The best thing about a snow day from school is the sledding of course! Hit these neighborhood hills across New York City for some wintertime fun with the kids.
We asked our readers, family and Mommy Poppins writers and editors for their top recommendations of sledding hills across the five boroughs to compile this list, but please let us know of your favorite spots in the comments.
Not sure if school is on or off? Read our post on how to know if the snow has canceled class or not.
Manhattan and Uptown Sledding
Central Park Sledding
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 for lots of speed and not too rough of a ride. When Pilgrim Hill is too 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.
It's hard to wander into Central Park and not find a good sledding hill. Photo by Paul Stumpr via Flickr.
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 Street, 113th Street and 122nd Street in Morningside Park.
This Washington Heights green space is where the Parks Department hands out free hot cocoa and sleds on official snow days near the Field House. Sledding is nearby at 174th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
Inwood Hill Park
This uptown park has perhaps the best and least known sledding hill in Manhattan.
Riverside Park Sledding
Riverside Park is less crowded and has many 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 hill. 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!
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.
Lower Manhattan has much less to offer in terms of hills so many families pile onto the train with their sleds for the trip to Central Park. But there are a few spots that can work in a pinch.
The hills in Stuyvesant Town, especially the 20th Street Loop Hill are very popular with local kids, and toddlers will enjoy the gentle slopes of Teardrop Park in Battery Park City.
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Prospect Park sledding never disappoints. Photo by Christian Holland via Flickr.
Prospect Park Sledding
There's a great sledding hill right inside the park at 9th Street and Prospect Park West that even offers some toddler-appropriate gentle slopes. Or enter at 5th Street and head for the Picnic House where kids plunge down all sides of the summer picnicking spot. Brooklynites also love the sledding hills all around the Nethermead, a great field that feels like you're in the middle of the woods. On official snow days you'll find the Parks Department near the Tennis House.
Fort Greene Park Sledding
Fort Greene Park is like a mini-Central Park and has 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 68 Street in Bay Ridge's Owl's Head Park is also beloved for its sledding slope.
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The many parks in Queens, including Astoria Park, serve as the nabe's preferred sledding spots. Photo by Jason Eppink via Flickr.
Forest Park: The popular spot is the golf course where, technically, sledding is not allowed because it's deemed unsafe by the Parks Department. But it's the fact that it's steep that makes it so popular. There's also a hill in Forest Park at the Mary Whalen Playground at 79th Street and Park Lane.
Juniper Valley Park at 75th Street is another great spot for families and that's where the Parks Department is on official snow days. Juniper Valley offers short, fast runs straight into the park, which is nicely free of obstacles like trees or cars! It's always mobbed with local families from Middle Village, Maspeth and the like on weekends, 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.
People like to sled at Ewen Park because it has stairs for climbing back up the hill. Its long steep hill is considered one of the best sledding hills in the city, but sledders have to bail at the bottom before hitting the hay bales the Parks Department puts up to keep people from going out into the street.
Van Cortlandt Park has nice gentle hills for little kids. Also, Crotona Park at Fulton Avenue around East 172nd Street which is the official snow day location.
Staten Island Sledding
Clove Lake Park is the official sledding spot on Staten Island, but kids love Dead Man's Hill in Silver Lake Park.
Where do you like to sled? Let us know in the comments below.
Top image via Shutterstock.