Best Sledding Hills in NYC
The best thing about a snowy day is, of course, sledding! When it's time to hit the hills, consider these local sledding spots spread all across New York City for some wintertime fun with the kids. In compiling our list of the best sledding hills in NYC, we asked our readers, family, and Mommy Poppins writers and editors for their top recommendations for sledding hills across the five boroughs.
Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
While kids may be crossing their fingers for a school-sanctioned snow day when the flakes fly, you might want to temper those expectations. The DOE has announced it won't cancel school for storms during the 2020-21 school year. Instead, students will learn remotely. Still, you should have a couple of hours of daylight to burn once your school-age children complete their remote lessons.
Wander into Central Park, and you're sure to find several fun sledding hills. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr
Best Sledding Hills in Upper Manhattan
Pilgrim Hill is by far Manhattan's most popular. It's located in Central Park, just north of the 72nd Street entrance at Fifth Avenue, and offers a steep slope with a gentle end. You'll gain plenty of speed and enjoy a smooth ride. When Pilgrim Hill is crowded, head to Cedar Hill between 76th and 79th Streets, just south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or hit the hill next to the Conservatory Garden by 106th Street and Fifth Avenue. On the west side, crowds flock to the Great Hill and the Pool near the entrances at 100th and 103rd Streets. There are a variety of slopes here for sledders of all ages.
St. Nicholas Park
This Washington Heights green space offers sledding near the field house at 174th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
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Inwood Hill Park offers some of the best sledding hills in Manhattan and a gorgeous view to boot. Photo by Steve Guttman via Flickr
Inwood Hill Park
This uptown park has perhaps the best (and least-known) sledding hill in Manhattan. Enter near 214th Street and Indian Road. The sledding hill sits just above the salt marsh.
Riverside Park is less crowded and has several different hills. The one near Hippo Playground at 91st Street is extremely popular as is the hill at 103rd Street, where tots to tweens enjoy an easy ride. Daredevils can try the steep slope at 105th Street, where kids careen down the incline toward the Hudson River, blocked by hay bales—and the West Side Highway.
There are many sledding options in this Upper West Side park, including near where the Parks Department sets up on snow days, along the southern end at 110th Street and Morningside Drive.
Carl Schurz Park
This lovely Upper East Side park offers a graceful sledding hill on the lawn north of Gracie Mansion right off of East End Avenue at 89th Street.
The Stuy-Town hills are great for little kids. Photo by Marianne O'Leary via Flickr
Best Sledding Hills in Lower Manhattan
Stuy-Town & Battery Park City
Lower Manhattan has fewer hills to offer, so many families pile onto the train with their sleds for the trip to Central Park. But there are a few spots that work in a pinch.
The hills in Stuyvesant Town, especially the 20th Street Loop Hill, are popular with local kids. Toddlers enjoy the gentle slopes of Teardrop Park in Battery Park City.
When the city gets snow, head to Prospect Park to get a rush from sliding down the steep slopes. Photo courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance
Best Sledding Hills in Brooklyn
There's a great sledding hill just inside Prospect Park, at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West, that offers some toddler-appropriate slopes. For another option, enter at Fifth Street and head for the Picnic House, where kids plunge down all sides of the summer picnicking spot. Brooklynites also love the sledding hills around the Nethermead, a great field that feels as if you're in the middle of the woods.
On official snow days, you'll find the Parks Department at this neighborhood namesake where the best sledding hill is between 42nd and 43rd Streets and comes with a beautiful view of Manhattan.
Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park is like a mini-Central Park with four hills, including one gentle one. Just don't be tempted to sled down the stairs. It looks smooth, but people have been injured.
Owl's Head Park
Hit the slope at Colonial Road and 68th Street in Bay Ridge's beloved park.
Shore Road Park
This is another great option in Bay Ridge, with gentle slopes for little ones. The best slope is at Shore Road and 97 Street.
More Brooklyn Sledding Hills
According to NYC Park's website, here are some other great options for sledding in Brooklyn:
Highland Park – Highland Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue.
Hillside Park – Columbia Heights between Middagh and Vine streets.
Lincoln Terrace Park – Between Buffalo and Rochester avenues, adjacent to the Eastern Parkway service road.
McKinley Park – Fort Hamilton Parkway and 75 Street.
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Astoria Park is among Queens' preferred sledding destinations. Photo by Jason Eppink via Flickr
Best Sledding Hills in Queens
This spot has a variety of hills and a pretty setting. NYC Parks recommends 19th Street, between Shore and Ditmars Boulevards.
The preferred spot in Forest Park is the golf course where, technically, sledding is not allowed because it's considered unsafe by the Parks Department. But it's steep and popular. There's also a hill at Mary Whalen Playground at 79th Street and Park Lane that is legal and plenty of fun.
Juniper Valley Park
Head to 78th Street for another great family-friendly spot, which is the Parks Department's snow day spot in the borough. Juniper Valley offers short, fast runs straight into the park, free of obstacles such as trees and cars. It's usually mobbed on weekends with families from nearby Middle Village and Maspeth but works well for young tots and older kids who carve out jumps into the side of the broad, short hill.
This park has a small hillside on 155 Street.
Best Sledding Hills in the Bronx
Sledders like this popular spot because it has stairs for climbing back up the hill. Its long, steep hill is considered one of the best sledding destinations in the city, but beware: Sledders have to bail at the bottom before hitting hay bales put up by the Parks Department to keep people from going out into the street.
Van Cortlandt Park
This park has nice, gentle hills for little kids, plus plenty of open space on the Parade Ground for snowball fights, snowman building, and snow angel making.
We asked around, and it seems entering the park at 172nd Street and Teller Avenue is your best bet for sledding.
St. Mary's Park
With both steep hills and gentle slopes, St. Mary's is a popular family-friendly sledding spot.
This former reservoir was converted into a 20-acre park in 1937. The reservoir floor sits 12 feet below street level, which means most entrances to the park are elevated with paved paths wrapping around the oval-shaped park. Stairs are located all around, connecting the upper level to the park's lower areas that house the playgrounds, recreation center, basketball courts, track, etc. The spaces between the stairs offer prime hills for sledding on snowy days. The track in the center of the park is perfect for snow angels and snowman building.
Best Sledding in Staten Island
Clove Lakes Park
Staten Island's official snow day spot is this park at Martling and Slosson Avenues.
Silver Lake Park
Despite the name, kids love Dead Man's Hill in Silver Lake Park.
This article is updated annually.