What image pops into your mind when you think of New York City?
The Statue of Liberty?
Lush green fields, lakes, ponds and beautiful blooming trees? Wait! They have that? In New York?
Yes, yes they do. Central Park not only offers its visitors amazing green spaces, but entertainment to boot. There is so much to see and do you could easily spend a full day exploring.
Before we get started, you should first decide how you will see the park. There are a variety of options. You can walk, ride a bike, take a pedi-cab, or , if you’re looking for the true Central Park experience, ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
Central Park Must-Sees and Dos
Alice in Wonderland Statue – A bronze sculpture that reaches heights of 11 feet. Alice takes center stage and is surrounded by a familiar cast of friends. Hurry! You don’t want to be late. The White Rabbit can’t handle tardiness.
Balto – A statue that commemorates the heroic and beloved dog, Balto.
Bethesda Fountain – This beautiful, and might I add, huge, fountain is a prominent feature in Central Park. With an eight foot tall angel perched atop the water feature, this sculpture is a definite Must-See.
Hans Christian Andersen – You know him best for works such as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. As a loving tribute to the famous writer, the sculpture has Andersen posed in a seated position on a bench, reading a copy of The Ugly Duckling. It’s as if he is asking you to join him as he reads the story.
Strawberry Fields – An area of Central Park that pays tribute to one of the most iconic figures of the 20th Century, John Lennon. Be sure to visit the Imagine memorial. Grab a seat on one of the benches and reflect on the impact this man made as a musician and activist. When we visited recently, there was a musician quietly singing and playing Beatles’ songs on an acoustic guitar. It was a nice addition to the ambiance.
The bridges of Central Park are definitely a sight to see. Beautiful architecture abounds with these overpasses. Many of these bridges have been featured in movies. The most interesting of these structures are:
Bow Bridge – Not only has it been featured in films, it has also served as the setting for many romantic strolls through Central Park.
Gapstow Bridge – Remember Home Alone 2? That’s right. This bridge was in the movie!
Graywacke Arch – Simpy beautiful is the best way to describe it. A pointed arch and intricate architectural details make Graywacke a standout.
The Great Lawn – This is iconic Central Park. A wide open field of nothing but luxurious green grass, 55 acres to be exact. Have a picnic, play some Frisbee, or just kick back on a blanket and relax a while.
Sheep Meadow – Although smaller than the Great Lawn, Sheep Meadow still offers ample space to spread out and enjoy the sunshine.
Things to Do
Catch a concert – For a schedule of upcoming events check the official website: http://www.centralpark.com/
Central Park Zoo – From tropical to polar, the zoo displays quite a variety of exotic animals. Be sure if there are kids in your travel party to visit the Children’s Zoo. It’s included in your admission!
Ice Skating – There are actually two skating rinks in Central Park, Wollman and Lasker. The rinks usually open in late October. Lasker serves as a swimming pool during the summer months.
Boating and Kayaking – The various waterways throughout the park offer a variety of entertainment options. Guests can rent row-boats and kayaks to explore the waters and get a different perspective of the magnificent city that surrounds it.
There are a variety of dining options throughout the park, some of which are seasonal. Be sure to check at the information booth or visit the website for details.
Tavern on the Green – It’s one of Central Park’s most iconic restaurants. It’s a New York City staple. While a bit pricey, it’s worth the splurge if you’re looking for an authentic NYC experience.
That’s it, my list of Must-Sees and Dos for Central Park. Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear them. Share them in the Comment section.