New York City doesn’t have to feel like a brick, glass and concrete jungle. If you look closely, you will find all kinds of green enclaves ready to infuse your life with some fresh air, chlorophyll and hydration.
Here are tips on how to get outside—and get moving—in New York City and Brooklyn:
Say “Ohm” to Free Outdoor Yoga
It should come as little surprise that Manhattan’s Bryant Park, site of New York Fashion Week, is also home to one of the most stylish free yoga classes in the city. Taking place on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings, these classes are sponsored by Athleta active wear and Yoga Journal magazine—meaning that the instructors are top-notch and the classes well-heeled.
Make sure to register in advance as these bi weekly events regularly attract hundreds of vinyasa devotees. If you’re planning on attending multiple sessions, you can also sign up for a Frequent Yogi card for rewards from both sponsors.
Looking for Edibles
With its zoo, skating rinks and picturesque fountains, there’s no shortage of entertainment in New York’s most iconic park. But signing up for one of “Wildman” Steve Brill’s Central Park foraging tours will allow you to get up close and personal with the edible side of this storied green space. Brill walks eagle-eyed groups through the park, uncovering overlooked edibles ranging from beach plums and burdock root to a world of wild mushrooms. The weeds in your own back yard will never look the same.
The glorious Fort Greene Greenmarket, held every Saturday year-round, is as good for grazers as it is for cooks. Here farmers and producers from New Jersey up to New England come together to sell everything from sweet maple candy and raw milk cheeses to soups from Knoll Krest farms and fresh loaves from Hot Bread Kitchen, all ideal for munching while taking in the colorful sights of the various vendors. All spring and summer long, the market will also be hosting vintners, brewers and distillers for on-site tastings of adult beverages.
Report for Boot Camp
No New York experience is complete without a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. But if you’re looking to do one better, Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp is sure to earn plenty of bragging rights. No matter which borough you’re coming from, get your butt to the Manhattan entrance to the bridge for an intense hour of cardio and muscle building exercises, using the steel supports of the bridge as your equipment. The folks behind the boot camp promise a minimum of 800 calories burned—and unbelievable views.
Get on the Water
Head west from Times Square and you’ll find the crowds ease up as the Hudson River views emerge. Manhattan Kayak + SUP provides a chance for adventurous spirits to get on the water with its fleet of kayaks and paddle boards. No need to pack a wet suit, the folks here provide everything from instruction to gear, as well as plenty of towels and moral support. A roster of fantastic tours is on offer, ranging from a kayak crossing to the Statue of Liberty to paddling across the river for sushi.