Given that it just snowed a foot in the city I thought it would be appropriate to drop a couple of friendly hints, with a little help from the Gothamist Blog (remember that blog that we said you should be reading if you live in the City?), for how to become a sledding New Yorker.
As you’ve surely come to realize many New Yorkers come from elsewhere in the country. As long as you aren’t from the south (sorry) you no doubt sat in bated breath on the morning of a fresh snow fall, waiting to see your schools name tick across the bottom of the screen of the local news. If you were one of the lucky ones to be blessed with a snow day, you no doubt hopped around for a couple seconds in absolute glee and then had a sudden…beautiful…realization. With a snow day…comes a sledding day.
Chances are, you won’t see your companies name scroll across NY1 in the AM after a snowfall (though I wait for it every time), and chances are you’ll have to go to work. But if you’re one of the few who don’t, or you have a sick day to burn, the first step to getting your sled on is…getting a sled. You can go a couple of different routes to solving this problem: make a sled, buy a sled or get yours out of the closet. In the case of needing to buy a sled you’ll find that many stores in the city don’t actually HAVE sleds for you to buy, but here’s a list of ones that do (lets all say a collective prayer that Wal-Mart never gets included on this):
- Target. There are nine Targets in the city (I just found out about 6 of them), but if you’re looking to go specifically to sled I would recommend the Fort Greene location because of its proximity to a great sledding hill in Fort Greene Park (see list below). You can see a full list of NYC locations here: Target Locations
- K-Mart. Astor place stop on the 6, you can’t miss it. Or next to Madison Square Garden at 34th and 7th. Cheap prices, heart of the city.
- Home Depot. There are a couple of different locations, but the one I go to the most is near the Flatiron Building on 23rd street between 5th and 6th. You can see a complete list here: Home Depot Locations
This isn’t to say there are not more sled purchasing establishments in our fair city. I have seen them in local hardware stores, larger CVS and Duane Reeds and occasionally a Gristedes. Look around and I’m sure you can find one close to you.
If you don’t want to buy a sled, here are some options:
- Cardboard. Just don’t steal it from the street if it’s someones home for the night. While you’re at it, drop a buck in that guys cup – it’s hard out there in the snow.
- Mattress. Watch out for bed bugs!!! Legitimately, if you can find a mattress for use on the slopes you and your friends will have the best time you’ve ever had.
- Skateboard, sans trucks. If you’ve ever done this you’ll know it’s not as easy as you would imagine. You can sit down and make it a lot easier though…
- Old plastic poster frames. SUPER fast…
- Laundry basket. Given a sufficient slope, you can use a laundry basket to shoot 2 people down a hill.
Now that you’re armed with your sled it’s time to throw on your over priced Hunter boots, hipster scarf and hit the slopes! The list below comes from The Gothamist, the best news source for New York and MommyPoppins– a great site offering tips and guides for living with kids in the City.
- Pilgrim Hill in Central Park (5th Ave and 72nd Street), this hill is just North of the 72nd street entrance.
- Cedar Hill in Central Park (b/w 76 and 79th, just South of the Met)- this hill is a great second option if Pilgrim Hill is too crowded and has great options for both adults and kids.
- Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, at 103rd Street
- Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side, at 91st Street (the difference? This one is for adults, and dons the nickname “Suicide Park”)
- Inwood Hill Park at the very northern tip of Manhattan and supposedly contains some of the best (but unknown sledding hills in New York City)
- 91st b/w 2nd and 3rd is a residential block with an impressive slope that kids from the neighborhood frequently descend upon after a snowstorm.
- Fort Greene Park (a steep, less crowded area can be found at “the back part of the hill that leads down to Myrtle Ave—you will find less crowds, and a much steeper ride. You might even find some snowboarders there.”)
- The Nethermead—Picnic House area in Prospect Park (warning: gets crowded!)
- The Long Meadow Slope—Tennis House Area in Prospect Park
- Vanderbilt Playground (right off of Prospect Park Southwest)
- Maryland Monument (“enter at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Street and proceed across to Wellhouse Drive. The slope is by the bridge and is pretty steep.”)
- Sunset Park (enter at 41st/44th Street and 5th Avenue)—not crowded, not steep!
- Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge (at Shore Parkway, Shore Road, Colonial Road and 68 Street)
- Shore Road and 97th (“a big hill!)
- Brooklyn Heights: the dog park by Harry Chapin Playground has a hill
- Clumber Corner in DUMBO near the BQE and Washington Street (check it out here)
- Forest Park: according to Mommy Poppins, “the popular spot is the golf course where, technically, sledding is not allowed because it’s deemed unsafe by the parks department. There’s also a hill in Forest Park at the Mary Whale Playground at 79th St and Park Lane.”
- Juniper Valley Park at 75th Street and Lower Highland Park
- Clove Lake Park is actually an official sledding hill for Staten Island
- Dead Man’s Hill in Silver Lake Park (popular unofficial spot)
- Beach side of Mount Loretto
- Ewen Park—one of the best sledding spots in the city (bonus: stairs for climbing back up the hill)
- Van Cortland Park
- Crotona Park at Fulton Ave around 174th Street
There are so many more places, so many more sled options out there, so be sure to drop in a comment and let us know yours!
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Image Credit:UX Camp London - Dog Sledding Supplies
About the author: Nick Trusty
Born in Santa Fe, raised in Kansas City/the Northeast, a college graduate of the University of Missouri and a current New Yorker, Nick Trusty is a 50/50 blend of the fastest and slowest cultures – working and playing. Nick loves social situations, traveling, snowboarding, outdoor cafes and everything about Autumn.