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Free fitness classes in NYC parks

It’s prime time to move your workout outdoors.

If you’re looking to mix up your routine, New York City’s parks are hosting a variety of classes, from fan favorites like yoga and Zumba to boxing and double dutch.

Here’s a look at where to get fit in parks. And best of all, the classes are free — if anything, you might just need to sign up in advance to secure a spot or bring your own mat (BYOM).

Bryant Park

Bryant Park
Photo Credit: Angelito Jusay

The massive yoga class on the lawn (mats provided) is a signature summer staple of the midtown park (in addition to HBO film nights, of course). But you can also get en garde for fencing lessons, do tai chi, wake up early for boot camp and, starting June 3, take a dance class with Limon Dance Company. Info:

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Do Pilates in Brooklyn Bridge Park this week.
Photo Credit: Sandy Soohoo

There’s something for everyone at the waterfront park. Kayaking, basketball clinics and dance cardio (set to Broadway show tunes) are currently in session, with Zumba, yoga (limited number of mats will be provided), ballet barre, double dutch and even strength training for new moms launching next month. Classes are held across the park’s various piers. Info:

Riverside Park and West Harlem Piers Park

West Harlem Piers
Photo Credit: NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

As part of the NYC Parks Department’s annual Summer on the Hudson arts and culture festival, you can take a variety of free fitness classes in both parks on almost any given day of the week. HIIT, yoga (BYOM), Zumba, tai chi and Pilates are just some of the workouts taking place now through the end of September. Info:

Hudson River Park

Sweat Sessions
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

A couple of summer fitness programs, offering a variety of studio workouts, are back in session at the waterside park. At Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park, there’s Sweat Sessions (pictured), featuring rotating classes from NYC studios such as Exhale, Liftonic, Uplift, 305 Fitness, Dogpound Boxing, Dance Body and more (mats provided when necessary). Workouts are held Tuesdays at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., now through Aug. 29 — but sign up in advance fast because they routinely get booked solid. For more free workouts, Healthy on the Hudson is taking over Piers 25 and 46 with classes from studios such as ConBody (a prison-inspired boot camp), Tone House and more (BYOM when necessary). Classes are held Tuesdays and Wednesdays now through Sept. 27 in the evenings for the post-office crowd. RSVP required. Info:;

High Line

The High Line park in the Meatpacking District
Photo Credit: Newsday/Anthony Lanzilote

In addition to leisurely strolling along the elevated west side park, you can take tai chi classes at 13th Street with the Taoist Tai Chi Society for Tai Chi, as well as guided meditations led by the Integral Yoga Institute and Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center at 22nd Street. Both will be held weekly, on Tuesdays mornings from June to September. Info:

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park
Photo Credit: Socrates Sculpture Park

The waterfront park hosts free yoga (BYOM), tai chi and capoeira classes on weekends during the spring and summer. You can also get in the water with kayaking and canoeing in Hallets Cove on select Saturdays and Sundays, in partnership with LIC Community Boathouse. As the name implies, the Long Island City park is home to public art, so make sure to check that out while you’re there. Info:

Battery Park

Battery Park City
Photo Credit: Battery Park City Authority

Head to the southern tip of Manhattan for a scenic yoga class. Starting May 31, Tejal Yoga will lead open-level classes on the Woodland lawn (limited number of mats will be provided). You’ll have two opportunities each week to practice there: The hourlong classes will be held Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. (classes are free, but there is a $10 suggested donation benefiting the Battery Conservancy). Info:

Randall's Island Park

Randall's Island
Photo Credit: Randall's Island Park Alliance

The island, bordered by Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, is a sports hub with more than 60 athletic fields catering to soccer, softball, lacrosse and more, as well as some 8 miles of dedicated bike and pedestrian pathways. For some guided practice, it also hosts free evening classes in yoga (Tuesdays, BYOM) and dance cardio (Wednesdays), led by instructors from Sweet Water Dance and Yoga. Find them now through September. Info:

Union Square

Get fit through free classes with Summer in
Photo Credit: Summer in the Square

The annual Summer in the Square series, which brings regular fitness classes, as well as music and kid-friendly activities, to Union Square, returns next month. Find more free outdoor fun from June 15-Aug. 10. Info:


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