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10 Super Fun Outdoor Activities In NYC You Can Do While Social Distancing

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

10 Super Fun Outdoor Activities In NYC You Can Do While Social Distancing

As NYC has reopened, outdoor spaces have become a safe haven for New Yorkers hoping to escape their apartments for a bit.

And though other parts of the summer season have been put on hold, outdoor activities are in full swing (in fact, most everything we can do has been moved outdoors).

Besides just a walk in your neighborhood or a visit to the park, the city actually has tons of options for getting active in a socially distant way, from water sports to scavenger hunts to biking.

Here are 10 picks for exploring the great New York outdoors this summer, just hope it doesn’t rain!

1. Learn to Surf at the Rockaways

Head out to Rockaway Beach in Queens for some stellar surf lessons with Peter and Edward from Surfs Up NY.  The instructors — who are also Certified Lifeguards — begin with 10 minutes of instruction on dry land so students can learn introductory maneuvers and ocean-safety pointers. Teacher and student then take to the waves for at least 60 minutes of dedicated surfing time. Hang 10!

Pick up a surfboard here.

2. Or For Something a Little Less Intense, Learn to Paddleboard

If you’re not quite ready to go into surfing, Surfs Up NY also does paddleboard lessons! They follow the same teaching technique, with some tips on land first, and then you can glide along the water and take in the beach views for at least an hour. It doubles as a great core workout!

Get your tickets here.

3. Jetski to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & the Freedom Tower

Tour New York like you never have before: on a jet ski! Choose from a circle tour around New York Harbor, a sunset tour, or coats right underneath the George Washington Bridge. You’re guaranteed to have an amazing experience where you can “make your own waves” and go at your own pace. See all the top sights, attractions, and landmarks from a new vantage point and skip the boring boat and bus tours as you take your tour into your own hands, literally.

Grab tickets right here.

4. Bike on the Best Route in the City

See New York City on two wheels by cycling down the picturesque and car-free Hudson River Greenway as you take in gorgeous waterfront views. Oh, and don’t forget, this is the top biking spot in the city as shared by Secret NYC readers! Ride through Chelsea and into Lower Manhattan, where you will see some of the original settlements of the city.

Ride up and down the Hudson River here.

Or, if you’ve switched over to biking everywhere, try this amazing monthly rental.

5. Go Kayaking or River Tubing (With a Delicious BBQ After)

This is not technically in NYC, but it’s the perfect day trip! Delaware River Tubing launches tubes on five-to-six-mile trips down scenic waterways just north of where George Washington historically crossed the Delaware River. You can relax and enjoy breathtaking views of the scenic Delaware River and enjoy a barbecue meal when you get hungry.

Grab tickets here.

6. Head Out On an Exciting Scavenger Hunt in Central Park

On this highly entertaining one and a half hour adventure, a series of clues will lead you around Central Park, getting you to perform physical and mental challenges along the way. There will be prizes—each member of the winning team will receive a New York City gift package. Spend the day hunting through NYC’s famously massive park with your friends or meet new ones!

Sign up right here.

7. Enjoy a Mystery Foodie Picnic Tour Around NYC

This self-guided food adventure is the perfect way to explore New York City’s best neighborhoods and avoid the crowds. Starting with a picnic basket, have fun solving personally-curated clues and riddles sent to your smartphone that’ll take you on a journey to collect your special gourmet picnic food bit by bit. Each clue you solve will lead you closer to your next picnic food pickup and even closer to your final stunning secret picnic spot. This experience is all-inclusive, all you need to do is select the date and everything will be planned for you. You can expect a 3-4 hour picnic experience where you discover new parts of NYC while supporting small business with this stress-free adventure!

Grab your basket here.

8. Kayak In New York Harbor for Incredible Views of the Skyline

Manhattan Kayak has reopened for the season for kayaking, paddle boarding and more in their beautiful location in the Hudson River. Float on by the massive Intrepid Ship or paddle out farther for incredible views of the Manhattan skyline — which also take place at night for sparkling views of the city lit up. Find out all about it here.

9. Go Camping Under the Stars On Governors Island

Last year, Collective Governors Island Luxury Camping Retreat introduced plenty of new and exciting amenities that included “live music nights, tarot readings, crafting, morning yoga, bike rentals, chair massages, plenty of lawn games, campfires and cocktails” throughout the season—but this year, due to social distancing regulations, the experience has a more private feel. (Which honestly sounds more appealing to us). Find out more here.

10. Canoe Through The Hidden Waterways Of Brooklyn

The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club is hosting summer tours through the Gowanus Canal to help educate and advocate for the waterfront (oh, and have fun of course)! Depending on the tour, they also take trips through Brooklyn waterways to the neighboring waterfront communities of Red Hook, Sunset Park and Brooklyn Heights. Find out all about it here.

featured image source: Instagram / @nycjetski