Designed by prominent landscape architects in the late 19th century, Central Park is the most visited green space in New York City. From ponds and outdoor theaters to a zoo and formal gardens, this iconic park in Manhattan is home to an array of attractions. Memorial statues and interesting architectural landmarks line the meandering trails in this 843-acre urban park.
Attractions and Activities
From Grand Army Plaza to Columbus Circle, the corners of Central Park are marked by prominent urban squares. As you stroll the lush grounds, you’ll see statues and memorials dedicated to notable international leaders, such as Simon Bolivar, King Jagielo and Cleopatra. There are also monuments that honor William Shakespeare, Beethoven and Christopher Columbus.
With access to more than 25 playgrounds and dozens of fields, children can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at Central Park. The Sheep Meadow, North Meadow and the Great Lawn are popular points for picnicking and sunbathing. Other notable recreational facilities include the Lasker Rink and a tennis center.
There are also miles of trails around the Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy Reservoir. Boat rentals are available at the historic Loeb Boathouse, which is situated on The Lake. The Conservatory Water is a small pond that’s designated for model boat sailing. Additionally, the Pond occupies the southeastern corner of the park.
The Conservatory Garden at Central Park has prime displays of traditional European-style landscape architecture. The formal gardens include the Untermyer Fountain and Burnett Fountain. After looking at well-manicured shrubs and plants, you could view hundreds of animals at the Central Park Zoo, which opened in the 1860’s.
Covering approximately 6.5 acres, this historic zoo also includes climate-controlled facilities for exotic animals from tropical or cold regions. From the Victoria Gardens Amusement Park to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, the park offers great entertainment for the entire family. Additionally, the outdoor Delacorte Theater hosts plays on a central stage that’s surrounded by amphitheater-style seating.
Location and Transportation
Central Park is situated between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side in Manhattan. The A, B, and C trains of the New York City Subway stop at underground stations on Central Park West. The 4, 5 and 6 trains stop at various points near the park’s eastern side. Parking is limited on the busy 5th Avenue and other avenues that run through the Upper East Side.
New York’s poets and thinkers began the call for a public park by the middle of the century, looking for inspiration from London’s parks and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. So a plan was put in place to clear existing buildings, small farms and homesteads to build the 850 acres of accessible parkland. Today, when you visit, take a moment to appreciate that every tree, flower, path and river was designed and placed here for the enjoyment of the people.
Click to visit the Central Park official website.
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