Marcus Garvey Park

Marcus Garvey Park sits on Madison Avenue between E 120th Street and E 124th Street in Harlem.

The historic park is suitable for entire families and provides enough entertainment for everyone to enjoy their time. The park is made up of basketball courts, an outdoor pool, and a recreation center.

On summer nights, many gather in Marcus Garvey Park’s amphitheater to enjoy concerts, plays and performances, including Drummer’s circles to African and Caribbean music, which are a popular sight to come across. Also located within the park is the Harlem Fire Watchtower, the only remaining cast-iron watchtower that was placed in New York City.

Jackie Robinson Park

Initially Colonial Park, Jackie Robinson Park is an approximately 13-acre public park that is bounded by Bradhurst Avenue, 155th Street, Edgecombe Avenue, and 145th Street. The park was initially designed as a playground to entice city children to participate in organized play, but it eventually expanded to become one of Harlem’s most “community-connected” parks.

Sitting just south of the historic baseball stadium, the Polo Grounds, Jackie Robinson Park was one of ten original parks in the city to receive a city pool, which opened in 1936, along with its recreation center. In 1978, the park was renamed Jackie Robinson Park.

Harlem Meer

Harlem Meer lies within the northeast corner of Central Park, west of Fifth Avenue and south of 110th Street. The word “meer” is Dutch for lake and was designed to memorialize Harlem when it was a separate village settled by European settlers in the 17th century. The original settlement of Harlem initially included portions of what is now Central Park.

The meer is home to thriving wildlife, which often brings families to the area for catch-and-release fishing. Families also are drawn to the location for swimming in the summer or skating in the winter at Lasker Rink and Pool, which opened in 1966, reducing Harlem Meer’s size to 11 acres in the process.

Morningside Park

Morningside Park is a narrow strip of a park that stretches along thirteen blocks through Harlem and Morningside Heights. The park includes some of New York City’s most breathtaking views and dramatic landscapes, including rocky Manhattan schist, some of which date back to over 30 million years ago. The area was previously settled by the Harlem Plain Indians, who called the area Muscoota, and was later settled by the Dutch.

Barbecue areas are located throughout the park, as well as many popular baseball fields in which local teams play on. Across from the baseball fields, tree lined paths lead to a breathtaking view of a waterfall, which was once the location of a gym that had caused large protests at Columbia University due to the segregated design of the gym’s multiple entrances.