It is nearly impossible to think of Manhattan without thinking of Central Park’s 843-acre bucolic interruption to the rigid Midtown street grid. Spanning three avenues wide and running the length of 59th street to 110th street, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s pastoral design went far beyond the city’s mid-19th century call for a public green space. For many New Yorkers Central Park is an extension of their living quarters–a place where they can find solitude or entertain company with equal ease and forget the stress of the skyscrapers that loom just along the park’s southerly borders.
Year round the park serves its nearly 40-million annual visitors with endless options of things to do. Come in the winter for snowball fights, sledding down Pilgrim Hill, and romantic spins around Wollman Rink (Mon-Thu $11.25, Fri-Sun $18). As the weather heats up in the spring visitors can be found picnicking on the Great Lawn, bird watching in Belvedere Castle and feeding baby barnyard animals at the Central Park Zoo (adults $16.20). The summer is the height of tourist season when the masses descend on the park for suntanning on the large boulders, playing sports like softball and tennis and boating in the Great Lake ($12 for the first hour, $3 for each additional 15 minutes). For culture hounds the months from June through August also means star-studded free theater with Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater, free movies with the Central Park Film Festival, puppet shows at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater and phenomenal concerts across multiple genres at SummerStage. When the leaves begin to change, locals take over once again biking along the trails, challenging strangers and friends to strategy games in the Checker and Chess House and appreciating the breath-taking foliage along the Mall and Bethesda Fountain.
Located in the heart of Manhattan, Central Park is an icon of New York City. It provides numerous attractions, that will suite everyone. Families, couples and individual explorers will be pleased to find fun amusements, beautiful gardens and nice trails. Check out our list and share your favorite spot in Central Park with us!
10. Alice in Wonderland
The iconic bronze statue is dedicated to the children, who do not hesitate and climb all over it. Actually, it is exactly meant for that! Commissioned by philanthropist George Delacorte in 1959, the ensemble features Alice and her friends gathered around the mushrooms.
8. The Central Park Zoo
The zoo features various wild as well as domestic animals from around the world. Very suitable for families with children, who love the sea lion pool or get close and touch goats, cows, sheep and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. Daily theater shows are performed at the Acorn Theater in the Enchanted Forest.