Why head Upstate or elsewhere when you can get your camping fix right in the city? While pitching tents in NYC parks is usually frowned upon (read: illegal), there is a program that welcomes residents to experience the city’s green spaces overnight, and for free.
Have you heard about this? NYC Parks has an Adventure program put on by the urban rangers that allows overnight camping during the summer in a variety of parks throughout the city’s five boroughs. This weekend, you’ll spot tents in Central Park, while next weekend, there will be campers out enjoying Fort Totten Park in Queens.
Space is limited, so the program works as a lottery, where registration opens the week beforehand (you can still register for Fort Totten through Saturday, though Central Park is already closed). If you’re chosen, the Parks Department provides dinner, breakfast, and tents for campers, so all you will need to bring is your own bedding and sleeping bag. According to 6sqft, campers can also take a morning bird watching hike, so be sure to pack those binoculars, too.
Can’t make it to Queens? Keep an eye on the department’s calendar page for future events, which include everything from stargazing, hikes, canoeing lessons, fire building and survival skills, and other history and nature guides.