Spring has finally arrived in many parts of the world and after over a year spent mostly inside due to the pandemic, we are all looking forward to enjoying some time outdoors. Exercising, reading, playing, resting, sunbathing, having barbecues or picnics… there are many ways to enjoy being outside – but what about studying too?
The arrival of warm weather marks the launch of ‘English Outdoors‘, a new concept by Brooklyn School of Languages to learn English outside in New York City. And what better place than the Big Apple to study English while enjoying some of the world’s most famous sights?
With ‘English Outdoors’ students learn English in a new outdoor location everyday: parks, gardens and other cool green spaces; a great way to discover more places and make the most of their time in the city. We have scoured the city from north to south and east to west to find the best spots to study: outdoors locations offering comfortable seating, shade from the heat, great options to eat or grab a coffee nearby, and the best views too!
So here is our top 10 outdoor places to learn English in New York City in 2021:
1. Abingdon Square, West Village, Manhattan
Abingdon Square Park is one of New York City’s oldest parks, and at 0.25 acres (1,000 m2), it is also one of its smallest. The park is a vibrant center of neighborhood life with its Saturday greenmarket that has been bringing local farmers and purveyors to the West Village since 1994.
2. Bosque Gardens, Battery Park, Manhattan
The Battery Bosque (Spanish for a “grove of trees”), is a 4-acre landscaped garden, which opened in 2005. The gardens host 34,000 perennial plants and 70,000 bulbs, in addition to 1,500 linear feet of serpentine benches. Designed to trigger an emotional response to beauty, the Bosque is a series of densely planted romantic garden “rooms,” joined by meandering soft-surface paths.
3. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre (34 ha) park on the Brooklyn side of the East River in New York City, next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The park is part of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, a series of parks and bike paths around Brooklyn. It is a world-class waterfront park with rolling hills, riverfront promenades, lush gardens, and spectacular city views.
4. Bryant Park, Midtown, Manhattan
Bryant Park has become a beloved, year-round New York City destination. Known as Manhattan’s Town Square, the park is famous for its lush seasonal gardens, free activities, and al fresco dining. Located adjacent to the New York Public Library and surrounded by iconic skyscrapers, it is visited by more than 12 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world.
5. Conservatory Garden, Central Park
Conservatory Garden provides respite from the adjacent Fifth Avenue and its bustling Museum Mile, offering a taste of the European countryside in the heart of Manhattan. It is the only formal garden in Central Park. It’s a six-acre oasis within an oasis, and its grand entrance is worthy of the experience within.
6. Domino Park, Williamsburg
Domino Park spans a quarter mile along the East River near the Williamsburg Bridge, at the Domino Sugar Refinery site. At the southern end of the park are water jets making an illuminated dancing fountain display, shooting eight feet (2.5m) into the air. As of 2020 the park had seen over 2 million visitors. The park was one of eight spaces nominated for that year’s Urban Space Award hosted by the Urban Land Institute.
7. Madison Square Park, Flat-Iron district, Manhattan
Madison Square is probably best known around the world for providing the name of Madison Square Garden, a sports arena and its successor which were located just northeast of the park for 47 years, until 1925. On the south end of Madison Square, southwest of the park, is the Flatiron Building, one of the oldest of the original New York skyscrapers, and just to the east at 1 Madison Avenue is the Met Life Tower, built in 1909 and the tallest building in the world until 1913. One amenity, added to the park in July 2004, is the Shake Shack, a popular permanent stand that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, shakes and other similar food, as well as wine.
8. Pier 26 at Hudson River Park, Manhattan
New York’s newest park, Pier 26 brings together many of the features that make Hudson River Park such a significant resource and destination for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world — unique opportunities to interact with the Hudson River and local ecology, innovative waterfront green space for relaxation and recreation, and unparalleled views of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. This 2.5-acre ecologically-themed pier in Tribeca incorporates indigenous plants evocative of Manhattan’s ecosystem prior to human development.
9. Stuyvesant Park, Manhattan
Stuyvesant Park features an 2800-foot-long cast-iron fence, which still stands as the oldest cast-iron fence in New York City. In 1850 two fountains completed the landscaping, and the park was formally opened to the public. The public space joined St. John’s Square, the recently formed Washington Square and the private Gramercy Park as residential squares around which it was expected New York’s better neighborhoods would be built. In the early 1900s, Stuyvesant Square was among the city’s most fashionable addresses.
10. Washington Square Park, Manhattan
Washington Square Park is well-known for its arch, honoring the United States’ first president George Washington, and its fountain, the arch’s elder by 43 years and a popular meeting spot. It is one of the best known of New York City’s public parks, it is an icon as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity. Rich in history, Washington Square Park serves as a dynamic commons for local residents, chess players, students, performers and tourists from around the globe.
With so many great outdoor locations to discover, ‘English Outdoors’ is the best way to study English this spring, summer and fall, when NYC weather is at its finest. But don’t worry we are not dependent on the weather to run our English classes: we have thought of everything and we also have indoor locations planned for rainy days or even days when it is too hot to be outside.
Contact us for more information on the program or to book!
We look forward to welcoming you to Brooklyn and Manhattan on our English Outdoors program.