Central Park features multiple small playgrounds for local toddlers donated by supporters of the park including one by Diana Ross. The Pat Hoffman Friedman playground at E 79th St, like all the others, offer swings, sandbox, monkey bars, and slides for the young ones. It is distinguished by a popular bronze entitled the Group of Bears crafted by Paul Manship and placed in 1990 at the opening of this playground. Manship is most famous for the Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center. Note - Central Park playgrounds offer no services, even trash buckets.
You haven't seen New York until you've explored The Park. Did you know there's a hidden waterfall among rustic woods, where you'd never guess you were surrounded by NYC? There are countless entertainment possibilities in the park, or you can spread out a blanket and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. My favorite things in the park are the annual Metropolitan Opera and NY Philharmonic concerts, usually the 1st-2nd week in July, where thousands enjoy "priceless music, absolutely free" under the stars. There's free international music at SummerStage, and free Shakespeare in the Park. You can rent bicycles, roller blades, rowboats here. Swim, play tennis, ice or roller skate, ski, sled, play chess or checkers, volleyball, baseball, horseback riding (horses are rented at a nearby stable), and even fishing. There's a beautiful carousel, a formal planted garden, an intimate zoo, a puppet theater. You can get a massage or find tango lessons.
Central Park, an oasis of green and a New York City landmark, was built between 1859 - 1870, and provided employment during a depression at that time. It's hard to believe that originally, this site consisted of pig farms, quarries, shacks, and swampland. The designers, Fredrick Law Omstead and Calvert Vaux seemed to have foresight about the growth of New York, as even today the heavy traffic of midtown Manhattan is largely hidden from sight by transverse roads.
Come here and walk the various pathways, and you really do escape the hustle and bustle of the city -- don't miss out on the charming building known as "The Dairy", where years ago, children could get fresh milk and refreshments. It was restored in 1979, after falling into disrepair while being used as a shed. You can get park information here, maps and even rent chess and checker sets.
Central Park is a lush oasis in the middle of Manhattan and is easily a local favorite for all that it provides. Grab some sandwiches at a local deli (there's practically one on every corner of every block) and head to the Park for a picnic. The weekends are most crowded, but it's when the Park really seems to come to life. Stop off at the Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle (59th St. and Columbus Circle/8th Ave.) for your choice of gourmet-style foods (hot and cold) already prepared or made to order, fresh baked bread, a great selection of cheese, and a variety of smoked/cured meats like prosciutto, serrano ham, etc. But you can pick up sandwiches, snacks, etc. from any deli (there's just about one on every corner throughout the city!) or take your food "to go" or just buy a famous "dirty water" hot dog from one of the many vendors you'll see. If you're on a budget, this is a great way to grab a bite and still see/experience a treasure of NYC.
Or, just head to the Park and take a walk through the zoo, ride the carousel, row a boat on the lake, listen to music at Summerstage, stroll through Strawberry Fields, watch the rollerbladers and rollerskaters show off their skills, take a jog around the reservoir, see Shakespeare in the Park...or just lay on the grass and read a good book, marveling at the fact that you are right in the middle of Manhattan, yet without all the noise and hustle, you feel a world away. If you don't want to do the work, but would like to relax on a boat in the lake, make a reservation for the gondola at the Boathouse. You'll get a little history lesson and perhaps be serenaded by the gondolier. $30 for 1/2 hour.
How many other people have said "you've got to see Central Park when you are in New York City."
However, I don't see how I can possibly leave it out as one of my "must see"s.
It's as if Manhattan has a green breathing heart.
My daughter and I walked through the park on a beautiful fall day, sharing the season and creating a special memory. There were all these little surprises, whimsical sculptures that appeared out of no where, and so many people of all descriptions out enjoying the park. The huge buildings that loomed on either side only adds to the park's uniqueness.
Although more pleasant to visit in the warm summer months when all of the trees have leaves and the grass is green, even in the winter months, Central Park should be on the visitors must see list. Central Park covers 6% of Manhattan to give you an idea of it's size.
Central Park is an 843 acre green oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City. It was designed in 1858 by Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, it took 16 years to finish the park. It was the 1st landscaped public park in the US.
I was only able to squeeze in a walk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the southern end of the park, even in that short distance there are several highlights-the Alice in Wonderland Statue, Hans Christian Andersen statue, the Reservoir and the zoo.
On my 3rd visit to the city in 2007, we took the subway to 81st Street stop and walked into the park trying to find the Belvedere Castle. After several people gave us bad directions, we finally found someone who worked there and he pointed us in the right direction. So if you want to explore, bring a good map, there aren't many directional signs. There's a good walking tour on the attached website if you want to explore more fully.
Belvedere Castle was erected in 1869 as a lookout and is now home to the NY Meteorological Observatory.
The Central Park is a really beautiful area of New York, a superb place to get away from the bustle of the city, and just relax. On a sunny day you'll find lots of people here, some of them laying down on the grass, others strolling through the park's woodland, and many also like to sit and paint pictures of the park's many beautiful views...
Central Park is the largest urban park in the world. Situated in the heart of NYC, it extends north from 59th street to 110th street. And it spans east to west from 5th avenue to Central Park West. A total of 843 Acres. Within are numerous expanses of green as well as skating rinks, boat ponds and ball fields. There is also the Central Park Zoo and acres of woodland home to myriad species of birds. Also the Shakepeare Theater, where during the summer months, outdoor shows can be seen.
Throughout the park are numerous jogging and walking trails for one to enjoy. The scope of outdoor activities seems nearly endless. In addition, there are muscians to listen to and statues to see.
However, the park is also potentially dangerous at night, especially in isolated areas. So dont walk alone. The park is a great place to enjoy, away from the hustle and bustle.
Photo is one of the many old bridges found in the park.
Wow, is this park huge or what? It's about 843 acres and I think we spent half a day walking in it! It's a great way to escape the crowds of Manhattan. Lots of people jogging, cycling or just walking...
Some of the places I loved most: the Great Lawn ( where people played baseball or just relaxed in the grass), Strawberry Fields (for the symbolism, not for its beauty) and the Wollman Rink ( seen in many movies/TV series)
Central Park is one of the nation's most ingenious and forward-looking ideas. Planners accumulated land as early as the 1850s to create a permanent breathing park in the middle of the island, though Central Park West and Central Park East were considered "rural" in those early decades. A walk through the park is like no other. Apart from the jazz, classical and other festivals that come here or the impromptu dance rituals which materialize every week, the park is strewn with romantic and handsome structures, retreats, ponds, monuments, platforms and other constructions. None of these crowd or interrupt one another. In autumn the hardwoods glow in red and yellow. In winter the starkness of the forests detracts nothing from the beauty of the park. Addresses on the perimeter are among the most expensive and elite in the city, and with good reason: there is no better urban retreat in North America.
Central Park - many people on VT recommend loads about central park and I echo many of them just a few 'amber' proceed with care tips that may help you
1. Beware there are no signposts in the park to direct you. The paths tend to meander around so you can spend ages getting nowhere.
2. On your first arrival enter the park at the southern end. This is where most of the things to do are. If you start north and work your way down you can get very tired before you find anything.
3. Get a map from an info booth and ask what is open/closed. This can save you a lot of grief later
4. Cafes and rest rooms may be shut for renovation. After finding the third building on a bounce closed I began to get a bit cheesed off.
Protected from the forces of nature by the city surrounding it, Central Park allows the survival of genetic variants which would not survive in a normal environment. This red tailed squirrel would be easily visible to hawks or other predators, but in the absence of these dangers, survive and thrive in Central Park. Other variants included the black squirrels seen here and in downtown Toronto. Little girls not included.
Central Park was fun, loads of dogs and puppies, very pleasant walking around there with the two guys.
This was an oasis of green in the heart of the city.... a much needed break from the noise of traffic and people. Lakes, boating lakes, people cycling, walking, kick boxing, just chilling out.
Regretfully left a relaxed Roamer just near a Metro Station and raced back to hotel for wash and change
Scattered throughout Central Park, generally on small out of the way paths are wooden benches, each unique and each position planned by Olmstead and Vaux. Such was their attention to detail. I do wish I had taken more pictures of these one of a kind benches.
I am not from New York City but I have visited the place 5 times during the last 20 years. I first visited the place in 1982 when it was dirty and outright dangerous, earning the monicker "The Bad Apple" from either Time or Newsweek magazine. But with the election of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New York City has been cleaned-up and underwent a transformation. Central Park was notorious for muggings in the pre-Giuliani days so we stayed away from the place in the 1980's. Then over time, we would visit the southeast end of Central Park, mainly the area near Wollman Rink where you can see the Plaze Hotel, made famous by Home Alone 2 and other similar films. During a recent trip in November 2008, we decided to explore West Central park starting at the Museum of Natural History at 79th St. and West Central Park Ave.. We entered the park at around 74th St. to go to the Bethesda Terrace area, home of the Angel of the Waters sculpture, the Bow Bridge, the Loeb Boathouse and Sheep Meadow. It was raining when we were there but the weather cleared enough for us to take great photos of the Lake from Bow Bridge, the Bow Bridge from the gazebo on the north end and the Loeb Boathouse. Some other points of interest would be the Dakota Mansion along West Central Park Ave. where Beatle John Lennon was shot dead and Strawberry Fields that was named in his honor. If you are a Ghostbusters fan, you will also pass by 55 West Central Park which was the home of Dana (Sigourney Weaver) and the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church beside it. Inside the park, you will also see Tavern on the Green where Peter and Dana had their date. Central Park is 843 acres with a 6-mile perimeter spanning 59th and 110th St. and 5th Ave. and West Central Park Ave.. We plan to visit the north side (Great Lawn and Reservoir areas) on our next visit. The place is so huge and with many features that it will take a while to really see the entire place.