Anyone who’s lived in Great Neck for more than a few years likely has been to at least a few of its many parks and athletic fields. When my family first moved to Great Neck six years ago when I was in third grade, we spent a lot of time exploring these parks and marveling at how pretty they all were. However, now that everyone’s busier with work and school, going to parks is the least of our priorities.
Parks in Great Neck are often overlooked since most people who live here don’t feel any real need to go to parks near their homes, which is reasonable. There are so many bigger parks out there, especially in the city, so why bother spending time at smaller parks near home? Nevertheless, I looked at these parks and put them head-to-head on a list, which I think accurately portrays my favorite parks in Great Neck.
The Great Neck Park District has a lot to offer. The main parks that most people probably know about are Steppingstone Park, Allenwood Park, Kings Point Park and Village Green. Each of these has its own unique traits, as well as pros and cons.
Steppingstone Park is a beautiful area located right near Long Island Sound, with a mini water park and boardwalk. Concerts are held there often, as it makes for a great picnic lawn and has spectacular sunset views. However, with its location right on the Northern tip of Kings Point, it’s a little bit of a hassle for people outside of Kings Point to get to, and one thing that always bothers me is that it’s constantly windy since it’s by the water.
Allenwood Park, located near E.M. Baker, is, in my opinion, the park that embodies the classic fun-for-the-family idea. It’s full of sports fields where teams and families can have fun and play, and it also has lots of playgrounds for kids, as well as tons of open space and grass. Enjoying a picnic here can be fun and relaxing, especially with friends and family. However, plan to bring your own activities, as without those, you’ll find that the park gets boring quickly. It’s a great park, but it doesn’t offer much to those just trying to have fun.
Kings Point Park bears a lot of similarities to Allenwood Park in my opinion: It’s big, has lots of open space and has lots of athletic fields. However, having barbecues and picnics at Kings Point Park is much more enjoyable since there tends to be far fewer people, and it even has its own little secluded forest lots for big groups trying to barbecue. Much of Kings Point Park is located under a vast expanse of tall trees, and the forest-feeling that the trees give makes Kings Point Park feel much closer to nature than other parks. Kings Point Park also has lots of great running trails that go through the forest. Joggers will appreciate this aspect of Kings Point Park.
Located right near the entrance of town by Great Neck House, Village Green is big and a wonderful place for relaxation and casual dining. The main benefit of coming here is that it is the closest to town, where most of the activities in Great Neck take place. It also has a stage where summertime concerts are held, and this park is very accessible to most areas of Great Neck, since it is basically right in the middle of town. However, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, you may want to consider going elsewhere, as Village Green is often bustling with people picnicking and biking, and the nearby roads make it easy to hear loud cars drive by.
Personally, I favor Steppingstone Park over the other parks, simply because I live close to it and go there the most. It has beautiful sunset views that make for great photography, and is overall just a fantastic place to spend a few hours with family. However, having also been to every other park in Great Neck, I can say that there are so many things each park offers that no one should only visit one.