Your Do-Everything Guide To Randall's Island

Summer is right around the corner, and if the Farmer’s Almanac speaks the truth, it’s going to be a hotter one than ever. If you’re seeking a quick escape outside the concrete jungle, there is an island you can saunter off to to beat the city heat. No, not Nantucket; this one is just minutes away. Located on the East River and bordered by Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, Randall’s Island’s is your one-stop East Side escape for all recreational activities that scream "summer." Plus, it’s home to a massive, sold-out music fest that you may have heard about — called Governor’s Ball.
Grab your picnic basket, update your weekend playlist, and break out the athletic gear, because we have an action-packed list of 15 things you must do this summer on and near Randall’s Island.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABV Randalls Island.
If you’re approaching the island via the 103rd Street footbridge and are feeling a bit thirsty, ABV is worth a pit stop on Lexington Avenue. The chic and cozy brick-walled restaurant has an impressive selection of wine and beers, and offers snacks such as fish tacos, fried chicken, and cheese plates. You won’t go hungry here. Additionally, aspiring sommeliers should be on the lookout for wine classes at ABV, coming this summer.
ABV, 1504 Lexington Avenue (at 97th Street); 212-722-8959.

Flow. 14: May-November
If you’re in the mood for a Saturday cultural excursion, but also feel like lounging on the grass with friends, look no further than Flow.14. The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, in partnership with the Bronx Museum of Arts, is featuring four art exhibits that are spaced out specifically so you can enjoy a long walk along the East River. Flow.14’s fourth annual exhibition is being held May through November and features four artists whose projects examine city dwellers' interactions with urban structures.

Astoria Park Pool: June 26-September 1
Craving a cold dip in the pool? Astoria Park in Queens is right over the RFK Triborough Bridge (accessible by pedestrian pathways) and contains New York City’s oldest and largest swimming pool. There’s also a special pool for diving, as well as a wading one for the kiddies. Bonus: The main pool is equipped with lights for night swimming, and entrance to the pools is free.
Astoria Park Pool, 19th Street (at 23rd Drive); 718-626-8620.
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Photo: Courtesy Steep Rock Bouldering.
Steep Rock Bouldering
‏If you're looking to spice up your workout and try something new, Steep Rock Bouldering may be just the thing. On your way over to Randall's Island, make a stop at the Upper East Side's new climbing facility, located on 97th street. Aficionados can sign up for a weekly "summer camp" bouldering experience that begins on June 16th; newbies can participate in "Beginner Mondays," and score a free intro class.
Steep Rock Bouldering, 1506 Lexington Avenue (at 97th Street); 212-410-7070.

Randall’s Island Golf & Sports Center
Even if you’re not a jock, this stellar sports center makes for a great date night or excursion with friends. With mini golf, batting cages, and a 36-hole premier golf course, you can get as silly or serious as you please. And, there’s a shuttle service that runs every hour between East 72nd-96th street that will take you directly to the Golf Center to tee up.
Randall's Island Golf & Sports Center, 1 Randall's Island; 212-427-5689.
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Photo: Courtesy Urban Farm.
Urban Farm
Do you have a green thumb but lack the city space to plant your garden oasis? You’re in luck: Randall’s Island is home to a one-acre urban farm that grows a variety of fruits and vegetables and contains two greenhouses. Prospective gardeners can join open farm days and participate in workshops such as fermentation, composting, and seed saving. And, if you’re looking for a way to bring some group unity to your office, the Urban Farm offers volunteer days for corporations and organizations.
Randall's Island Urban Farm, Wards Meadow Loop; 212-860-1899.

Yankee Stadium
If you’re spending the day on Randall’s and have a free evening ahead, make sure to catch an evening game at the Bronx's Yankee Stadium, which is just across the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — less than a 10-minute car or cab ride away from the island. Side note: It's Derek Jeter’s last year, so don’t miss your final opportunity to see baseball’s best looking shortstop.
Yankee Stadium, 1 East 161st Street (at Jerome Avenue), Bronx; 718-293-4300.
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Before you hop over to Randall's Island, make a pit stop at an H&M for any last-minute festival apparel and accessory pick-me-ups.

H&M, 640 Fifth Avenue (between 51st and 52nd streets), New York; 855-466-7467.
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Photo: Courtesy SPORTIME Tennis & Courtside Cafe.
SPORTIME Tennis Center & Courtside Café
The SPORTIME Tennis Center at Randall’s Island Park is a tennis pro’s dream. Grab a partner or get a double’s match going on one of island’s 20 state-of-the-art courts. Whether you want to play indoors, on a clay court, or on a hard court, the options are plentiful. There’s also a training and fitness center, and locker rooms that include steam, sauna, and treatment areas. After the match, refuel at the Courtside Café, which serves an assortment of salads and sandwiches. If you’re looking to amp up your skills, you can also participate in tennis leagues and sign up for instruction from certified professionals.
SPORTIME Randall's Island, 1 Randall's Island Road; 212-427-6150.

Electric Zoo: Aug 29 through Aug 31
Last year’s drug overdose controversies aside, the three-day EDM festival will carry on with furor at Randall’s Island this Labor Day weekend. There’s an option for single-day passes or three-day, and you can catch electronic hit-makers such as Kaskade, Alesso, and David Guetta. Be aware that given last year’s tragedies, there will be severe security measures, including drug-sniffing dogs, pat-downs, and an “amnesty bin” for those who may be feeling a bit guilty at the entrance. Otherwise, do the zoo!

Icahn Stadium: NYRR Tuesday Night Speed Series
Runners, rejoice! The 5,000-seat stadium on Randall’s Island is one of the most modern arenas in the country and has been host to some of the most intense local, national, and international track-and-field competitions around the world. If you’ve got your game face on, New York Road Runners is hosting a Tuesday Night Speed Series throughout June and July, which you can find details about here.
Icahn Stadium, 20 Randall's Island; 212-860-1899.
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Photo: Courtesy of Jillian Scheinfield.
Picnic On The East River
Whether you’re planning a Father’s Day picnic or a romantic date with your significant other, be sure to consider the sprawling green lawn on Randall’s Island, overlooking the East River. We suggest bringing the bulk of your food and beverages, since Randall’s Island Beer Garden & Grill is a bit of walk from this picnicking area.

Softball At Sunken Meadow Fields
Ever thought about joining an NYC sports league, but never knew where to begin? Sign up for softball through ZogSports, which meets Mondays and Wednesdays at the Sunken Meadow Fields. For a fee, you get a private shuttle to Randall’s Island, as well as team happy hours post-ball. If you’re not about organized sports and just want to kick it (or hit it) with your friends, the best way to approach the fields is the 4/5/6 train to 125th St. with a transfer to the M35 bus.

Bike, Run, Stroll
On a warm sunny day, ditch the stuffy gym and head to one of Randall’s Island's eight-mile waterfront pathways dedicated solely to bicyclers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, there’s no place to rent bikes on the island, so your best bet is to pick up a Citibike on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and enter through the 103rd Street Footbridge on the FDR drive.