MommyMorningEating lunch in a park in NYC is not so unusual – even in January. On New Year’s Day, it was 53 degrees in New York, and my kids and I went for a family bike ride, in t-shirts. But the day I had lunch in the park, it was 14 degrees. I haven’t lost my mind- I was at Park Here, a pop-up indoor park, open till February 15.

This 2nd annual park, at Openhouse Gallery, 201 Mulberry is kitted out with picnic tables, benches, and blankets on the turf grass. There are even a couple of hammocks.

And it’s free. Finding free activities in New York City can be a challenge for families on a budget, particularly after the holidays.

2parkYou can bring your own food (I got veggie sushi from Dean & DeLuca) or buy from the rotating cast of food carts. And you can wash your hands (and do other business) in the bathroom.

If you are traveling with small kids, Park Here offers Mommy Mornings from 9am to noon. This is the only time you have to pay to enter the park, but you do get unlimited free tea or coffee (that’s when those bathrooms come in extra handy). The Mommy Mornings include yoga, sing-alongs and story time, and are best for ages one to four.