Recently O had a day off school so we took a field trip to a public horticultural garden called Wave Hill in Riverdale, the Bronx. The gardens and a cultural center are part of an estate built in 1843 which has paths, trails, expanses of green grass to play on and gorgeous views of the Hudson Valley and the New Jersey Palisades.
We had visited before in the Fall and fell in love with the natural beauty, especially as the leaves were changing colour and the pagodas were still filled with flowers.
This time we brought along some friends from school who were also new to NYC. After a 30 minute subway ride on the 1 train we arrived at the 242 St. station and waited at the nearby Burger King for the complimentary Wave Hill shuttle to bring us to the park. Luckily, we timed it well as the shuttle only comes 10 min after the hour. If you miss it you can either walk (30 min), take a taxi/Uber (our Uber took 12 min to arrive in the Fall: not as many available as in Manhattan), or wait for the next shuttle.
O and the kids were so happy! We explored the trails, took off our shoes to play in the grass, rolled down hills, did cartwheels/sommersaults and climbed trees. They pretended to be pirates and discovered a “tree house”. Essentially the type of outdoor play you’d want your kids to have everyday, except we live in an apartment. It was a nice way to commune with nature.
For lunch, we ate a delicious, locally sourced and meal cooked on-site at the café. While there is a designated area available for picnicking, the food at the café is so tasty that I prefer to buy lunch there. The café has outdoor seating available on a stone terrace with forest views, so even if you’re just getting a snack, it is worthwhile to sit and relax there while listening to the birds chirp. Tableware/plates/cutlery are all compostable.
We enjoyed beautiful warm weather but as it is still early spring the flowers are only beginning to bloom. I actually preferred the view of the Hudson Valley in the Fall with the multicolored leaves, but I definitely can’t complain. Next we’ll have to return in the summer to see how the gardens are transformed.
Visit http://www.wavehill.org for more information and to find out about their weekend children’s programs.