A First-Timer's Guide to Central Park
Central Park is without a doubt one of my favorite places in New York City. It’s so wildly different from everywhere else in the city and depending on where you stand, you can completely forget you’re in a city at all. The park is massive and easy to get lost in, so here are six places in the park worth checking out!
one // Central Park Zoo - I remember years and years ago, my dad took me into the city for ‘take your child to work’ day and took me to the zoo. Ever since, I’ve loved going back. It’s a tiny zoo, but such a fun activity on a nice day. The seals in the center of the zoo are my favorite!
two // Belvedere Castle - Belvedere is fairly small but it’s so pretty. It’s situated pretty centrally in the park and if you climb up the tower there are incredible views of Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn.
three // The Boathouse - I was in Central Park last Saturday and the line to rent out row boats was insane!!! I guess there’s nothing New Yorkers love more than a gorgeous day. It tends to be more of a summer activity, but you can row around the lake and then have lunch at the boat house on those rare perfect days.
four // Bethesda Fountain - Although the fountain itself is not overly impressive, there are always live musicians, street performers and other fun activities going on around the fountain.
five // The Ramble - In short, the Ramble is a wooded area of the park, filled with different species of wildlife - both plants and animals. Last summer I read “The Devil in the White City,” a novel about the creation of the World’s Fair in Chicago and the murders of H.H. Holmes that took place around the same time. From that book, I learned about Fredrick Law Olmsted, who’s considered the father of “landscape architecture.” Later the same summer, I read Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s “The Ramblers,” which also mentions Olmsted, but instead of Chicago, it focuses on a specific area of Central Park, called the Ramble. Although the whole park is the creation of Olmsted, the Ramble specifically is a really cool area of it and if you read “The Ramblers” you’ll understand why.
six // Wollman Rink - Although Bryant Park is by far my favorite for New York City ice skating, Wollman Rink has a lot to offer. Just like any other ice rink in the city you’re likely to find long lines, but Wollman is in the middle of the park, more distant from the hustle and bustle of midtown. It’s also bigger than Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center, so if you want to be able to actually skate, or are looking for a fun winter activity in the park, Wollman is your best bet.
Thank you to Max for the cover photo and for walking around the park with me to get these pictures! All taken on my iPhone.