eating alongside a river. There is a sunset.
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Picnic Peninsula
Etienne Frossard

The best New York parks for barbecues and picnics

Summer is almost here—get ready to fire up the grill

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Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Picnic Peninsula
| Etienne Frossard

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season, which means its time to start scouting the best spots for a good old-fashioned cookout. Don’t let lack of access to a backyard hold you back: There are plenty of spaces within New York City’s parks where you can get the grill fired up for some good food and fun.

We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled this map of 40 places where you can grill (and quite possibly chill) across NYC—and if we missed a spot, let us know in the comments.

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1. East River Park

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East River Park
New York, NY 10019
(212) 639-9675
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Located along the waterfront, this park features playgrounds, bike paths, an amphitheater, and more. There's only one BBQ spot, near East 10th Street, and you'll need a special permit to use it.

There is a park in the foreground with trees and people lounging. In the distance is a body of water and a city skyline. NYC Parks

2. Thomas Jefferson Park

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2180 1st Ave
New York, NY 10029

This relatively small park still manages to have one barbecue spot, an indoor recreation center, and outdoor swimming pool.

A park with trees and a fence. NYC Parks

3. Morningside Park

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W 110th St to W 123rd St
New York, NY 10026

This park stretches across 13 blocks and features steep inclines, hillsides, and winding paths ideal for bike riding or walking. Its sole BBQ spot is at Morningside Avenue and West 121st Street.

A park with colorful flowers. There is a path where people are walking. There are many trees. NYC Parks

4. St. Nicholas Park

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St. Nicholas Ave
New York, NY 10027

In addition to two BBQ spots, this Harlem park features a lush green lawn, basketball and handball courts, and dog-friendly areas.

A park. In the foreground is green grass. In the distance are trees with multicolored leaves. NYC Parks

5. Riverside Park

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Despite its huge size—the park covers miles of waterfront space offering playgrounds, baseball fields, and basketball courts—Riverside Park has one lone BBQ pit, at 145th Street. We'd recommend getting there early on the day you wish to claim it.

6. Fort Washington Park

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Hudson River Greenway
New York, NY 10032

This waterfront park is most famous for the Little Red Lighthouse, but it also offers baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, and views of the George Washington Bridge and the Jersey Palisades. There's also one barbecue spot at 158th Street on the river.

A park path. The path has grass on both sides and trees. In the distance is a bridge. There is a body of water to the left of the path.

7. Highbridge Park

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173rd St & Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10032

Featuring many highly regarded landmarks—and connected to the lovely High Bridge—this park has bike greenways, volleyball and baseball courts, an outdoor park, and more. There's one barbecue spot at West 177th Street.

A path with people walking on it. The path is surrounded by trees and grass. NYC Parks

8. Inwood Hill Park

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630 Isham St
New York, NY 10034
(212) 942-6900
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Somehow, this enormous park has only one barbecuing spot, at Dyckman Street and the Hudson River. But this park does have Manhattan’s last natural forest and salt marsh, along with hiking trails, bike paths, plenty of fields and courts, and dog-friendly spaces.

In the foreground is a green lawn. In the distance are trees and a bridge. NYC Parks

9. Van Cortlandt Park

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Broadway
Bronx, NY 10471
(718) 549-7272
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New York City’s third largest park is home to the first public golf course, the Bronx’s largest freshwater lake, and two barbecue spots, including one near the pool.

A body of water surrounded by trees with green leaves. Shutterstock.com

10. Pelham Bay Park

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Pelham Bay Park
Bronx, NY

Unsurprisingly, the city's largest park also has a few places where grillers can do their thing, including two near Orchard Beach. And that only scratches the surface of what there is to do here—there's the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, a golf course, access to City Island, and more.

In the foreground is a green lawn. In the distance is a tall monument with a gold ornamental top. There are trees surrounding the monument. Shutterstock

11. Crotona Park

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1682 Boston Rd
Bronx, NY 10460

In addition to one spot for barbecuing, this Bronx park features a 3.3 acre lake, 20 hard tennis courts, and the Bronx’s largest pool.

A park with trees, a path, and grass. NYC Parks

12. Hunts Point Riverside Park

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Lafayette Ave
Bronx, NY

There are a few grills at this South Bronx park, which also features playgrounds in the shape of canoes (a nod to its waterfront locale).

A park with benches and tables, trees, and a path. NYC Parks

13. Ferry Point Park

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Hutchinson Creek
Bronx, NY

This 9.5 acre park has two barbecue spots—at its northern and southern ends—and 1.5 miles of waterfront with views of the Manhattan skyline.

A park. In the foreground is a green lawn. In the distance are multiple trees. Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

14. Mill Pond Park

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Exterior St.
New York, NY 10451

This 15-acre park is notable for its barbecue area (across from the nearby Gateway Mall) and its professionally finished tennis courts.

A park. There is a green lawn, a running track, and a walking path. In the distance are buildings. Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

15. St. Mary's Park

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St. Anns Ave.
New York, NY 10451

The South Bronx’s largest park features an indoor swimming pool, outdoor track, baseball diamond, basketball courts, and one barbecuing spot near 146th Street.

A park with a green lawn, large patches of dirt, and trees. NYC Parks.

16. Randall's Island Park

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This park occupies the majority of Randall’s Island and has over 60 playing fields, bike pathways, and an IAAF-certified track and field facility, with much more. There are six spots to barbecue, including the waterfront near the southern end of the park and the Sunken Meadow waterfront.

A park. There is a large body of water with rocks to the side of it. In the distance is a bridge spanning the body of water and trees. Shutterstock

17. Wards Island Park

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Located on Wards Island (which is at the southern end of Randall's Island), this serene park features playgrounds, baseball fields, and a soccer field. There's one barbecue spot, by the children's playground near the Hell Gate Bridge.

A park path. There is green grass on both sides of the path. In the distance is a large bridge. NYC Parks

18. Rockaway Park

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No, you can't barbecue on Rockaway Beach—but there is one designated spot for BBQing closer to the Far Rockaway end of the neighborhood, in O'Donohue Park.

An aerial view of a park. The park has green grass. On one side of the park is a sandy beach which borders a large body of water. There are people  and colorful umbrellas on the beach.

19. Queensbridge Park

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Queensbridge Park
Queens, NY 11101

Located on the East River waterfront, this park has playgrounds, handball courts, and dog-friendly areas. There are also a couple of spots to BBQ.

A park with green grass. There is a body of water with a bridge spanning over it. In the distance beyond the bridge is a city skyline with many tall buildings.

20. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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Great Lakes Ct
New York, NY 11368
(212) 639-9675
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Head to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the largest park in Queens (and home of the famous Unisphere), where you’ll find two barbecuing areas, a recreation complex, the Queens Museum, and just about every court and field under the sun.

A park. In the foreground is a lawn with a garden. In the distance is a metallic spherical sculpture of the Earth. The sculpture is surrounded by trees.

21. Alley Pond Park

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Springfield Blvd & 76th Ave
Oakland Gardens, NY 11364

There are two barbecuing spots in this park, as well as a huge high ropes adventure course and plenty of playgrounds, courts, and fields.

A park path. There are trees and grass on both sides of the path. There is a picnic table and benches in a small clearing in the trees. NYC Parks

22. Cunningham Park

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73rd Ave
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365

One of Queens's largest parks, this green space is a popular place for barbecuing and organized sporting events.

A park. There is a clearing next to trees which has a picnic table and benches. The trees have multicolored leaves.

23. Baisley Pond Park

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Guy R. Brewer Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434
(718) 322-1741
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This historic park in Queens offers bike trails, handball fields, playgrounds, and one spot for barbecuing at Sutphin Boulevard.

A park. There is a path surrounded by plants. The path leads to a large gazebo with a brown roof and seating area.

24. Brookville Park

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147th Avenue & 235th Street & Brookville Boulevard & South Conduit
Queens, NY

Located along the South Conduit, Brookville Park has walking and biking trails, fitness equipment, bocce, handball, tennis courts, a baseball field, and a few playgrounds.

A park. In the foreground are picnic tables and benches. In the distance are multiple trees.

25. Bayswater Park

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Dwight Ave, Seagirt Blvd
Far Rockaway, NY 11691

Out near Jamaica Bay, this park has dog-friendly areas, baseball diamonds, handball courts, and precisely one area for barbecuing.

A park with colorful flowers and trees. There is a sign that reads Bayswater Park.

26. Forest Park

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Forest Park Dr.
Richmond Hill, NY 11418

This massive Queens space, covering 110 acres, offers one spot for barbecuing along with hiking trails, bridle paths, a series of courts and fields, and one of NYC’s most challenging golf courses.

A park path surrounded by trees. There is a sign on the path that reads The Carousel at Forest Park.

27. Highland Park

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There is one barbecue spot within this park located on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.

A park path with stairs. There are trees, plants, and grass on both sides of the path.

28. Herbert Von King Park

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Between Marcy Ave. & Tompkins Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 622-2082
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One of Brooklyn’s first parks was this Bed-Stuy space with four barbecue areas (though no amplified sound is allowed at them). The park also has a baseball field, outdoor amphitheater, and various types of fitness equipment.

A park with picnic benches, tables, trees, and grass. NYC Parks

29. Fort Greene Park

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Washington Park
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(347) 559-5142
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At this lovely Brooklyn park, there's one spot to barbecue near Myrtle Avenue, along with tennis and basketball courts, the Prison Ships Martyrs' Monument, and playgrounds.

A park clearing with grass. In the distance are multiple assorted trees.

30. Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Joralemon St.
Brooklyn, NY

All of this waterfront park's BBQs are clustered at the Pier 5 "Picnic Peninsula," which also has benches and umbrellas where people can set up shop. But they fill up fast—even on less-than-perfect days—so arrive early.

A picnic area with a barbecue grill which has food cooking on it. There are people eating at tables next to a body of water. There is a sunset. Etienne Frossard/Brooklyn Bridge Park

31. Governors Island

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Get your grill on this season at Governors Island—but know that reservations are required and issued on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you should act fast. Permits run for $26 but apparently, that price includes a "red wagon Radio Flyer waiting for you at the ferry landing to transport your party supplies to your site."

32. Coffey Park

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King Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

In addition to two BBQ areas, Coffey Park in Red Hook has the standard playgrounds, basketball and handball courts, as well as dog-friendly areas.

A park clearing with picnic benches and tables. There is green grass in the clearing. There are multiple assorted trees in the distance surrounding the clearing. NYC Parks

33. Red Hook Park

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Bay St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

There's just one BBQ area within Red Hook Park, near Columbia Street. Other park features include a WPA-era swimming pool and rec center, soccer fields, and handball and basketball courts.

A park with a path, trees, and a fence. There is a body of water on one side of the fence. Shutterstock

34. Prospect Park

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Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 965-8951
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The eternally popular Brooklyn park has 12 different barbecue spots spread throughout its 526 acres—but be warned, they tend to get very crowded very quickly on warm days.

35. Manhattan Beach

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Picnic on the beach or enjoy a game of baseball, volleyball, tennis, or basketball at this south Brooklyn space. There are two BBQ spots, but no amplified noise is permitted.

A sandy beach along a body of water. There are people in the water and on the sand. In the distance are trees.

36. Kaiser Park

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Bayview Ave & Neptune Ave
Brookyn, NY 11224

This park has 20 grills available for use, and has the benefit of being pretty close to another summertime destination: Coney Island.

A park with a green lawn. There are trees. In the distance surrounding the park are city buildings.

37. Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk

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Father Capodanno Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10305

Near Staten Island's South Beach, this 2.5-mile boardwalk and waterfront area also has one barbecue spot.

A boardwalk with benches. On one side of the boardwalk is a sandy beach. On the other side of the boardwalk are trees behind a fence.

38. Clove Lakes Park

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(718) 390-8000
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This protected Forever Wild site has several lakes and ponds as well as a soccer field, football field, numerous baseball diamonds, playgrounds, and a basketball court. Its sole barbecue spot is near the park entrance at Clove Road and Victory Boulevard.

A park with a green grass lawn, trees, and a house with a grey roof.

39. Willowbrook Park

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4400 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10314

There's just one barbecue spot at this Staten Island park, near its Eaton Place entrance but plenty of other activities to enjoy that nclude tennis courts, hikable woods, an archery range, and a merry-go-round.

A children’s carousel ride in a park. Daniel Avila

40. Wolfe's Pond Park

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420 Cornelia Ave
Staten Island, NY 10312
(718) 984-8266
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This park is a beach, wildlife preserve, and rec area all in one. It has one spot for grillin' and chillin' at Cornelia Avenue and Luten Avenue.

A park with a green lawn, trees, and multiple picnic benches and tables.

1. East River Park

East River Park, New York, NY 10019
There is a park in the foreground with trees and people lounging. In the distance is a body of water and a city skyline. NYC Parks

Located along the waterfront, this park features playgrounds, bike paths, an amphitheater, and more. There's only one BBQ spot, near East 10th Street, and you'll need a special permit to use it.

East River Park
New York, NY 10019

2. Thomas Jefferson Park

2180 1st Ave, New York, NY 10029
A park with trees and a fence. NYC Parks

This relatively small park still manages to have one barbecue spot, an indoor recreation center, and outdoor swimming pool.

2180 1st Ave
New York, NY 10029

3. Morningside Park

W 110th St to W 123rd St, New York, NY 10026
A park with colorful flowers. There is a path where people are walking. There are many trees. NYC Parks

This park stretches across 13 blocks and features steep inclines, hillsides, and winding paths ideal for bike riding or walking. Its sole BBQ spot is at Morningside Avenue and West 121st Street.

W 110th St to W 123rd St
New York, NY 10026

4. St. Nicholas Park

St. Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10027
A park. In the foreground is green grass. In the distance are trees with multicolored leaves. NYC Parks

In addition to two BBQ spots, this Harlem park features a lush green lawn, basketball and handball courts, and dog-friendly areas.

St. Nicholas Ave
New York, NY 10027

5. Riverside Park

New York, NY

Despite its huge size—the park covers miles of waterfront space offering playgrounds, baseball fields, and basketball courts—Riverside Park has one lone BBQ pit, at 145th Street. We'd recommend getting there early on the day you wish to claim it.

6. Fort Washington Park

Hudson River Greenway, New York, NY 10032
A park path. The path has grass on both sides and trees. In the distance is a bridge. There is a body of water to the left of the path.

This waterfront park is most famous for the Little Red Lighthouse, but it also offers baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, and views of the George Washington Bridge and the Jersey Palisades. There's also one barbecue spot at 158th Street on the river.

Hudson River Greenway
New York, NY 10032

7. Highbridge Park

173rd St & Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10032
A path with people walking on it. The path is surrounded by trees and grass. NYC Parks

Featuring many highly regarded landmarks—and connected to the lovely High Bridge—this park has bike greenways, volleyball and baseball courts, an outdoor park, and more. There's one barbecue spot at West 177th Street.

173rd St & Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10032

8. Inwood Hill Park

630 Isham St, New York, NY 10034
In the foreground is a green lawn. In the distance are trees and a bridge. NYC Parks

Somehow, this enormous park has only one barbecuing spot, at Dyckman Street and the Hudson River. But this park does have Manhattan’s last natural forest and salt marsh, along with hiking trails, bike paths, plenty of fields and courts, and dog-friendly spaces.

630 Isham St
New York, NY 10034

9. Van Cortlandt Park

Broadway, Bronx, NY 10471