3 Places to Spend the Day Outside Before You Spend the Winter Inside
An afternoon full of flowers, a trip back in time to an Italian castle, or a day of wandering 778 acres. These activities and much more can be found right here in New York City. Many times when people think of the Big Apple, Time Squares, 5th Ave, and the Empire State building first come to mind. But New York has so much more to offer. Take advantage of the warm(ish) weather while you still can and explore the city you are visiting or have made home. These locations are perfect for a relaxing day, inspirational for art and fashion, or just a healthy way to get out of your small, overpriced apartment. And one of the best things about each of these activities is that they won’t break the bank. See NYC with a MetroCard and a ten-dollar bill.
If you are a true nature lover, don’t deny yourself the amazing variety of flowers and plants to be discovered at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Located on the outskirts of Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Gardens is an easy ride on almost any subway line. There over 13 gardens, each with its own special collection of flowers. The Shakespeare Garden features “more than 80 plants mentioned in the works of Shakespeare...with spring bulbs being the first to appear as the winter wanes.” The Botanical garden also houses plants from five different regions from the desert to tropical climates. Plan your visit for Tuesday -- Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays. Children under 12 are free, Seniors and student with ID are $5, and adults are $10.
Back in Manhattan, take a trip to view art and architecture of 15th century medieval Europe at The Cloisters. The Cloisters are an extension of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located in Fort Tryon Park, this city gem requires taking the A train to 190th Street. You can enjoy about 2,000 pieces of art as well as gardens. The Cloisters are “on a spectacular four-acre lot overlooking the Hudson River...the modern museum building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but is rather an ensemble informed by a selection of historical precedents, with a deliberate combination of ecclesiastical and secular spaces arranged in chronological order.” Take a trip back in time seven Days a week from March–October: 10:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m. and November–February: 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Admission fees are recommended, but donation based.
Central Park is 778 acres of luscious greenery. The park runs from 59th up to 110th, taking up the width of three avenues. Within the park, one can find numerous statues, including the famous Alice in Wonderland piece located on the east side at 75th Street. Head southwest, and the paths lead to the gorgeous Bethesda Foundation. This iconic location leads into what may be the most photographed area of Central Park, The Mall. For a picnic or just a walk, Central Park is bound be a wonderful place to explore and escape the busy city. For a full list of all the things to see and do in Central Park, check out http://www.centralparknyc.org/.
For more great outdoor adventures, check out this article from the Gothamist: http://gothamist.com/2004/06/16/summer_of_fun_04.php