Central Park provides New Yorkers and visitors alike a beautiful 874 acre haven from the hustle and bustle of New York City
Located in the centre of Manhattan, Central Park provides a pastoral refuge from the chaos and noise of New York City. Recognised as a National Historic Landmark in 1963, Central Park is the most visited park in the country. Covering over 874 acres, Central Park offers a near endless array of activities for natives and newcomers alike.
While an extensive network of trails perfect for running or hiking, Central Park also offers numerous recreational opportunities, including tennis courts, skating rinks, swimming pools, baseball fields, horseback riding, fishing and boat rentals. Birdwatchers will want to explore "The Ramble", a wooded section of the park where many species of woodland birds can be spotted in the spring and fall. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the Conservatory Gardens, the Park's first formal garden and Turtle Pond which attracts migratory birds and several species of turtle.
Central Park is also hosts a number of cultural festivals and a summer concert series on the Great Lawn featuring popular and classical music. A beloved summer tradition, The Public Theater holds its critically acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park series at the Delacorte Theatre with eight weeks of free performances.
Young children will enjoy a visit to Central Park every bit as much as adults, especially the Central Park Carousel, which is one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the United States, the petting zoo at the Tisch Children's Zoo at the Central Park Wildlife Center and the Marionette Theatre at the Swedish Cottage. For a less structured approach, visit the Alice in Wonderland and Ugly Ducking statues, sail model boats at Conservatory Waters or simply enjoy the 21 playgrounds scattered throughout the Park.
The Central Park Conservatory also offers 10 free guided interpretive walking tours, if exploring the park on your own seems overwhelming. Bicycle rentals, horse-drawn carriages and pedi-cabs good alternatives to walking to explore sites throughout the Central Park. iPhone users can download the Central Park Conservatory app for suggested itineraries and photography sites.
Cost: Free entry; some activities have fees associated. Please see website for details.
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Website: Central Park New York City
Address: Between 5th and 8th Avenue and 59th and 106th Streets
Nearby attractions: Central Park Wildlife Center, American Museum of Natural History, The Met and the Cloisters, Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Opera, The Frick Collection, Carnegie Hall