The best place to have a picnic in New York City’s Central Park is Sheep Meadow.
Why you should listen to me: I’ve lived in New York City for over 11 years. During that time I have hosted dozens of picnics in the park. I’ve filmed videos about picnics.
Here is exactly where I like to host my picnics in Central Park:
This picture from the Central Park Conservancy shows Sheep Meadow from the air. I’ve highlighted the best spot to set up camp:
Why This Is The Best Spot
- Great grass. The grass beneath the trees on the far East side of Sheep Meadow may be shaded better, but it results in a very dirty, rocky ground. The grass where I have indicated with the red arrows is a lush, fluffy base perfect for picnics.
- Prime people watching. From this spot, you have nearly a perfect 180 degree view of the theater that becomes Sheep Meadow. See people playing frisbee, throwing footballs, sunbathing, and more.
- Consistent shade throughout the day. Perhaps the most important aspect of a picnic is how much shade you will have at different times of the day. A good picnic spot in Central Park will allow you and your friends or family the option for both sun and shade.
Directions to Meet
This is the image that I send my friends to help them find my picnic in Central Park. It shows approximately where to look for me, as well as the bathrooms, café, and entrance locations.
Update July 2019: My preferred bathrooms are now at Tavern On the Green. The lines here are shorter than at the café on the map.
Current Park Image: June 2019
I took this picture at a recent picnic in June 2019. It is taken near West Drive in Central Park looking towards Sheep Meadow.
Picnic Ingredients: Bring This Stuff
Video I made in 2016 lists the must-have items for any successful picnic, including: great friends, blankets, suntan lotion, watermelon, and frisbee.
I made this page to help people have a great picnic with family or friends. There’s nothing for sale here and no sponsored links. I’m a member of the Central Park Conservancy’s Young Members group (called Greensward Circle) and I really do love Central Park.
If you found this helpful, or if you have any corrections or suggestions, leave me a comment below or send me an email.