Sleeping in the park overnight is not recommended, unless you are part of the annual Urban Rangers family camping program. On Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, families can sleep under the stars in NYC parks in all five boroughs, including Central Park, Van Cortlandt Park, Prospect Park, Inwood Hill Park and Wolf’s Pond Park. It’s a FREE program that starts with a cookout, followed by activities including stargazing and night hikes. You’ll sleep under the stars and awake to the birds while you have fun and learn about nature. Everything is included, so no worries if you don’t have your own tent or sleeping bags. Just bring a flashlight and your sense of adventure. These programs are so popular that you must register, and names are drawn by lottery for each overnight experience. Campouts are rain or shine. I have taken my own two children tent camping since they were infants, mostly in the Catskills, so I’m a great fan of the outdoor experience.