New York City may be a concrete jungle, but that doesn’t mean pets aren’t welcome. A recent estimate suggests that there are well over a million pets in New York City, including 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats! There’s no doubt New Yorkers love their furry companions, but what are the options when it comes to getting out for a day of fun? It turns out, there are quite a few. Read on to discover the 7 best pet-friendly events in New York City!
One of the best pet-friendly events in New York City is DogFest, a fundraiser for Canine Companions. This charitable organization provides service dogs to people living with disabilities. DogFest combines a day of fun with a day of fundraising to give as many people as possible the opportunity to live independent lives.
At the heart of the event is the walk to raise money. Both people and dogs are invited to participate, though bringing a pet is optional. Participants are also invited to dress up themselves and their dogs for the costume contest. Other contests, speakers, and a silent auction round out the day.
The event itself is free, though the organizers encourage donations due to the nature of the event. Many participants choose to fundraise well in advance with a personal fundraising page, sometimes as part of a team. You can find more information on DogFest here or visit the Canine Companions website.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
A great treat for you and your pet at Christmastime is the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. It stands at the entrance to Central Park, one of the best dog parks in New York City. Besides the chance to get out for a walk or a run in the park, the market hosts dozens of vendors offering a wide variety of food and merchandise. Some of them even sell products for pets! Leashed dogs are welcome to stroll through the market with their owners and share in the holiday magic.
Find the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at Columbus Circle near the entrance to Central Park. You can find more information on it here.
Tomkins Square Park Halloween Parade
For a different kind of holiday fun, grab your favourite furry friend and dress up for the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Parade. As the “biggest dog costume parade in the world,” this annual celebration is one of the best pet-friendly events in New York City.
Dogs and their owners are encouraged to dress up in the most elaborate costumes they can think up for the chance to win prizes. Even if you don’t win, it’s a chance to show off your creativity as well as your best friend. The event is free, though the organizers encourage donations.
Find out more about the parade here as well as what to expect for upcoming Halloween events.
Bark in the Park
This next event is perfect for those whose love of baseball and love of dogs runs strong. New York’s baseball teams, including the Brooklyn Cyclones and the New York Mets, periodically host Bark in the Park, a day for fans to bring their dogs along to watch the game.
In the past, Bark in the Park has offered a variety of dog-themed activities in addition to the game itself, including dog adoptions and a dog parade around the field. Some vendors may offer treats and pet merchandise. One ticketholder can bring up to two dogs. Dogs of all kinds are welcome as long as they are vaccinated and their owners keep them on a leash.
FIDO’s Coffee Bark
FIDO’s Coffee Bark is a monthly event to bring dogs and their owners together in Prospect Park Long Meadow, a beautiful grassy expanse in New York City. The event organizers serve coffee for humans and treats for all as the dogs roam off-leash and have a great romp. The event typically happens on the first Saturday of every month from 7-9 am.
FIDO is an organization dedicated to serving the dogs and dog owners of Brooklyn. They are dedicated to enhancing the off-leash experience in Prospect Park. The Coffee Bark event is free; however, they welcome community sponsors to help offset the cost.
Off-leash hours in Long Meadow are 6-9 am and 9 pm-1 am. For more information on upcoming Coffee Bark events, check out the FIDO in Prospect Park website.
Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival
The annual Manhattan Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is a fantastic chance for dogs and their humans to dress up and strut their stuff! The festival began in the 1870s as a way for Victorian ladies to show off their elaborate Easter outfits, especially their fine bonnets. It continues today with costumes ranging from fancy period garb to outright hilarious and goofy getups. The more creative and imaginative your bonnet, the better!
Friendly, leashed dogs are more than welcome to march with their owners in their very own outfits. The parade typically takes place along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. Find more information here on upcoming Easter Parade events.
Are you feeling blue from the cold and the snow? Winter Jam might be just the thing to perk you up! This annual winter sports festival is one of the best pet-friendly events in New York City, offering a Doggie Snow Zone for pets who just can’t get enough of the great (chilly) outdoors.
For humans, there are a number of activities including snowshoeing, sledding, curling, bobsledding, and even ice carving. Beverages and food are available for purchase at the event. In the absence of snow, Gore Mountain provides manmade snow for the occasion.
Maybe best of all, Winter Jam is free! Visit the official Central Park website to find out more information about upcoming events.
Check out the above options for pet-friendly events in New York City next time you and your pet crave some excitement. You can also keep abreast of upcoming events and activities for pets by checking out the BringFido website.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock.com
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