As the weather warms up, New Yorkers are taking advantage of the summer sunshine and getting fit outdoors. Read on to discover the best activities to enjoy the Big Apple this season.

Cross-Country Running in Van Cortlandt Park

“Those who run cross-country at Van Cortlandt will discover some personal heroism in the wilds of the Bronx,” insists Marc Bloom, the brainchild of cross-country journal Harrier. Anyone who has pounded the ground of this 2.5 mile-track would be inclined to agree.

Van Cortlandt Park is home to a host of recreation facilities, but the hallowed cross-country course may be its biggest draw. The Bronx track is an institution which has hosted high school and college cross-country meets for more than a century. The students take over for most of the year, but adults get free reign during summer. Its cinder trails and hills will test anyone used to running on flat ground.

Rowing in Prospect Park

The Prospect Park Alliance and Village Community Boathouse are hosting free public rowing sessions in Prospect Park Lake this summer and fall. These sessions look to help New Yorkers of all ages have fun and get fit in a safe environment.

Rowers meet at the Wellhouse Drive boat ramp on select Thursdays and Saturdays. Life jackets and boats are provided. No experience is required, although you should have some degree of manual dexterity.

Surfing at Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach is so important to New Yorkers that The Ramones honored it with a song. The Queens’ neighborhood is home to the largest urban beach in America, space which gives surfers and sun-lovers space to kick back and relax.

Rockaway Beach actually has two surf beaches: one between 67th and 69th Streets and another between 87th and 92nd Streets. It can be daunting to watch locals hanging ten like pros, but Surfing Lessons in New York love helping newbies gain the skills they need to catch their first waves.

Yoga and Tai Chi in Socrates Sculpture Park

Long Island’s Socrates Sculpture Park, located on the banks of the East River, makes a picturesque backdrop for free yoga and sculpture classes. Yogis teach Kripala Yoga on Saturdays at 9:30 and 11 am, and Sundays at 10 am. This form of Hatha Yoga focuses on meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques. For an extra dose of Eastern-inspired exercise, New Yorkers can stick around for the Tai Chi classes on Sundays at 11 am. The free classes will run every weekend until September 28.

Participants needn’t RSVP, but they should wear comfortable clothing to the park. Anyone wanting to attend a yoga class should also bring a yoga mat or towel.

Ball Games at Silver Lake Park

Staten Island’s Silver Lake Park has fields and courts for playing most popular ball games. This lush 209-acre park boasts pristine tennis and basketball courts, and baseball, football, and soccer fields. Silver Lake believes fitness should be inclusive, so it also offers a host of accessible features including asphalt football fields for wheelchair games and accessible playground equipment.

New York’s perfect summer weather provides the perfect opportunity to get fit and have fun outdoors.


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