Hot subway commutes and streets crowded with tourists can make summer a stressful time in Manhattan. Luckily, National Relaxation Day, August 15, is just around the corner. Can’t get off the island? You’re in luck. No matter what relaxation means to you, we’re sure there’s something for everyone in our round-up of 6 places where you can kick back, take a breath, and feel transported -- all without ever leaving the city!
Although it’s often called the “concrete jungle,” New York City is home to a surprising number of green spaces. In Central Park, which despite its size can feel as bustling and crowded as Manhattan’s streets, the Conservatory Garden is a hidden oasis. Enter through the Vanderbilt Gate between 104th and 105th street to discover six acres of beautifully tended gardens in traditional French, Italianate, and English styles. The best part? The Conservatory Garden is a designated “Quiet Zone,” bound to offer the perfect setting for a relaxing stroll. Downtown, the Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields offers nearly two-thirds of an acre of walkways. The public garden is a haven for botany lovers and its plentiful berries and flowers attract a fairytale flock of birds and butterflies to enchant visitors.
If cultivating your urban inner zen relaxes you, consider a class at the Laughing Lotus. Work out your worries with guided meditation or a music-infused “Soul Sweat” in their colorful Chelsea studio. In a city full of exercise options, be sure that you’re in for a truly unique yoga experience! The Rubin Museum displays art from India, Tibet, and the Himalayas. Let your mind wander exploring the vast 25,000 square-foot exhibition space of their Chelsea museum, with its trademark six-story spiral staircase. When planning your visit, be sure to check out the museum’s extensive events program. You might just find the series on meditation, music, or mindfulness that speaks to you.
Looking for a place to relax with your littlest New Yorkers? Head uptown where the Children’s Sculpture Park is nestled next to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights. The Fountain of Peace sets the scene for a relaxing afternoon discovering animal sculptures created by artists from kindergarten through high school. Ignite your little one’s curiosity (and escape the summer heat!) with a trip to the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Natural History Museum. Settle back and enjoy a journey into the quiet reaches of space with a show at the Hayden Planetarium or immerse yourself in the otherworldly atmosphere of the Cullman Hall of the Universe.
New York is the city that never sleeps, but on August 15, it might just do you good to relax at one of these hidden Manhattan gems. For more ideas on where to chill out on National Relaxation Day, be sure to check out NYXT’s original series, Finding Silence, and visit our content partners:
Manhattan Sideways: Manhattan Sideways walks the Side Streets of Manhattan every day to find new, unique, and wonderful places.
The Rubin Museum: An art museum in Chelsea primarily dedicated to Himalayan, Indian, and Tibetan artwork, The Rubin Museum regularly holds events, from musical performances and film screenings to meditation practices and lectures.