Central Park has all kinds of attractionsm, and one day is certainly not enough to see them all. However, you may plan your stroll so that you can visit its most contrasting parts. Childhood, literature, beautiful nature, true New York – these are the key words for this route. Make sure you have comfortable shoes. You have a long way to walk.
Central Park Zoo
It may come as a surprise to many, but the southeastern part of Central Park features a zoo with white bears, seals, penguins, peacocks and even a snow leopard. The zoo is relatively small, and it will take you an hour to walk the whole of it. Yet, the idea of being in an oasis of wilderness and in the heart of Manhattan at the same time is worth the ten dollars you have to pay for the ticket. It is a great way to start the day in the park, especially if your children are with you.
Central Park Carousel
This one is a classic vintage carousel with almost sixty steeds built by a local company Stein and Goldstein as far back as 1908. Initially, it was installed near Coney Island, but during the last half century it has been operating in Central Park. Ride this carousel and you will not only remember your childhood and imagine yourself as the hero of Up the Sandbox with Barbra Streisand, but also feel a touch of history. The price is $3 per ride, cash only.
Le Pain Quotidien
The French bakery/restaurant chain is large in New York and is sometimes very helping when you want a snack or some tasty bread. The atmosphere in the park is especially cozy – tables on the terrace with a spectacular view over skyscrapers and nature.
Bethesda Fountain is the heart of Central Park, both in terms of its significance and location. This is one of the most prominent and big fountains in New York. It is made in the neo-classical style, which, strangely enough, impacts the whole atmosphere of the place. It is like an old fairy tale. Street dancers, musicians and singers are frequent guests here. Despite that, it is never too noisy here, maybe because of the lake and nature around.
Alice in Wonderland
A strange and psychedelic sculpture at the eastern edge of Central Park was created by the Spanish-American artist Jose de Creeft. A pleasant feature of the sculpture is that you may climb it.
The Shakespeare Garden is a perfect place for a romantic stroll or worthwhile solitary reading. There is a tradition in English-speaking countries to grow plants described in an author’s plays. This is one of the most beautiful gardens. Here grow Rosemary and pansy from Hamlet, thistle from the comedy Much Ado About Nothing and even trees once personally planted by Shakespeare in his garden.
Arthur Ross Pinetum
Arthur Ross Pinetum is a small pine forest with a playground and swings is perfect for recreation and a quiet picnic.
People mostly choose massive park lawns for these purposes, for instance, Great Lawn at the edge of Central Park. Few people come here, even despite tables with benches.
Lasker Rink and Pool
This is a free city pool, that is why it is always so crowded in summer. New York atmosphere makes this place worth coming. Tourists do not frequent the place because you must have your swimming accessories with you and a lock for the changing room. The pool is clean and large, and is a perfect place to keep you cool on a hot summer day.
There is a bunch of cafes and restaurants with fine views and expensive meals in Central Park. However, there is a lack of affordable cafes except for stands with ice cream, nuts and pretzels. Maoz Falafel is among such places. Tasty falafels and a variety of salads are perfect for a dinner in the park. This is a very good chain, just like Le Pain Quotidien. If you are not hungry, a salad instead of pita may suit you.
It was the 1970s when massive roller-skating parties became widespread in Central Park. The parties were often closed because of disagreements with the inhabitants of Upper Manhattan. In 1990-s, roller skaters formed their own communities and established fixed schedules for jollies. Roller-skating is allowed every day. At weekends, people dance here to disco and house music in the atmosphere of love and brotherhood. You may rent skates on the weekend, but even without skates you will always have a good time here. New York natives, frequenters to a cult club Paradise Garage and new old school worshippers... This is a very old and still popular piece of city entertainment.