New York is huge, fast-paced, exciting and glamorous, but sometimes, it’s just too much. When pushing a stroller down streets packed with movers and shakers while you inhale that only-in-NYC patented aroma of rotting garbage sprinkled with canine urine has you dreaming of the burbs, take comfort in an escape that only those-in-the-know can find – community gardens.

These urban oases are hidden throughout the city, often in the most unexpected – but desperately – needed places. Check out some of our favorites below. You might discover a spot of serenity right in your own neighborhood. Or even one worthy of venturing further!

6th Street & Avenue B Community Garden
Located - where else? - but at the cross of 6th Street and Avenue B in the East Village, and currently open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm this is the place downtown for free kids workshops, musical performances and movie screenings. The garden is also available for weddings and other occasion rentals.

Do you have a favorite pastoral spot to get away from it all in NYC? With the kids or – shh, don’t tell anyone! – without them? Let us know!  

— Alina Adams