Visiting Central Park in New York City is a Must!
When visiting New York City, visiting Central Park is a must and not just because it is one of New York City's landmarks. Central Park is a breathtaking, magnificent place nature-wise and there is lots to do and explore there as well.
Central Park (located in the borough of Manhattan) runs from 59th Street to 110th Street, from 5th Ave to Central Park West. Since the park is very large there is no way you can explore it all in one day. It will take many trips to the park to take in and discover all that it has to offer.
Millions of people (both tourists and New York City natives) visit Central Park every year and those who do come back again and again.
Ice-Skating in Central Park
If you are ever in New York City in the winter be sure to go to one of the two ice skating rinks located right inside Central Park. Not only will you take in the fresh air but you will be surrounded by skyscrapers and magical winter scenery, all the while having lots of fun.
There are two ice-skating rinks located in Central Park. The Wollman rink is situated in midtown (at the bottom of the park) while Lasker rink is situated uptown (at the top of the park). In the summer Lasker rink converts into a swimming pool.
The Central Park Zoo
There is a zoo located at the bottom of Central Park that also includes the children's zoo. Going to the zoo is educational and a great way to spend your time, especially if you have kids with you. And next to the zoo there is the Delacorte Clock, which plays music every half hour and has rotating animal statues, each holding its own musical instrument. While the music plays, the animal statues rotate. It is a wonderful sight and a memorable experience, especially for the kids.
A Boat Ride / Horse & Carriage in Central Park
There is a river that runs throughout Central Park. When the weather is warm and there is no rain or heavy wind you can take a boat ride on the river and take in the breathtaking views that surround you every step of the way. The boat (with oars) can be rented near the Central Park Boathouse Cafe.
Many people take a boat ride in Central Park on a daily basis when the weather is right and I want to do the same. It is an experience that cannot be missed. Besides, there is a lot of great photography that can be taken and that I cannot pass up as I love taking pictures of nature.
Besides taking a boat ride in Central Park you can also take a horse & carriage ride through the park. The most magical ride should be around Christmas time when everything is decorated, lit up, and covered in snow.
Sculptures, Statues, Castles in Central Park
There are many sculptures and statues situated throughout Central Park that are worth visiting and seeing.
As you wander through Central Park you will come across statues of the great jazz singer Duke Ellington and the great playwright and poet William Shakespeare. And speaking of Shakespeare you will also find a statue of Romeo & Juliet in the Shakespeare Garden. There is also what is known as the Literary Walk where you will find statues of poet and writers. Among these are Robert Burns (a Scottish poet), and Sir Walter Scott (a Scottish novelist),
A sculpture depicting a scene from Alice in Wonderland, and another sculpture depicting a scene of the great author Hans Christian Andersen reading a book to a stray duck are both a wonderful sight and the two are located near each other.
Angel of the Waters Bethesda Fountain, which is located near the Boat House Cafe where you can rent a boat to ride in the park, is magnificent and so is the view around it.
Cleopatra's Needle (an obelisk) can also be found in Central Park. It was first erected in Egypt, then moved to Alexandria, and finally given to NYC and placed in Central Park thanks to the contribution of Vanderbilt.
Other notable sculptures include those of Balto, and Eagles & Prey.
There is also a castle in Central Park that you may want to visit. It is called Belvedere Castle. I am not sure if you can actually go inside the castle but you can definitely look at it from the outside and take some nice photographs. Both the castle and the view from it are magnificent as down below you will see the Turtle Pond and the Delacorte Theater. In the Turtle Pond you will find many turtles swimming about. The Delacorte Theater is home to many concerts and performances that happen throughout the year in Central Park.
Nearby you will also find the Swedish Cottage, which holds performances as well. Right now you can view a puppet show there if that is something that is of interest to you or your kids.
The Trails of Central Park
There are many trails that run through Central Park. This allows you to do a lot of jogging/running, walking, hiking, and bike riding. No matter which trail you go on you will be surrounded by nature and will have the opportunity to take lots of great photographs.
As you hike through Central Park you will spot eastern gray squirrels and chipmunks, raccoons, pigeons, and Virginia opossum. You will spot other beautiful birds flying around the park as well and you just might see a red tailed-hawk flying through. And if you walk by the Turtle Pond you will get to meet many turtles that are swimming around.
Entertainment in Central Park
When it comes to entertainment in Central Park you are sure to find something interesting going on. There are musicians and bands/groups playing enjoyable music, break-dancers showing off their incredible moves, mimes, people performing amazing tricks, and artists who will draw pictures of you at your request. You can even catch musical concerts, and plays/shows while in the park. Some will be right on Great Lawn of Central Park while others will be at the Delacorte Theater.
Relaxing in Central Park
You don't have to spend the whole day walking around Central Park. You can also have some relaxation time. Central Park is filled with benches you can sit and rest on. Lounging on the grass and taking in the sun is another option. Be sure to bring a towel or blanket to lie on. You can also visit the Central Park Boathouse Cafe for some lunch or sit and enjoy some cold ice-cream.
I live in New York City and visit Central Park whenever I can. It is always a fun experience for me and I never get bored.
No matter what time of the year you visit New York City, be sure to visit Central Park. You will not regret it. Also, you will find yourself walking away with lots of beautiful photographs and lots of lasting memories. You may even learn a thing or two you never knew and possibly make a new friend.
More great places to visit in New York City
- What Things to See and Do in New York City
New York City is 'the city that never sleeps'. There is much to do and see in New York City and visiting it is a must! Before you plan your next trip read this handy guide for things to see and do in New York City.
© 2012 Lena Kovadlo