New York City is an incredible place where just about anyone can have fun, including your furry friends. The city offers dog-friendly restaurants, hotels, and tremendous dog parks. It is almost impossible for your dog to be bored here. Although New York City is known as one of the most expensive cities globally, it does not mean you have to spend a fortune to enjoy it. On the contrary, free activities are abundant for all inhabitants and visitors. It’s an exceptionally dog-friendly city, as more than 500,000 pet dogs live here. So it is no surprise that it offers lots of fun dog parks and dog friendly outings in all five boroughs. There are plenty of free things to do in NYC with your dog that will be fun for you too.
1. Bushwick Collective
Brooklyn is famous for being one of the more dog-friendly boroughs of New York City. Are you and your dog art lovers or enthusiasts? If you take a walk with your dog through the vividly colorful streets of the Bushwick Collective, you will not be disappointed. Artists from all over the world come here to paint colorful murals on the sides of buildings. You can sign up for a free tour to get the most out of it. Otherwise, head out for a stroll on your own with your dog and admire the amazingly original and inspiring artwork.
2. Brooklyn Bridge
It is impossible to be indifferent to the beauties of one of the most iconic landmarks of New York City—the Brooklyn Bridge. It is one of the best free things to do in NYC with your dog. No matter how many times you have visited it, it will always be a fun activity to walk across it, especially with your dog. Thousands of people walk and ride their bikes every day across the 150-year-old bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. To make the most of the experience with your dog, go for a walk early morning or late at night to avoid the crowds.
During your regular morning strolls, you might realize that you are finding life in Manhattan to be too busy and loud. You certainly wouldn’t be the first person leaving Manhattan for Brooklyn. In many aspects, Brooklyn can be more suitable for you and your dog. Although Brooklyn is also quite densely populated, it offers more affordable living conditions. There are also lots of great free options for your dog. Make sure you organize the move diligently as it can get quite hectic in the busy city. Hiring professional movers is the easiest way to go because they are well-versed in packing and safely moving all your possessions from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
3. Central Park
Can you think of a bigger and better park for pets and humans to enjoy on a sunny day? Central Park offers endless fun for dogs. It covers 843 acres of urban park and runs right down Manhattan. Central Park is the most famous urban park in the United States. It is home to more than 37 million visitors every year. The park offers everything you could imagine:
- Rocks to climb
- A carousel
- Running and walking trails
- Even a castle
Central Park offers free events almost every day, including free guided tours and walks through the park. A fantastic treat for your dog—the official off-leash hours are held between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. These hours are reserved for dogs, and they are free to run around and play as much as they want. Check out the dog group Central Park Paws to stay in the loop about all the doggy events. They organize the annual My Dog Loves Central Park event, meet every month for coffee and bagels, and organize hound hikes. You and your dog will always have something to do at this fantastic park.
4. Tompkins Square Dog Run
If you haven’t heard of this doggy hot spot, check it out ASAP. Although the City of New York offers loads of free things to do with your dog, this oldest and largest dog run still tops all charts. If you can believe it, Tompkins Square Dog Run offers all of the following:
- A state-of-the-art running area with granite sand
- Runs for both large and small dogs
- Small, bone-shaped pools that dogs can splash in during the summer
- Plenty of seating areas and picnic tables for dog owners
- Bath areas and hoses to spray off your dog before returning home
In addition to all this, the park’s main draws are its utter size and the leafy surroundings that provide sunny and shady areas for dogs to explore and have the best time.
5. Staten Island Ferry
If your dog is on the smaller side and enjoys boat rides, hop on the free Staten Island Ferry. Your dog will have so much fun on the windy ride, and you will get a great view of the Statue of Liberty. You will also be able to take the cutest pictures of your dog with the Statue of Liberty in the background. Get off on the Staten Island side and explore if you have time. Take a walk around St. George and visit the historic architecture, restaurants, etc. You can spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, enjoy nature, and a round trip for free.
6. Tribeca Dog Run
If you and your pup enjoy walking along the Hudson, the Hudson River Park is an excellent option for you. The park offers four dog runs, and they all have various features for both small and large dogs. Take in the gorgeous scenery while your dog exercises and makes friends in a safe environment. The two of the most popular destinations in the Hudson River Park are Pier 25 and Pier 26. The Tribeca Dog Run is the main reason for the draw. This is the newest dog park in the area, and the dog-friendly sanctuary offers a small dog park and a big dog park to suit your pet’s needs. It also has a water fountain and sprinkler areas for the dogs to play in on hot days. The Tribeca Dog Run also offers:
- Double–gated safety vestibule
- Fresh running water available for pets inside the park
7. Gantry Plaza State Park—Queens
Another one of the most dog-friendly places in New York City is Gantry Plaza State Park. Visit the Gantry Plaza State Park if you are in Queens and want to take your dog for an enjoyable walk overlooking the Manhattan skyline. It is a 12-acre riverside oasis that initially served as boating docks for the industrial age. The area also has some original buildings still standing, making the experience all the more enjoyable. Dogs are welcome on leash and off, and the park offers two dog runs:
- On the corner of 48th Avenue and Vernon Blvd
- Center Blvd between 46th and 47th Avenues
8. One of the best free things to do in NYC with Your Dog is to Visit the Dog Beach
Dog Beach is a swimming hole reserved for your best dog friends. It is located at Long Meadow in Prospect Park. The beach was recently renovated, with new fencing installed and rocks added. Dogs can enjoy a swim, go for a run, and play freely during off-leash hours in the summer. In addition to Dog Beach, Prospect Park offers acres of green space for you and your dog to enjoy. New York City’s largest off-leash community—Fido, hosts events throughout the year. For instance, you can join a monthly get-together for dog owners to meet, socialize, and exchange information while enjoying coffee, pastries, and dog biscuits.
9. Inwood Hill Park Trail
Inwood Hill Park Trail is a fun 2-mile hike that takes about one hour to complete. If you and your four-legged friend enjoy exercise and staying healthy, the moderate slopes will offer you a great stroll through the only natural park on Manhattan Island. There are a couple of rules—dogs must be on a leash, and it should be no longer than six feet. Take a breathtaking hike through this Manhattan park with a forest grove of tulip trees, oaks, and maples. Inwood Hill Park’s marked scenic sites or historic highlights trail will take you to the top of the hill. There you will find the park’s oldest trees—two Cottonwoods, which were planted before the park was established.
10. Take Part in a New York Road Runners Open Run
New York Road Runners is a group that organizes free weekly runs in parks all over New York City. And the best thing about the runs is that dogs are always a part of it, making it one of the best free things to do in NYC with your dog. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you have to keep your dog on a leash and comply with the city laws regarding cleanup and similar. If you are doing one of the runs in summer, keep an eye on signs that your dog is overheating. Ensure that you are adequately hydrated and take as many breaks as possible.
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