If you’ve tried ever a spa, masseuse, or salt cave in your area, the Bayard Cutting Arboretum has a new way for you to decompress from the stresses of the modern world: Forest Therapy.
First pioneered through the Japanese custom of Shinrin Yoku, or “Forest Bathing,” this unique experience will take you through the trees on a meditative journey, as you slow down and become one with nature. A certified guide will lead your journey through the forest, teaching you to move deliberately and savor your senses while being more observant and still in nature. The practice claims a host of scientifically-validated benefits, providing everything from a sense of mental calm to an improved immune system.
Even without the added benefits of Shinrin Yoku, The Bayard Cutting Arboretum is pretty relaxing. One of New York’s most beautiful parks, it’s home to a number of manicured gardens, beautiful riverfront views, and even its own island, plus a stunning historic estate that was once home to sugar beet tycoon William Bayard Cutting. After a day spent forest bathing (or simply taking in the Arboretums rhododendrons and Weeping Birches), you can indulge in clotted cream, sandwiches, and scones at a full Victorian Tea service at the on-site Hidden Oak cafe.
Forest Therapy at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum takes place on Saturday, November 16th from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm. Delicious snacks and a traditional tea ceremony are included. Tickets are $35 (50% of the proceeds go to Bayard Cutting’s Natural Heritage Fund) and should be purchased in advance; thanks to the meditative nature, therapy is for 16+ only. If you’d like to visit the Arboretum, the park is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Parking is $8 per vehicle but admission to the Arboretum is free.