News & Updates

Neighborhood Play Guide: Eight Hours in Greenwich Village

July 14

Greenwich Village was our Park’s first completed section, and for over a decade this popular stretch has delighted Park fans. Ample activity and gorgeous green space make this a perfect place to enjoy a day of athletic challenge, exciting exploration and rewarding relaxation.

Enter at Houston Street and you’ll be greeted by your Park’s largest pier. Opened in 1963, Pier 40 was built as a passenger shipping hub, traces of which you can find, like the ceramic Holland America Line Mural in its lobby. Today the pier is a Lower Manhattan sports hub, so why not start your day by picking your own athletic adventure?

Pier 40’s vast fields are coveted venues for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, baseball and more. There are batting cages on-pier as well, and with tennis and basketball courts just south of Pier 40, your favorite sport is never far. Looking for something higher-flying? The Trapeze School of New York gives lessons right on the roof! For a more nautical adventure, Village Community Boathouse offers community rowing and boatbuilding, and Hornblower cruises out of Pier 40 as well. You can even learn what’s going on beneath the river’s surface at The River Project’s wetlab look-in hours!

No matter how you play at Pier 40, continue your day with a leisurely walk along our Greenwich Village esplanade. Stroll past the Leroy Dog Run, where there are always pups at play. The elegant, geometric structure you pass as you continue north is a ventilation shaft for the PATH trains far below, and the lawns ahead are some of our favorites, offering always-lovely views and plenty of shade.

Worked up an appetite? Perfect! Pick up a sandwich or sweet treat and enjoy shady fairy-lighted seating at The Landing at Pier 45. Then take your afternoon sightseeing at an easy pace... Loop back to the beautiful Christopher Street Fountain and admire the graceful bronze form of The Apple, one of our most beloved pieces of #ArtinHRP, and its vibrant garden – among the most photogenic locations in all of Hudson River Park. Or, take a guided exploration! Our Nature Walks are a great way to discover this section of the Park.

Afternoon relaxation abounds at Pier 45. On summer days, this pier’s sunny lawns become an incredibly popular green beach. Stake out some prime lawn space, lay back, catch some rays and people watch. Then, cool off at the interactive water feature! This pier also plays host to some of our popular summer programs, including Sunset on the Hudson and Sunset Salsa!

If you’re still feeling playful, Pier 46’s turf is great for catch, soccer or frisbee! It's also a perfect setting for Healthy on the Hudson fitness classes and our Hudson RiverFlicks Family Fridays. There are picnic tables and plentiful shade along the edge of this pier, and the pile field beyond is home to a world of marine life beneath the river’s surface. 

As evening draws near, finish up your Greenwich Village exploration by heading north along the esplanade. The elegant stone curve of the AIDS Memorial to your right focuses its powerful message, and is complemented by a balcony that arcs over the the river where Pier 49 once stood.

The last stop on your journey is Pier 51. Younger Park fans love this pier’s dynamic – and splashtastic – play area, and visitors of all ages can enjoy the reproduced boat hull at its edge. Its viewfinders and riverfront railings are an ideal spot to catch a famous Hudson River Park sunset.

With so many ways to play and sites to enjoy, we couldn’t catch all of Greenwich Village’s best in one day, so keep exploring, and be sure to check our events calendar, too! We’ll be back soon to help you discover more of our Park’s unique neighborhoods.