Since the early stages of its development beginning in 1853, Central Park’s appeal as a place to not only connect with and enjoy nature in the midst of a sea of concrete but also, as a place to enjoy a vast array of recreational activity has increased tremendously. Today, there’s a new activity, attraction, or event to be found around every bend, providing a remedy to the needs of people of all types. One of the best things about Central park is that no matter what time of year it is, there will always be a reason to go there. Whether it’s programming that can be experienced year round, or something exclusive to a certain season, Central Park will never be found without adventures in store.
Sometimes the bustle of Central Park can be a little overwhelming though. That can seem to be an odd thought considering the idea that the park is like a haven to the people inhabiting or visiting New York from the even more overwhelming bustle of the city. To cope with the seemingly endless options though, I suggest seeing Central Park one part at a time. My walking tour was a great introduction to the areas lying between 81st and 72nd streets, passing many of the attractions that hold some of the exciting summer activities we can all take part in….
Delacorte Theater: Shakespeare in the Park: Hamlet, May 27 until June 29, and Hair, from July 22 until August 17
Great Lawn: New York Philharmonic on June 24 and of course a lot of room for soaking up the sun and fields for baseball and softball
Swedish Cottage: Marionette Theater
Belvedere Castle: Nature Observatory, and a beautiful view of the park (according to my walking tour this is the highest point in Central park)
Boat Pond/ Conservatory Water: Rent a little remote control sailboat!
The Lake and Loeb Boathouse: Great food, rent a boat, take a gondola ride, or rent a bike
The northern and southern ends of the park also have a lot to offer in the summer:
Harlem Meer (Summer Performance Series)
A Clearing in the Forest
North Meadow Recreation Center
SummerStage – http://summerstage.org
Victorian Gardens (Mini-Amusement Park)
Then there are of course carriage rides, tours, almost any sport that could be imagined and plenty of food and sporadic musicians and other types of entertainers.
Observing the variety of individuals that take up residence in Central Park for an hour or two during the day can be quite entertaining. One can find musicians, couples, families, children, groups of mom’s with all their strollers, artists, live statues, massage therapists, sales people, and many more enjoy this get away in the middle of the city. Central Park is home to many, and has a never-ending supply of things to do no matter what one’s ideal park experience may be.
Enhance your Central Park experience even more by visiting these websites…
or the Dairy (Central Park’s visitors center and gift shop)!