Central Park is one of the most visited parks in the world. Located in the heart of New York City, it offers visitors a wide range of things to do and see. The park has over 843 acres of lands, and it features many famous landmarks such as the Bethesda Fountain, Strawberry Fields, and the Great Lawn. Within the park, there are also many popular attractions such as the Great Lawn and the Conservatory Water to visit. This park is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. If you want to enjoy a nice dinner while enjoying the scenery of this beautiful city, you should definitely visit Central Park.
If you’re planning an upcoming visit, you can check out some helpful tips on things to do in Central Park here so you have a perfect time!
- 1. Belvedere Castle
- 2. Central Park Zoo
- 3. Strawberry Fields
- 4. Bethesda Fountain and Terrace
- 5. Conservatory Garden
- 6. Loeb Boathouse on The Lake
- 7. The Mall and Literary Walk
- 8. Central Park Carousel
- 9. Conservatory Water
- 10. Ice Skating
- 11. Central Park Horse and Carriage Ride
- 12. The Pond and Gapstow Bridge
- 13. Sheep Meadow
- 14. The Swedish Cottage
- 15. The Delacorte Theatre
1. Belvedere Castle
At the top of Vista Rock is the mini-castle Belvedere, built in 1869. It gives you the opportunity to see Central Park from a bird’s eye view. To the south, you will see a beautiful wooded area, and to the north is the Delacorte Theater, where Shakespearean plays are regularly performed.
At the top of the castle is the meter that gives information about the weather in Central Park, and in the castle itself, there is a gift shop and a visitor center.
2. Central Park Zoo
Penguins, Central Park Zoo is a 92-acre (37 ha) zoo in the middle of Central Park, New York City. It is one of the largest zoological gardens in the world and is home to more than 3,000 animals representing over 300 species. The zoo participates in breeding and conservation programs for endangered species and also features some New York City’s most popular attractions such as the Aquarium of the Americas, the Carousel, Turtle Pond, and the Children’s Zoo. The zoo was founded in 1874 and was originally located at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue. In 1980, it was moved to its current location next to the Conservatory Garden. In 2016, Central Park Zoo welcomed its 1 millionth visitor.
The zoo is set in a beautifully landscaped setting that includes gardens, forests, trails, lakes and meadows with many different types of animals from around the world such as elephants, tigers, wolves, camels, monkeys, parrots and more. The park houses two main sections: Africa and Asia. Both areas include exhibits featuring native animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans in specially designed habitats. Visitors can enjoy many different types of animal shows throughout the year including pony rides at Eastertime (in April) when there are also face painting stations for children to get creative with their own designs on their faces!
3. Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields, also known as John Lennon’s Strawberry Field and Strawberry Fields Memorial, is a memorial to John Lennon in Central Park, New York City. It is located on the park’s northwest side near the Conservatory Garden. The site was originally part of the Strawberry Fields playground built by Frederick Law Olmsted for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Lennon’s statue is situated on the northern edge of the park. The memorial is visited by millions of people each year.
The original design included an open-air stage area for performances and a reflecting pool, but these were not constructed until after Lennon’s death due to opposition from nearby residents and lack of funds. The current design consists of a paved plaza with benches facing a large bronze statue of Lennon in front of two reflecting pools at either end.
4. Bethesda Fountain and Terrace
The fountain, which is one of the main attractions of the park was created in 1873. The terrace around the fountain is an ideal place for photos behind the beautiful ancient ornaments in Italian style.
In the center of the fountain rises a statue called Angel of the Waters. You probably will know what to do in Central Park, but if you have more free time, take it to see this attraction.
5. Conservatory Garden
For nature lovers, the Conservatory Garden offers an escape from the urban reality. An ideal place for weddings, the garden spreads over 6 acres and is divided into 3 sections – French, English, and Italian.
The garden provides a little peace away from cyclists and skateboarders. It is most impressive in the spring when the trees are in bloom and are painted in different shades.
6. Loeb Boathouse on The Lake
The Loeb Boathouse on the Lake is located on Central Park Lake in the heart of New York City’s scenic Upper West Side near the Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center. The boathouse is a unique and intimate space for guests to enjoy panoramic views of the lake and New York City skyline. It’s also a great place to relax, have lunch or dinner and enjoy Central Park’s natural beauty under a full moon.
The boathouse includes a public viewing deck with panoramic views of the Central Park lakefront and skyline; restrooms; and a lounge area with a fireplace. Guests can also take advantage of complimentary valet parking, as well as bike racks, lockers, and storage facilities if they’re bringing their bikes along.
7. The Mall and Literary Walk
The Mall is actually a picturesque straight path under the shade of tall trees, which is ideal for a quiet walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Every season, including winter, is the perfect time to visit it and it hides its charm.
From here you can continue your walk along the Literary Walk, which is filled with statues of world-famous writers such as Shakespeare and Robert Burns.
8. Central Park Carousel
The carousel in Central Park is known as the first carousel open for business and dates back to 1871 as a tradition in the park. Of course, physically it has changed over the years and now features hand-carved horses dating back to the ’90s.
The carousel is for rent and is currently operated by one of Donald Trump’s companies.
9. Conservatory Water
In the eastern part of the park is one of the most fun things to do in central park. People come here to compete with their model boats or just to enjoy the race.
There is enough space around the water for relaxation and even a picnic. If you look north you will find a beautiful statue of Alice in Wonderland. The seasons from spring to autumn are especially busy here.
10. Ice Skating
One of the most beloved Central Park places if you travel with your partner or family in the period from October to April is winter skating. There are two options – Wollman Rink, which is located near the zoo, or Lasker Rink, which in summer is a swimming pool, and in the cold months turns into a winter slide.
Whichever of the two places you choose, you’ll have to pay a fee to skate (like the one at Wollman Rink is higher).
11. Central Park Horse and Carriage Ride
If you still do not know what to do in Central Park – choose a tour of the park with a horse and carriage, which will leave an unforgettable memory. You will have the opportunity to visit some of the most famous sights and learn a little more about the history of the park.
12. The Pond and Gapstow Bridge
The Pond is the southernmost point of water in Central Park, which is powered entirely by the city water supply system. Above it passes the famous Gapstow Bridge, which blows you have certainly seen in many photos. Wedding photoshoots or marriage proposals are often made here.
13. Sheep Meadow
As expected, the name of this huge green meadow comes from the fact that in the past it was used to graze sheep here. This was the case until 1934 when the place slowly began to be used for recreation and relaxation of people, and a restaurant was opened nearby. The weekends here are quite crowded so go earlier in the morning to reserve your place for a picnic or relaxation.
14. The Swedish Cottage
Built in 1875, the Swedish Cottage was an example of the traditional Swedish schoolhouse of the traditional Swedish Pavilion, until it was spotted by Fredrick Law Olmstead, who decided it would become a great part of the Central Arch.
It was brought to New York in 1877 and has since operated as the oldest marionette theater in the United States, known for its tales of Cinderella and Peter Pan.
15. The Delacorte Theatre
We end with an attraction for theater and art lovers. This open-air theater has 1800 seats, and Shakespeare in the Park performances are organized here every summer. Every year since 1962, the theater has been visited by over 100,000 people a year and has become one of the must-do things in Central Park.
Central Park is a place that offers quite a lot of entertainment and cannot be toured in one day. Here you will find something for every age and hobby. And the opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of New York is great not only for tourists but also for locals. So take the time to explore as many places as possible from this place full of history and sights.