Last summer, I was invited to a rooftop party in Brooklyn that was complete with a D.J., a beer and taco stand, kiddie swimming pools, various games and unbeatable views of the city. All we had to pay for were food and drinks, which was pretty awesome and we got to spend the day hanging out and relaxing in such a cool environment.
Recreate it: If you live in a city with lots of apartment buildings that offer accessible and safe rooftops, grab a group of friends and throw a fun outdoor gathering! And to keep costs down, make it a potluck and tell people to B.Y.O.B., that way no one is footing the whole bill. Bring some portable speakers, a good playlist and some packable games and you're good to go!
You might think everyone heads to the Hamptons for beach getaways if they live in New York, but actually there are a bunch of local beaches nearby that are just a subway ride away. Some people head to Jones Beach or Long Beach, but I actually love Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk. I just hop on the A train and take it all the way to the end of the line, which takes you out to Queens. The beach is free, within walking distance of the subway and has a bunch of food and drink stands surrounding the water. To keep costs down, bring your own lunch, a bunch of magazines and post up on the sand for an afternoon of relaxation.
Recreate it: Whether your city has beaches or lakes, take advantage of your outdoor resources. They are free, usually very beautiful and peaceful, and allow you to gather with friends or spend some quality time alone just by leaving your house and setting up camp with a picnic blanket and of course, sunscreen!
Brunch in New York usually means multiple bloody marys, some sort of egg dish and a fairly high bill. In New York, I love going to Lafayette, which is also a fairly fancy restaurant. But they have a French style cafe in the front that serves baguette sandwiches, quiche and pastries as well as excellent coffee. I love grabbing a ham sandwich and a latte to go and taking it to a nearby park and sitting outside for brunch.
Recreate it: But if you want to still enjoy the late afternoon with a couple friends without dropping a ton of cash, research some cafes in your area to find out if they offer easy food to go, like sandwiches and baked goods. Head to a nearby park to post up, and if you're feeling daring, slip a bottle of Champagne and orange juice in your purse and you can have impromptu mimosas!
Here in New York we have something called Smorgasburg, which is a popular flea market that showcases 100-plus local and regional food vendors. It takes place in two areas in Brooklyn, but my favorite is in Williamsburg and is right near the East River, boasting amazing views of the city, and is a great way to spend an afternoon outside, sampling food from some of the great restaurants the city has to offer without having to commit to just one restaurant and one meal.
Recreate it: These days, most cities seem to be offering food fairs, festivals and events, so just check your local listings to see what is popping up in your area. Or, if you want to get really creative and do it on your own terms, head to the park with a group of friends and have everyone bring takeout from their favorite restaurant in their neighborhood. That way you can sample yummy items from restaurants you might have never tried plus you're splitting the cost! Win, win!
I make it a point to head up to Central Park whenever I can because it's such a beautiful space with endless walking paths, expansive grassy areas to picnic, a zoo, a reservoir, a carousel and more. Just recently I spent the afternoon up there with my boyfriend and we just enjoyed the day taking in the sights that surround the actual park. The east and west views that parallel the park are stunning and now that the trees and flowers are blossoming, it's just beautiful. We didn't really have an actual activity in mind, but instead just loved stretching our legs, meandering along different paths and enjoying each other's company.
Recreate it: Just get out and walk! Wherever it might be, a river walk, a park path or around a lake, you'd be surprised at how nice it can be to just step outside and take advantage of your local outdoor resources, which cost nothing and benefit your health!
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration between Crocs and SheKnows
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