6 Free Activities to Try During NYC's Outdoor Rise

by  Jennifer Fauci | May 14, 2013
NYC aerial view
NYC aerial view / Mak3t/iStock

If you're looking for a new activity this summer, skip the beach and head to New York City for Outdoor Rise, a week of classes, adventures, and inspirational films all dedicated to the beauty of the outdoors. Brought to you by Discover Outdoors, Outdoor Rise is weeklong program that encourages you to live a healthy life by exploring and interacting with your environment. From June 17–23, choose from a list of events and start your summer of fun. All events are free to the public and dispersed throughout the five boroughs.

Kayak the Hudson (June 17, 19, and 21 at 12–1pm) Pier 66 at 12th Ave.
Take in the NYC skyline from a new angle – in a kayak on guided tour on the Hudson River! Dress to get wet and bring a waterproof camera. Trust us, you won't want to miss any photo ops!

Storytelling: Adventures with Melanie Hamlett (June 17 from 7–8:30pm) St. Mark's Theater, 94 St. Marks' Pl.
Join NYC-based storyteller and travel writer, Melanie Hamlett, for a night of laughter around the "campfire." Comedians who have appeared on The Daily Show with John Stewart, Chapelle's Show, and The Moth will share their adventures and shoot the breeze with you.

Daily Yoga (June 17–23 from 7–8am) Central Park's Sheep Meadow, 72nd & Central Park West
What better way to start your morning in a busy city than with a calming hour of yoga in the Central Park? Take in the summer breeze and smell of fresh cut grass as you relax your mind and body.

Breakneck Ridge Solstice Hike (June 21 from 4–10pm) Grand Central, 87 East 42nd St.
How do you shorten the longest day of the year? With a quick five mile hike up Breakneck Ridge, of course. Toss some trail mix in your backpack and leave Manhattan behind for a beautiful sunset. If you choose to take the train up with the group, please note that the time of departure is 4:15pm and costs around $26 round trip.

Volunteer: Garden Day at Van Cortlandt Park (June 22 from 10am–1pm) Van Cortlandt Park Horse Stables, Van Cortlandt Park at Broadway and Mosholu Ave, Bronx
Spend the morning offering up your green thumb at the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's Compost Site and Garden houses. Volunteers will help weed, water, and maintain the site while learning how the garden operates and grows healthy, nutritious fruits and veggies. Closed toe shoes and long pants are recommended as is plenty of water, a snack, and sunscreen. Don't forget to bring the kids! Children seven and up are encouraged to come, just list the ages of those under 18 when you sign up to register.

Where the Wild Things Grow: Drawing the Urban Wilderness Children's Art Class (June 23 from 10–11:30am)
Prospect Park, Prospect Park 9th St. Entrance, Brooklyn
Painter and naturalist Grace Markman teaches children how to draw by observing the nature around them. Your little artists will be inspired by the colorful flowers, trees, and birds on a bright summer's day. Children five and above are welcome and must be supervised throughout the activity. All art materials will be supplied.

Registration is easy! Simply choose the date and event you want to participate in and add it to your calendar. But, register soon because events sell out fast! Each event page provides a detailed description of the activity and displays a map of the area you'll be exploring.

Are you signing up for anything? Tell us how it goes!

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