What To Do in Central Park, NYC

You can’t say that you have been to NYC if you have not gone for a visit to Central Park. It would be sinful to do that. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter, summer, spring or fall this place is magical year round.

How to Do a Tour of Central Park:

• You can walk around on your own or you can go on a guided tour.
• Biking Central Park – Again, you can do this on your own or with a guide.
Pedicab Tours – This is the tour my family and I did.
• Horse Drawn Carriage tours

At first we couldn’t decide which one of these would be the right one for us, but after a lot of deliberation we chose a Pedicab Tour with Central Park Tours. It was worth every penny we spent. In general, if you get a guided tour you get a full scope of what the park is all about. There aren’t many central parks around the world that are so historic and filled with amazing activities and attractions for all ages.

What To Do in Central Park, NYC

Shakespeare In the Park – These free summer theater shows are an annual event in northern Central Park at the Delacorte Theater.

Concerts and Music – Strictly a summer activity. Some of the most popular venues that it has to offer: SummerStage – Free Performances for All Types of Music Fans, Naumburg Bandshell – A More Classical Touch, Sandbox Programs – Fun for the Little Ones, Impromptu Music for Summertime Strolls.

Running in Central Park – Central Park offers many scenic paths that provide a challenge for different levels of runners. The New York Marathon’s final 3.2 miles take place in the park.

Bird Watching – The park is home to native species and some exotic ones that pass through as they migrate. It is perfect for birds because of how lush it is, many nest and lay their eggs in its trees.

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11 Things to Do and See in Central Park NYC

There are way more than 11 things to do. However these are my top ones, not to be missed:

1. Sheep Meadow – It is a place where you can relax and do all sorts of fun activities like throwing Frisbees and running around. Quick Fact: This part of the park is called like that because it used to be a pasture for sheep.

2. Central Park Zoo – It is one of the few zoos out there that exhibit a snow leopard. It first started as a menagerie in the 60s, making it the first official zoo to open in New York.

3. Fishing – Yeap, you can fish here. It is catch and release, but you can do it all year and it is a lot of fun! The best part is that you can borrow a rod and bait for free.

4. Statues to Climb – The park is home to two famous statues: Alice in Wonderland and Balto. Both keep kids entertained for a while, the can just enjoy them or climb all over them.

5. Row Boats – You can rent row boats at the Loeb Boathouse and enjoy a relaxed afternoon on the pond.

6. Playgrounds – Central Park is home to tons of fantastic and unique playgrounds, so unique that your kids will be convinced that they are climbing a real Egyptian pyramid near the Met.

7. Ice Skating – You can do this at the Wollman Ice Skating Rink. The place has a great history. After sitting around for over 12 years of promises to have it done, Donald Trump decided to take this project in his hands and in just a few months it was brought to life.

8. Strawberry Fields John Lennon Memorial – On October 9, 1985 during what should have been John Lennon’s 45th birthday, Yoko Ono and an Ed Koch, ex mayor of NYC, dedicated this area as a memorial to him. The entrance is at W 72nd Street, right in front of where he used to live The Dakota.

9. Bethesda Fountain – Bethesda is the name of the angel of water. In 1842, when New York finally got fresh, treated water the fountain was created to commemorate that event.

10. Center of Manhattan – There is a spot inside of Central Park that marks the exact center point of Manhattan Island.

11. Literary Walk and Mall – This is the only straight walkway of the park and is bordered with literary icons, a bunch of the most notable ones are there, except for Christopher Columbus.

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History of Central Park NYC

  • Central Park was the first landscaped public park in the United States.
  • It was created because of the admiration for the public grounds of London and Paris of a group of wealthy merchants and landowners. They thought that New York needed something comparable to that to establish its own international reputation.
  • The land between the fifth and eighth avenues and 59th and 106th streets, an undesirable terrain of swamps and bluffs, punctuated by rocky outcroppings made the perfect spot for a park.
  • In 1857, the Central Park Commission held the country’s first landscape design contest and selected the “Greensward Plan,” submitted by Frederick Law Olmsted
  • The building of Central Park was one of nineteenth-century New York’s most massive public works projects.
  • Workers moved nearly 3 million cubic yards of soil and planted more than 270,000 trees and shrubs.
  • The park first opened for public use in the winter of 1859
  • The Zoo, first given permanent quarters in 1871, quickly became the park’s most popular feature.
  • Trees and benches: More than 26,000 trees and nearly 9,000 benches.
  • Visitors: 25 million annually.
  • Bridges and arches: 36