Seeing as New York City has no shortage of dog lovers, it should come as no surprise that the dog park scene is equally on-point. And luckily for us, we have plenty of pawesome options to choose from! To make your life easier, we’ve walked and played around all the dog parks in the city to round up the best dog parks to walk your pup. Ahead, Tompkins Square Dog Run made our short-list of go-to dog locales to play, socialize, and get a little wild. Below are our top 4 reasons why we think that all New York City dog owners should hit up Tompkins Square Dog Run (even if just for one day a year on October 31st).
Best Dog Parks in NYC: Tompkins Square Dog Run
1. The Park Itself (‘cause There’s a Little Something There for Everyone)
The dogs aren’t the only ones to have their best day in Tompkins Square Park. Since the late 1980’s, when the park was closed for restoration and scrubbed clean of drug dealers and squatters, it’s been called the “crown jewel” of the East Village and is considered to be one of the best family-friendly destinations in all of downtown NYC. It has a fantastic playground for the children, sandboxes, chess tables for the gamers, and plenty of benches and picnic spots for people watching and reading. If you prefer to be active, then Tompkins Square Park also hosts handball courts, a fitness area, and new basketball courts. On the other hand, if you’re like us and feel more like making the park your own personal office, they installed a seriously great WIFI system so you can stay connected while lounging on the grass. And of course, one of its most fabulous amenities is their public bathrooms (so you can stay all day and never have to worry about where to go when you need to go).
2. The Dog Run (the Real Reason We Come Here in the First Place!)
The Tompkins Square Dog Run is a canine hotspot and always crawling with doggy friends. There are a separate small dog and large dog run (which is important because, given the sheer number of dogs who visit, it would be complete pandemonium without some barking order). But really, we think this is one of the best dog runs in all of New York City for one main reason; it has benefited from a well-organized and active community of local dog owners that work incredibly hard to make it the clean, modern dog run that it is today. Thanks to their efforts, not only is the dog run pristine, but it is outfitted with benches, brooms for cleaning up after your pups, and a bath area & hoses for cooling off. Check out the Tompkins Square Dog Run’s Official Website which features the story of how this community of dog owners, called “Friends of First Run,” fought to save the dog run and make it the best it could be. And be sure to read their Rules & Regulations page, as well as the FAQ section, because “knowing” is half the battle and we’re all just here to play fetch and have some fun together.
3. The Tompkins Square Halloween Parade for Dogs Is Off the Charts (Seriously, People Travel From Out of Town Just for This Event)
The most famous, crowd-pleasing attraction of the Tompkins Square Dog Run is, hands down, the Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade which famous for being “the largest dog costume parade in the world.” (yeah, no big deal!). Every year hundreds of dogs gather to strut their stuff in some seriously adorable (and very inventive) Halloween costumes, and it’s almost too much to bare. All dogs are welcomed, and no registration is required (this is pretty rare as far as dog parades go). Plus, the proceeds are donated to the NYC Park Department for the upkeep of the dog run, so you’re not only enjoying the spectacle, but you can also make the park a better place while doing it. So for anyone who gets a kick out of Huskies dressed as Bernie Sanders, Pugs in bumblebee costumes, or Pikachu Chihuahuas, this is an event for you and should not to be missed.
4. It’s in one of the Best Neighborhoods in NYC (hanging out in the East Village is worth the trip alone)
Alphabet City, once the epicenter of the counterculture movement, is now a neighborhood widely known for its “kinetic” restaurant scene, eccentric residents, an abundance of “fine” dive bars, and as a vintage shopping destination. The best part about the park being here is that it is smack dab in the middle of it all. So after a few hours wagging around, we suggest heading to The Bean for you caffeine fix or to Drop Off Service if you’re in need of adult beverages (they’re cool with your pups hanging by your side). Also, we wouldn’t miss grabbing some tacos at Zaragoza Mexican Deli-Grocery because they’re just amazing. And if you’re visiting from out of town we can’t recommend staying at the Standard Hotel in the East Village enough. They are not simply “pet-friendly,” they consider themselves “pet loving,” and all animals stay for free.
To get a better idea of how great Tompkins Square Dog Run is, watch PetYen’s Pete and Rosco show you around the park so you can see for yourself how tail-waggingly fun the park can be for you and your pup!
As New Yorkers, we sincerely love our dog parks. And because New York City is so dog-friendly, you’re never too far from a local dog park in your neighborhood. At Tompkins Square Dog Run, whether you prefer separate spaces for big dogs or luxury amenities like WiFi and public restrooms, you’ll find it here. In other words, it’s worth a visit.