New York City is one of the best places to be in the summer. As millions of residents escape for vacations out in the Hamptons or go North or South, anyone left in the city can enjoy some of the best free or almost free recreational facilities in the country. Here’s a rundown of some of the best venues for swimming, volleyball, tennis and skate boarding the city has to offer for summer fitness and fun.
Best NYC Swimming Pools
· Douglass and DeGraw Pool – in Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, located on Third Avenue and Nevins Street, open from 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm.
· Astoria Pool – In Queens, this pool in Astoria is a great venue for summer dips. Located on 19th Street and 23rd Drive. Open 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm.
· The Floating Pool – This free pool in the Bronx is located on a barge at Tiffany Street and Viele Avenue. It is pulled into its Bronx location at the beginning of each summer to keep all who attend cool and wet. Open 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm.
· John Jay Pool – this Upper Eastside pool is located east of York Avenue on 77th Street. This has been one of the best pools in the entire city. There’s a snack bar and playground nearby. Open 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm.
NYC’s Great Outdoor Volleyball Courts
· Brooklyn Bridge Park -- Pier 6 – 3 regulation sized courts, play until 10pm, harbor front views, just bring a ball, $25 rental
· Central Park – There are three free courts (two paved and one sand) located east of Sheep Meadow. All the games are bring your own ball (BYOB) and are first-come first-served. For the asphalt courts you have to bring your own net as well.
· Battery Park City’s Esplanade Plaza – Located off Liberty Street at South End Avenue, this permanent court is the site of many pick-up games. It is free.
· Rockaway Beach – There are three sand courts located at Beach 26th, Beach 73rd, and Beach 108th. Be sure to sharpen your skills because you’ll be on display for all the sunbathers and crowds on the boardwalk.
A Few of NYC’s Outdoor Tennis Courts
· Central Park Tennis Center – There are 4 courts that can be booked by calling the pro shop at 212-316-0800, ext. 3/4. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. The courts are located off of 90th, 93rd or 96th Streets and Central Park West. Classes are offered as well as a tennis summer camp.
· McCarren Park – Located in Brooklyn at North 13th Street between Bedford and Berry, there are 8 courts to use. There are also 2 half size courts for kids. Use the online court reservation forms to get a court.
· USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center – Located in Flushing, Queens, this venue is one of the best in the city, if not the entire country. There are 12 indoor DecoTurf courts and 19 field courts. Booking is easy. Plus the center offers a variety of tennis camps and classes.
· Riverside Clay Tennis Association – These public courts are clay and provide an excellent opportunity to see what it’s like to play on this surface material. Located along the Hudson River, the views alone will inspire your play. The courts can be accessed via the pedestrian tunnels underneath the Westside Highway at 101st and 91st Streets. Summer hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Top Notch Skate Parks in NYC
· Pier 62 Skate Park – This skate park is on the Hudson River near Chelsea on Pier 62. You can cross the Westside Highway at 22nd Street to access the skate park. This park was designed by California Skateparks/Site Design Group. Various zones are available and include a 2 foot Wedge and 24 foot Ledge and a Kinked Flat Rail.