Now that the weather is warmer, my kids are requesting to have a “picnic”. Of course, what I envision is a nice spread in our backyard. My girls on the other hand, want what they call a “real” picnic experience. They want to pack a picnic basket, bring blankets and travel to what my eight year old calls, “the perfect picnic place”. She proceeds to tell me that she has never been there, but she knows what it should look like. As she tries to describe it, I quickly realize that the vision she is describing is actually a combination of some of the amazing places here on Long Island, even some we have visited, but would never have thought of before as a picnic locale. If you’re looking for your “perfect picnic place” read on to see some of the wonderful places on Long Island where you can spread a blanket, open a picnic basket and enjoy the summer.
Gerry Pond Park
Main Street and Paper Mill Road
With picturesque views and a serene atmosphere, Gerry Pond Park provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic day. While there is not a designated picnic area inside the park, it is spacious and has many places within to enjoy, and benches are available for seating. The popular attraction of this park is the large pond surrounded by trees that provide shade on a hot day. The pond is a popular spot for ducks who call Gerry Pond home, and they are known to try to join in on visitor’s lunches!
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park and Coe Hall
1395 Planting Fields Road
Known as one of the historical Gold Coast Mansions, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is 409 acres of nature’s beauty at its best. This location makes for the perfect picnic place as the grounds are well kept and vast. It’s not unusual to see families on weekends laying out blankets and enjoying a quiet picnic at the park. Part of the park's notoriety is the fact that there is so much to do and see in one place! With greenhouses, educational programs, several gardens with a variety of flowers and hands on programs for children this is a great day-trip option. Be sure to take a tour inside the mansion, and if you forget your picnic basket, stop by the park’s Periwinkles Cafe for a bite to eat.
The Great Lawn
165 Mill Road
My children like to run, plain and simple. They enjoy vast, uninterrupted land to play on and roam around. Enter The Great Lawn in Westhampton Beach. With over 5.80 acres of open grass to enjoy, The Great Lawn is a place to simply take in the views as you partake in your picnic lunch. Sprawling lawns and huge trees provide a comfortable cushion for picnic goers, and trees provide ample shade.
Belmont Lake State Park
Southern State Parkway
With over 400 acres of natural Long Island scenery, Belmont Lake State Park makes for a great picnic spot! This park has designated picnic areas as well as pavilions available for use. Belmont also has a variety of activities to get you up and moving after you’ve filled up on your picnic lunch. An exercise trail, playground, paddle boating, row boating, biking and walking trail are accessible in the park. If you are in the cooking mood, the park provides grills for use.
Wildwood State Park
North Wading River Rd
You truly get the best of both worlds picnicking at Wildwood State Park in Wading River. Over 600 acres of land and a bluff overlooking the Long Island Sound allow visitors to have the option to enjoy their lunch by the ocean or enjoy their picnic lunch within the park. The picnic table areas are shaded and there are also tent sites and trailers sites located within the park for visitors who wish to camp. Each campsite has it own table. Fishing and hiking are also fun activities at the park to explore while on your picnicking adventures.
Indian Island Country Park
Cross River Drive
Where can you picnic with the peacocks? At Indian Island County Park! With over 275 aces of land, this park shares its premises with a small farm where you can see peacocks, goats and a host of other animals! Located within the park are picnic tables and grills. Campsites are also available with trailer and tent sites. The park is located at the mouth of the Peconic River which provides a beautiful waterfront picnicking experience.
Old Westbruy Gardens
71 Old Westbury Rd
Old Westbury, NY 11590
Old Westbury Gardens invites you to bring a picnic basket, a blanket and your dancing feet as they host Picnic Pops! Various bands and orchestras will perform on the lawn inside the gardens as you enjoy your picnic!
Love to picnic? Find more locations with 5 More Perfect Picnic Spots.