When I lived in New York City, my summer weekends were commonly spent lounging on Central Park’s Great Lawn. But I’d never really considered staying the night — until now. New York City’s Parks and Recreation Department opens up 13 of its public parks to family campers on weekends throughout July and August, the New York Times reportsNew York Times reports, offering the allure of communing with nature just steps from a subway. And what’s rather incredible is that the family camping trips are free, and include a cook-out, nature hikes, stargazing, two-person tents, and craft activities led by the Urban Park Rangers on staff. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag.
But in order to get a spot in one of these events (they typically accommodate about 30 people) you have to be savvy. Registration begins on certain days and spots fill up fast. Click here for the list of available dates and when to register. And remember to bring marshmallows.
Photo: Looking for bats during a campout at Owl’s Head Park in Brooklyn.
Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times
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