Picnic Guide

What are the ingredients for a fantastic New York City day? A picnic basket, a blanket, and Central Park, of course! The Park is home to lawns, benches, and picnic tables across its 843 acres, providing countless great picnic spots.

Just remember: Please carry out your trash and recycling with you back to your home base (with millions of visitors, trash piles up quickly at the receptacles). Better yet, pack your picnic in reusable containers to avoid creating waste.

If you’re planning a field day, game tournament, birthday party, or any other type of event that includes activities for twenty people or more, you’ll need to request a special event permit from NYC Parks.

Best Places to Picnic in Central Park

Bringing Your Pup?

Don’t forget! Dogs must always be on-leash from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Dogs are allowed in the above locations except for Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn Oval. For more information, be sure to review our tips for visiting the Park with your dog.

Grilling and Barbecuing

Barbecuing in Central Park is allowed only on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July. Grilling on one of those three days? Please note the following rules:

  • Barbecuing is allowed only on the three days specified above, not the entire holiday weekends.
  • Barbecuing is prohibited in the following areas: athletic fields, playgrounds, woodlands (North Woods, the Ramble, Hallett Nature Sanctuary), landscapes that are fenced off, the Conservatory Garden, high trafficked areas, and directly under trees.
  • Use of propane is not allowed.
A typical Park food vendor, selling hot dogs, ice cream treats, and beverages under green and white umbrellas.
Picnic Guide

Find the Perfect Food

Is your picnic basket empty? Don’t fret—there are plenty of places to pick up food in the Park. Hours vary, so be sure to check vendors’ individual websites. Concession carts selling snacks and treats are also scattered around the Park.

View Dining
The kiosk is seen framed by summer trees and passing pedestrians.
Picnic Guide

Have a Question?

Stop by our visitor centers or information kiosks to meet Conservancy staff, grab a map, or ask for directions. We’re happy to help!

View Visitor Centers and Information Kiosks