The best thing about a snow day is, of course, sledding! Hit these neighborhood hills across New York City for some wintertime fun with the kids.
In compiling this list, we asked our readers, family, and Mommy Poppins writers and editors for their top recommendations for sledding hills across the five boroughs, but we're always looking for more suggestions. Feel free to chime in if you're favorite isn't here.
Not sure if school is on or off? Read our post on how to know if snow has canceled class or not.
Wander into Central Park and you're sure to find several good sledding hills. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr.
By far the most popular sledding hill in Manhattan is Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. Just north of the 72nd Street entrance at Fifth Avenue, Pilgrim Hill is a steep slope with a gentle end, offering plenty of speed and not too rough of a 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.
Harlem has many large parks, and almost all are built on steep hills. The hill at 135th Street in St. Nicholas Park is quite popular, as are the slopes at 110th, 113th, and 122nd streets in Morningside 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 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.
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 hale 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 southern end at 110th Street and Morningside Drive.
Upper East Side
A reader also recommends 91st Street between Second and Third Avenues, a steep street that's permanently closed to traffic and very popular with neighborhood kids.
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StuyTown hills are great for little kids. Photo by Marianne O'Leary via Flickr.
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.
There's a great sledding hill just inside Prospect Park, at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West, that offers some toddler-appropriate slopes. Or 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.
Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park is like a mini-Central Park with four hills, including one gentler one. Don't be tempted to sled down the stairs. It looks smooth, but people have been injured.
Colonial Road and 68th Street in Bay Ridge's Owl's Head Park is also beloved for its sledding slope.
Astoria Park is among Queens' preferred sledding destinations. Photo by Jason Eppink via Flickr.
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 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, which is 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 wide, but short, hill.
Those in Astoria often hit up Astoria Park for its variety of hills and pretty setting. NYC Parks recommends around 19th Street, between Shore and Ditmars Boulevards, and our writers in Queens had a few more suggestions: Kissena Park in Flushing and Doughboy Plaza in Sunnyside/Woodside.
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.
Crotona Park at Fulton Avenue around East 172nd Street is the official snow day location.
Staten Island Sledding
Clove Lake 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.
Top photo: Inwood Hill Park sledders. Photo by Steve Guttman via Flickr.
This article is updated annually.