Without a doubt, Central Park is a highlight to any visit to New York City. Unlike any other park in the world, it is 843 acres of walking trails, green meadows, pretty lakes and countless attractions.
If you’re hoping to visit the whole park and everything that lies within it’s grounds you would actually need to give yourself a full day, and prepare with some very comfy walking shoes! There’s so much to do here, it’s a good idea to do a little bit of research before you get there so you don’t miss any of the best bits.
If you’re planning your next visit to Central Park, here are some of the top attractions around the park that you won’t want to miss:
30 things to do in Central Park
1. Grab a cocktail and a water-side table at Loeb Boathouse.
2. Have some fun at Victorian Gardens, an amusement park with a huge number of rides, games and fun for the whole family.
3. Take a stroll down The Mall, one of the most famous and well known parts of the park.
4. Have a picnic on the Great Lawn, with the city skyscrapers towering above you.
5. Try a New York pretzel or hot dog, some of the most iconic foods from New York City.
6. Rent a boat and paddle around the lake for your ultimate Notebook moment.
7. Check out the Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom between April and May.
8. There are at least five waterfalls around the park that are all man made for you to check out.
9. Ice skate at Wollman Rink, open from October until early April each year, it’s one of the most popular places to go ice-skating in New York.
10. Check out Cherry Fountain, which is actually thought to be the fountain that the infamous Friends Fountain is modelled off.
11. Take a horse and cart ride around the park for a bit of a different view of the park.
12. Find your inner child with a ride on the Central Park Carousel.
13. Check out Cop Cot, which is one of the oldest structures in Central Park, built in the late 1860s and is the largest remaining wooden shelter in the park.
14. Try your luck bird watching at The Loch.
15. Check out the Charles A. Dana Discovery Centre, one of the min visitor centres in the park that has been open since 1993.
Check out the best hotels around Central Park
16. Check out the Minton Tile Ceiling at Bethesda Terrace Arcade.
17. See the statue of Balto – the sled dog that has been immortalised in the park since 1925.
18. Get even closer to some of the animals around the park at the Tisch Children’s Zoo, featuring a great petting zoo.
19. Visit the Conservatory Garden, located at 5th Avenue and 105th Street, it’s the only formal garden within Central Park.
20. Take a walk along the beautiful Bow Bridge.
21. Make a wish and throw in a coin at Bethesda Fountain.
22. Visit the Central Park Zoo and make friends with the resident big cats, monkeys, bears and seals.
23. Visit the bronze statues of Alice In Wonderland and her friends.
24. Check out the Delacorte Music Clock, which can be found near the Central Park Zoo, and plays a total of 44 songs that change throughout the season.
25. See the super tall Summit Rock, standing at 141.8 feet high, it’s the highest elevation in the park.
26. Explore Shakespeare Garden, a beautiful spot to stop and smell the roses.
27. Check out the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, a great educational spot that teaches it’s visitors about the nature and wildlife in Central Park.
28. Visit the antique Ladies Pavilion – one of the most popular locations in the park for special events.
29. Just across the road from Central Park, spend some time exploring the Museum of Natural History.
30. Take a dip in Lasker Pool, it’s free of charge and features both a wading pool and an Olympic Pool. During the winter months it becomes Lasker Rink, an ice staking rink with lessons for all ages.
Getting to Central Park
Given the sheer size of the park, Central Park is very accessible by many different subway stations, bus stations and even a couple of stops on most hop on hop off bus routes.
If you’re catching the Subway to central park, this is where you’ll need to get off:
N, R, Q Trains: These trains stop at 57th Street & 7th Avenue
2, 3 Trains: These trains run north and south with stops at 59th Street and Columbus Circle, followed by stops along Broadway at 72nd, 96th, & 110th Streets
B, C Trains: These trains run north & south along Central Park West, with stops at 72nd, 81st, 86th, 96th, 103rd, & 110th Streets
A, B, C, D, 1 Trains: These trains all stop at 59th Street/Columbus Circle. The 1 train also makes all stops along Broadway at 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 96th, 103rd, & 110th Streets.
There are also heaps of bus stops around the parks, on a number of different routes. For all the information on getting to Central Park check out their Directions Page.
An absolute can’t miss for any visit to New York City, make sure you give yourself at least a day to explore the many corners, paths and hidden secrets of Central Park.