You have decreed that this coming weekend will be device free. But now, you have to figure out what to do with your family who would waaay rather be playing Fortnite or watching old episodes of Dance Moms than spending quality time with you. You sort of want them to see some art but the idea of bringing your heathens to a museum makes you shudder. You need a place where they can run in the fresh air and, just by coincidence, get a little culture. So, here are 9 Places To Experience Outdoor Art in and around Bergen County. Pick one and your family won’t even notice the devices are gone!
Storm King: Located in the Historic Hudson Valley, Storm King is a must visit for all families. And believe us, once you go one time, you’ll want to go back. This 500-acre outdoor museum features large scale sculpture and site specific installations all accessible on foot, tram or bicycle. There is a small café on site for when you need to bribe with snacks. Storm King is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is $18/adults, $15/seniors and $8/kids ages 5-18 and students with a valid ID. 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY, 845.534.3115
Grounds for Sculpture: In the heart of New Jersey, you’ll find Grounds for Sculpture a 42-acre park where art meets nature. 270 sculptures have been “thoughtfully positioned on meticulously landscaped parkland full of exotic trees and flowers”. Admission is by timed ticket. Purchase tickets for a specific time and date to make admission wait times shorter. Grounds for Sculpture is open 7 days a week through September and closed on Mondays after Labor Day. Admission is $20/adults, $17/seniors, $10/kids ages 6-17 and students with valid ID. Discounts are available for tickets purchased online. 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 609.586.0616
The Watermill Center: You never know what you’ll find when you visit The Watermill Center, a “laboratory for the arts and humanities” located on Long Island’s East End. Take a guided tour of the building, grounds, gardens and art collection. Enjoy the lawns, outdoor sculpture, meditation and rooftop gardens. Happen upon one of the artists who are participation in The Watermill Center’s International Summer Program. Or visit for a concert or artist talk. The Watermill Center is open to the public every day from September – June. 39 Watermill Towd Road, Watermill, NY 631.726.4628.
Hudson Yards: There is so much to see and do at the new Hudson Yards in NYC. Purchase your tickets for The Vessel and not only will you see outdoor art, you will climb up inside it. Then, stop in at The Shed, the multi-use art and event space that, with its moveable structure, is as much an installation as any of the art inside. And stop at Snark Park, the ever-changing exhibition space that features immersive installations so you’ll never have the same encounter twice. Open seven days a week.
Longhouse Reserve: This 16-acre reserve and sculpture garden is located in East Hampton, NY and features pieces from Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning, to name a few. Take a break from the beach, discover the 60 permanent works along with visiting installations, and wander the gardens that have been laid out with a sense of style and always with an element of surprise. Open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $15/adults, $10/seniors, students and children are free. 133 Hands Creek Road, East Hampton, NY 631.329.3568.
The Clifton Arts Center Sculpture Garden: Close to home, the Clifton Arts Center Gallery and Studio are housed in two renovated barns of the former U.S. Animal Quarantine Station which are now the grounds of the Clifton Municipal Complex. Also housed on this 26-acre complex is the Sculpture Garden which contains works of more than 30 contemporary sculptors. Open Wednesday through Saturday. 900 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ 973.472.5499
Erika and David Boyd Sculpture Garden: Right in the middle of Leonia, you’ll find this small, well maintained sculpture park. Additional sculptures are located around town. If you happen to be passing through, stop and enjoy this local labor of love. Broad Avenue at Beechwood Place, Leonia
TurnPark Art Space: Situated on a former quarry, this 16-acre sculpture park, exhibition venue and amphitheater is located in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains. Newly opened in 2017, this space has a unique and diverse setting with hills, meadows, a lake and a 65-foot vertical drop with breathtaking views. Plus, of course there’s art. Open Wednesday – Monday from May through the end of September. Admission is $15/adults, $12/students and seniors. 2 Moscow Road, West Stockbridge, MA, 413.232.0275
Greenwood Gardens: This 28-acre public garden was a private estate until 2003 when the owners decided to share their home with the public. The garden features terraces, grottoes, meandering paths, and “tunnels” made of trees. Guided tours are available Wednesday – Friday. Admission is $15/adults, $10/students and seniors, children under 12 are free. 274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills, NJ 973.258.4026.