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Best outdoor activities in NYC, from a Governors Island slide to public art

It’s that time again. Time to take stock of the past year and the people, places and things that have shaped New York City and continue to make it, by some regards, the best city in the world. On Day 2 of amNewYork’s 2016 Best Of New York guide, we take a look at what’s new in recreation.

Best park: The Lowline Lab

An experiment in indoor parks is currently underway
Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

An experiment in indoor parks is currently underway in the East Village. The proposed Lowline, the city's first underground park, is a few years away from potentially happening. Until then, a sneak peek at what's to come has been in progress at The Lowline Lab, an exhibit and laboratory that, while not underground, pipes in sunlight from outside to support a variety of plants indoors. Since opening last fall, more than 45,000 people have swung by the stunning, peaceful space, and the temporary lab has been extended another year to welcome more. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., FREE; 140 Essex St., thelowline.org/lab

Best slide: Governors Island

Governors Island continues to transform, with new features
Photo Credit: Vincent Barone

Governors Island continues to transform, with new features every summer. The latest? The longest slide in New York City (according to the Trust For Governors Island). The 57-foot slide is part of the Hills -- four rolling, man-made peaks on a 10-acre site near the island's southern point that rise 70 feet above sea level for views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. It's one of four slides on the appropriately named Slide Hill. Governors Island is currently closed for the season, so a trip down the windy attraction will have to wait until next year. (And in case you're wondering, it's recommended for up to age 14, though adults are welcome.)

Best public art installation: “OY/YO”

It was simple, silly, referential and, almost a
Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard

It was simple, silly, referential and, almost a requirement these days, Instagrammable. Deborah Kass' sculpture, "OY/YO," debuted in Brooklyn Bridge Park's Main Street lawn last fall. Inspired by Edward Ruscha's 1962 painting, "OOF," the bold sculpture, made of aluminum and yellow paint, featured the letters "O" and "Y." Looking toward Manhattan, it read "Oy"; toward Brooklyn, "Yo." Either way, very New York. After nearly a year along the skyline, the sculpture left the park at the end of September, though you can relive the experience by searching the hashtag "#oyyo."

Best outdoor activity: Bouldering at Brooklyn Bridge Park

There are plenty of places to get bouldering
Photo Credit: Julienne Schaer

There are plenty of places to get bouldering in New York City, though the most scenic is The Cliffs' DUMBO Boulders, an outdoor bouldering area in Brooklyn Bridge Park under the Manhattan Bridge geared toward all levels. At $9 for a day pass, it's one of the most affordable ways to try the growing sport, too. The facility just closed for the season, though will return next year. 25 Manhattan Bridge Lower Roadway, DUMBO, dumbo.thecliffsclimbing.com

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