Now that New York City is well into Phase Four of the Covid-19 lockdown reopening plan, many of the city’s most beloved outdoor cultural sites are beginning to welcome visitors back. Though indoor attractions like museums are still temporarily closed, there are a variety of outdoor attractions now open (or opening soon!) where you can take part in fresh air activities while maintaining a safe social distance. You can visit the animals at all city zoos, including the Central Park Zoo and Bronx Zoo, get fresh produce from places like Queens County Farm, see outdoor art installations, and once again wander through the flowers of New York City’s beautiful botanical gardens. Check out all of the botanical gardens open once again this summer, and find out the safety measures in place at each location.
1. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx
One of the first botanical gardens to reopen its doors was The New York Botanical Garden. One million different types of plants grow within the Garden’s 250-acre site, the largest in the five boroughs. There are various types of natural settings you can wander through, including the Thain Family Forest, the Perennial and Herb Gardens, Chilton Azalea Garden, and the colorful Rockefeller Rose Garden.
The Garden has adopted a slew of new safety measures to mitigate crowds and facilitate social distancing. Visitors are required to book timed-tickets in advance of their arrival; this disperses crowds throughout the day. There are additional wayfinding signs that direct traffic, and all staff and guest over the age of two are required to wear facemasks. Group tours, Tram Tours, and public programming are still suspended, and a few indoor locations remain closed; those include the Haupt Conservatory, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and the Hudson Grill. The Pine Tree Cafe Pop-Up and Hudson Grill Terrace are open for refreshments.