Are you planning a trip to Central Park? If it’s your first time visiting the park we have to warn you that there’s a lot to see and do there. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you’ll find some seasonal events so holiday times can be extra special. If you’re not familiar with what the park has to offer, we’ve prepared a mini guide to let you know about ten of the most popular and beloved things to do and see in Central Park to help you plan out the time that you have to spend while you’re there.
1. Take a ride on the carousel
Central Park has the most amazing carousel that you’ll find anywhere. It’s been there in one form or another since 1871 when it consisted of mule and horse power. The version that is there now, however, is a lot more modern and the new one has been there since 1950. It was built as a terminal for the trolley just outside of Coney Island prior to being moved to Central Park. It’s a fun and novel thing to do and if you get the chance, make sure to get plenty of pictures.
2. Take one of the many tours
Central Park offers so many lovely attractions that guided tours are set up to give you an overview of what’s there. This is one of the best ways to see the very best that the park has to offer. There are free walking tours that are set up by the Central Park Conservancy. The tours last for about one and a half hours and there are ten different walking tours for you to choose from. Yes, the park is that big! If you’re not really that into walking they also offer a Pedicab Tour, but they do charge a fee for the service.
3. Picnic in the park
Sheep Meadow is the premier location for all park-goers who would like to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal at the park. You don’t even have to bring your lunch with you because there are lots of great vendors in the park there to fully equip you with all the picnic provisions that you’ll need. We do recommend that you bring a blanket though.
4. Take a trip around the lake in a rowboat
When you’re at Central Park if you get the urge to go out on the water, you’re in luck. The Loeb Boathouse is waiting to help with a rowboat rental so you can row yourself around the lake. The boats are rented out in 15-minute increments. You will need to put down a cash deposit and you can schedule the boat for as long as you like and take up to three other passengers along with you.
5. Visit the Ramble
The Ramble is the woodsiest part of the Park. It’s an area that features 36 acres of the most beautiful wild garden in the whole of New York City. It features several unique plantings along with meandering paths that are relaxing and enjoyable to walk. It’s a place where you can explore and see wildlife in their natural habitat.
6. Go to the Hallet Nature Sanctuary
The Hallet Nature Sanctuary is situated in the southeastern corner of the park. It’s a peaceful and serene four-acre parcel of wooded ground that offers some amazing paths through the woodlands. Pets are not allowed in this part of the park and we recommend taking the 90 minutes guided tour to get the full benefit of the experience.
7. Go to Central Park Zoo
There is a big and amazing zoo in Central Park and we highly recommend paying the animals there a visit. They offer children’s areas and a collection of more than 130 species of animals. Just a few examples include tropical birds and Snow Leopards. Each animal species is divided into their own habitats. You can purchase tickets to the view in advance from your smartphone and you’ll be granted instant access when you arrive.
8. Go on a horse-drawn carriage ride
Central Park is famous for its horse-drawn carriages and you can go on one of these iconic rides while you’re there. They’re one of the most romantic things for couples to do when visiting the park. Even if you’re going it solo or taking the whole family along, the rides are fun and they’ll take you along
the park following a route between 5th and 6th Avenues.
9. Treat yourself to Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park has been held for the past fifty years at the Delacorte Theater located in Central Park. If you’re there during the summertime make sure to check the schedule. If you’re there are the right time, this is the chance of a lifetime that you won’t want to miss out on. There are usually two productions scheduled during the summer.
10. Take in a concert in the park
There are several concert events scheduled in Central Park throughout the summer. When you know the dates of your trip, check out the website provided to find out who is going to be performing there. The genres range from classical music to popular music.