By Julie Shapiro
TRIBECA — Sunbathing season is over, but there will still be plenty to do on the new Pier 25 when it opens to the public Thursday afternoon.
No matter the temperature, visitors to the 125,000-square-foot pier will be able to play miniature golf and beach volleyball, roam the recreational lawn and the playground, and relax on the stargazing deck. Just south of the pier, a new basketball court and street-style skateboard park will also open on Thursday, along with landscaped bike and walking paths.
The new $40 million section of Hudson River Park replaces the old Pier 25, which was much smaller and was torn down five years ago because it was falling apart.
This version "is bigger and better," said Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, as she gave reporters a tour.
The 18-hole mini-golf course includes greens that wind through a cave and around a pond. The playground offers a rock-climbing wall, swings and several jungle gyms. And the 4,700-square-foot artificial turf field is big enough to host practices for downtown’s space-starved youth leagues.
One of Fishman’s favorite features is the deck at the far end of the North Moore Street pier, about 1,000 feet into the Hudson River. Light-blue lounge chairs perched on a wooden platform afford views of Manhattan’s skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the setting sun.
"It’s where I would want to go if I were coming to Hudson River Park and didn’t know anything about it," Fishman said.
Some of Pier 25’s features, like the mini-golf, will have to close once winter sets in, but the playground, lawn, skate park and esplanade will be open year-round.
As Fishman walked around the nearly complete Pier 25 Monday afternoon, she said she kept noticing the few things that hadn’t been done yet, like electrical work and construction cleanup. Asked if the park would definitely be ready this week, she smiled.
"It’s amazing what can happen in 24 hours," she said.
Politicians and local officials will cut a ribbon on Pier 25 at 3 p.m. Nov. 4, and the park will open immediately afterward. Free hot dogs and lemonade will be served.