Central Park | The Most Visited Green Space in New York City

by Denise Marie

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.

Click for more details on beautiful Central Park

Click for more details on beautiful Central 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.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Prospect Park | Brooklyn’s Backyard to Relax and Get Away

by Denise Marie

Designed by the celebrated landscape architects who created New York City’s Central Park, Prospect Park is an oasis of greenery in the heart of Brooklyn. It is a favorite destination for tourists and a beloved spot to relax and get away from it all for city dwellers.

Spanning 585 acres, this beautiful park features a zoo, picnic and barbecue areas, several baseball fields, and tons of activities from skating to horseback riding. There is also an outdoor venue for concerts in the summertime as well as event spaces for weddings and parties. And there is plenty of lush green space for just spreading out a blanket and doing absolutely nothing at all!

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Nature in the City

Prospect Park boasts some pretty spectacular attractions for nature lovers. The park’s Long Meadow lives up to its name, stretching almost a mile in length and providing the perfect place to kick back and relax. It’s often referred to as the longest unbroken meadow in any American park.

Park of the beauty of Prospect Park’s design is the abundance of water. Streams, waterfalls and pools wind their way throughout the park, leading to the 60-acre freshwater lake. There are also thousands of tree to admire in this picturesque urban park- over 30,000 in fact. Over half of these trees are woodland trees within the park’s natural areas which includes 250 acres of forest, which is the last remaining forest in Brooklyn.

There are plenty of small animals who call the trees and shrubs of this woodland their home. The Prospect Park Audubon Center houses educational exhibits where kids can learn about the plants and wildlife species in the park.

Activities

Basketball games. Catch-and-release fishing. Tennis lessons at the Prospect Park Tennis Center. Horseback riding in the summer and ice skating in the winter. For sporty types, there is no shortage of things to do at Prospect Park every day, all year round.

There are paved running lanes that are popular with runners, including a 3.35-mile running lane designed specifically for runners along Park Drive which forms a loop within the park. A map of the park with distances for runners can be downloaded from the Prospect Park official website.

Prospect Park is a wonderful spot for dog-owners. There are expansive off-leash areas during specific hours for dogs to run and play, and the dog beach is the perfect spot for your furry friend to cool off in the sticky summer heat!

During the winter months, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside features a rink for ice skating, curling, hockey and more.

The Prospect Park Bandshell

Home to the renowned Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival, the park’s bandshell hosts dozens of live outdoor concerts in the summer season and attracts almost a quarter million visitors each year. The concert schedule features a wide variety of performers including edgy up-and-coming talent as well as well-known acts.

The Prospect Park Bandshell is also an outdoor movie theatre, featuring one of the biggest screens in the world at 21-feet high and 50-feet wide.

Cool Things to do for Kids

There are seven children’s playgrounds in Prospect Park to let your little bundles of energy run wild. The wildly popular Imagination Playground features a storytelling grove as well as a dragon that spouts water, and the Garfield Tot Lot was created just for toddlers in mind with lots of safe areas to play on and playground equipment designed just right for little arms and legs to maneuver. The Harmony Playground located near the Prospect Park Bandshell is music-inspired, featuring xylophones kids can get their hands on!

The Prospect Park Carousel is a must-see destination if you have little ones- or even if you don’t! The historic carousel which dates back to 1912 was restored in the 90s and features beautifully carved animals you can take a spin on. It’s a great place to host a kid’s birthday party in Prospect Park.

Other great destinations for kids in the park include the Lefferts Homestead Children’s Historic House Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo, home to over 80 species of animals.

Visiting Prospect Park in Brooklyn

The main entrance to Prospect Park is located at Grand Army Plaza, which is bordered by Prospect Park West, Parkside Avenue and Flatbush Avenue.
Location: Brooklyn
Phone: 718-965-8951
E-mail: info@prospectpark.org

Click to visit Prospect Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Strawberry Fields | Pays tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon

by Denise Marie

There is nothing to get hung about in Strawberry Fields, a must-see destination for Beatles fans in New York City. This peaceful area of Central Park is a tribute to the late musician, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon. It’s directly across from where Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono lived at the Dakota Apartments, and where he was murdered. Before his death Lennon and Ono were often seen strolling in this area of the park.

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Quiet Retreat

Designed in the shape of a teardrop, this 2.5 acre space is named for the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It was re-landscaped with the help of a $1 million donation from Yoko Ono and was re-opened on the 45th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, October 9th, 1985. Towering elms shade the serene park with is dotted with flowers and shrubs.

Imagine Circle

The focal point of Strawberry Fields is the Imagine mosaic. Located in the center of Strawberry Fields, this ornate black and white piece of art symbolizes the message of Lennon’s song Imagine: the hope for a world without war and strife.

Each year on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death (as well as on his birthday) visitors from all over the world make their way to the Imagine Circle to reflect on his life in a place that he loved.

Visiting Strawberry Fields in New York City

Strawberry Fields is located near Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets.

For more information, visit Strawberry Fields official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.