The Best Parks for Team Building in New York City

Central Park Manhattan
Central Park isn’t the only choice for an escape from the high rise!

New York City is anything but synonymous with bucolic landscapes. It’s not known for its open space, but if you know where to look, there are plenty of great parks for team building events large or small, DIY or facilitated. Here are several of our favorites in New York:

 

Most Beautiful: Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
For a large games-based event, you can’t beat Prospect Park. There’s plenty of open grass, gorgeous water, and beautiful bridges and other architecture. The price and permitting process might compel you to look elsewhere, but if your heart is set on staging a stunning New York City Olympics, Prospect Park is the place to do it.

 

Best Location for a Large Event: Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park has plenty of open space for launching rubber chickens out of slingshots, running obstacle courses, and whatever else has been cooked up for your team building event. It’s not technically in New York City, but it’s right across the Hudson and offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, as well as giant chess. They have a very generous amplified sound policy, bathrooms close by, and a set of low steps to a patio that makes a natural stage. You really couldn’t do much better for an outdoor team building venue.

 

Best Location for a Small Event: Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park stretches up the Hudson from Battery Place in Lower Manhattan all the way to the bottom of the Upper West Side. It is made up of a number of smaller areas, each of which is effectively its own little park. Each area has a view of the Hudson and the park allows amplified sound. While there are other parks in the city with lovely views, Hudson River Park edges them out with its many options and friendly staff that makes the permitting process easier.

 

Best Hidden Gem: Teardrop Park (Lower Manhattan)
An unassuming pathway takes a turn and suddenly it looks like someone put the tallest slide you’ve seen outside a waterpark into the Jungle Book. Teardrop Park catches the eye and jumpstarts the imagination. It’s too small for a large group playing team building games, but it’s an ideal setting for an art-based event or for small game stations. It’s choppy and segmented, not usually what you look for in a team building space, but the beauty and palpable creativity more than make up for that.

 

Best Charity Event Location: Kissena Velodrome (Queens)
Don’t bother with the dictionary: a velodrome is a bicycle racing arena. Built in 1962 for the Olympic trials, it’s New York’s last remaining velodrome, a vestige of an era that seems in the distant past. But step onto the banked track and you’ll feel it—blood in your temples, butterflies in your stomach, coffee in your bladder—the atmosphere of competition is still very present in the Kissena Velodrome. The middle of the track presents a great space for Olympics, but the velodrome as a whole is perfect for a bicycle build to benefit a local Boys & Girls Club. These events typically involve games and putting together bicycles. A good one will bring boys and girls at the end to receive the bikes, but this is the only place in New York where they could then take those bikes for a victory lap on a banked Olympic track.

 

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