This month marks the 30th year of National Parks and Recreation Month!

What do NYC parks have to offer? Get moving at your local recreation center – many offer free or low- cost classes, including basketball, swimming, yoga, and many more. Cool off in one of the many free outdoor swimming pools or check out nearby sporting events. Go on a canoeing, kayaking or paddle boat adventure. It’s not too late to learn to ride a bike or swim! Did you know you can go fishing, birding and even camping right here in NYC? And be sure to check this summer’s free movies, concerts and theater.

So get out of your home and visit the parks this summer! Here are a few of our favorites. Make sure to check out to learn more about events and programs near you.

Recreation Centers
Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center is near Chinatown and features year-round facilities which include a gymnasium for basketball and badminton. They offer seasonal activities such as ping-pong, swimming, and more. Free or low-cost classes in yoga, hockey, and belly-dancing are also offered. Membership is $50 for adults and free for youths age 18 and under.

Chinatown YMCA has many different types of classes such as adult ballet, kickboxing, yoga, and tai chi for YMCA members. Additionally, adult group exercise classes are offered for free every week. They also offer a swimming pool, as well as steam and sauna rooms. Membership fees vary based on age and group sign-ups.

Metropolitan Recreation Center, located in Brooklyn, offers classes for all age groups. The center features classes in art, chess, and dance for kids; fitness and strength-training for teens; and taekwondo and Zumba for adults. There is also a pool for general swim hours for everyone.

For non-members of recreation centers, Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes every week at various locations throughout the city.

Public Parks
Columbus Park in Chinatown often has free events for all age groups and is an excellent way to take leisure with Chinatown locals. Nearby is also City Hall Park, which showcases some iconic architecture and features a bike path leading straight to the Brooklyn Bridge. In Chinatown, there are many nearby parks and recreation centers to visit and take advantage of. Check out this guide from our website for more information.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located in Queens, is one of the largest parks in NYC. In addition to having open spaces for basketball, tennis, soccer, and more, there are also more leisurely spaces including an art museum, botanical garden, and science museum. Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink has a very large indoor pool and hockey rink. Take a walk along the Flushing Bay Promenade or visit the nearby zoo for a lovely day.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has a new roller skating rink along with many playgrounds and sports fields. Additionally, there are many unique activities including kayaking/canoeing as well as open spaces for barbecues. Featuring local events such as movie screenings and group cycling rides, there is always something to do here!


Posted by Charles B. Wang Community Health Center

The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is a nonprofit and federally qualified health center, established in 1971. Our mission is to provide high quality and affordable health care to the undeserved, with a focus on Asian Americans. Our vision is to ensure that everyone has full and equal access to the highest level of health care. Learn more at

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