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!

6BC Botanical Garden
Didn’t find what you were looking for on 6th & B? No worries. Just mosey on down to 6th Street between Avenues B and C for yet another community garden, this one less focused on activities and more on exploring and enjoying the local flora and fauna in a quiet, contemplative atmosphere. To aid in the quiet contemplation, they stress that while children are welcome, they must be supervised by an adult at all times. Same goes for pets. This isn’t so much a place for doing, as for thinking. A most welcome respite from the everyday hustle and bustle, especially in NYC.

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