Unexpected Places in NYC: Randall's Island Park

I usually avoid anything that takes 3 trains to get to, but last Saturday I wanted to check out FLOW, Randall's Island annual summer art exhibit. I didn't take pictures of the art (except for this one on Instagram), but I totally think it's worth the trip to experience it and everything else the island has to offer.

Before we left, we stopped by Duane Reade (part drug store/grocery store/walk-in clinic) to get Owen tested for strep throat (negative) and pick up items for a picnic. I was shocked to see a Zabar's roast beef sandwich on an onion brioche roll for sale. Very impressed to see a chain drug store carrying a local favorite. My kids, however, were more stoked to buy the 99 cent American flags. They waved those things all day like the proudest Americans I'd ever seen.

After transferring twice on the train, we walked through the projects to get to the 103rd Street Footbridge which led onto the island. About a block away from the bridge, a woman yelled, "Girl--you're going the wrong way." Who me? With my red and blue striped backpack and 3 American flags hanging out? High pony tail? Riding a blue kick scooter with my 3 kids tagging behind on their matching red Radio Flyer scooters? As if were reenacting this parade scene from the Music Man? She must have been talking about someone else.

When we finally got to the island, we were ready to explore. We first noticed the smooth and wide path along the water's edge. Perfect for kick scooters, but I'm sure it would also be heaven on bikes or even foot.

It didn't take long to realize this ain't no Governor's Island with it's jazz lawn parties and artisanal food trucks. If that's what you're expecting, than girl, you're going the wrong way. Randall's Island is geared more for large BBQ parties, loud music, and rowdy sporting events. It's the wild west out there. And I totally adored it. It wasn't out of control though. The public restroom near the information booth was new and clean. I also saw a lot of employees picking up trash and emptying garbage bins through out the day. I appreciated their hard work and effort to keep the island tidy.

We stayed all day, took naps in the grass, got to see a lot of the island and all of the art. At times I pretended I was on the shores of Greece with it's beautiful white rock beaches, other times I felt like I was partying in the Dominican Republic, and then other times I felt like I was upstate roaming through a garden of wild flowers. It's hard to believe we never left Manhattan.
Owen was having such a hard time swallowing (in red). He was such a trooper. 
Keep reading for more pictures of our Randall's Island adventure . . .

Ella's treasures are sitting on my dresser. Still in the bag. Classy. 
Ella got a over zealous waving her flag and then giggled with excitement as she took these pictures of me retrieving it. 
beautiful views at the Native Plant Garden

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  1. Such a sweet adventure. NY is so BIG, you're lucky to live there xo

  2. Hello from Greece.I found your blog couple of years ago and you have been a very good company ever since.Milos is my favorite island also,went there wit my now husband a few years ago.Oh,fun times...

  3. Ella looks sooo cute in that dress!

  4. I live in SF, so I totally understand the value of escaping in to "nature" every now and then - looks like a very special day. xo!

  5. Beautiful kids, beautiful pictures! Ella is becoming a good photographer too. :-)

  6. Love how much exploring you do with your kids!

  7. Oh my gosh, I love this! I was on Randall's Island one time to play a kickball game - up towards the top and it was nearly deserted and a storm came in and we were waiting for the bus to come get us, in the pouring rain, and on one side of us was an abandoned hospital and the other side was the set-up for a circus - it was so creepy haha! But who knew Randall's also is gorgeous and fun?! Thanks for sharing, I will have to venture back! - Liz

  8. love this. Such a special day. Great outfits on the kids, good color combos.

  9. Your kids are adorable, I love how they have their arms around each other! And adding Randall's Island to the list of NYC places to explore now :)

  10. so cute! i love that ella took pictures of you getting her flag. future blogger?

  11. I love this post, these pictures are lovely!


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