New York City is such an amazing place that just the mere mention of its name excites anyone who has ever been there because they simply want to go back! For those who have not yet had the chance to visit, all I can tell you is “go”! There is no shortage of things to do or places to see. So whether you’re a spontaneous traveller or the type that needs to plan every second of your day, be sure to make it out to NYC and be sure you see Central Park.
About Central Park
Right in the center of Manhattan you will find 843- acres of parkland and within its confines you will come across recreational areas that include a zoo, sports and theater facilities, lakes, a variety of entertainment and certainly food. If you are trying to imagine how big 843- acres is, just have a look at the address for the park. It is located at 59th to 110th street! If you come back from your trip and say you “missed seeing the park”, I would suggest you see an eye doctor. You could say “I didn’t visit the park” but there is no “missing it”!
The park was designed between 1858 and 1873 by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux and is maintained today by the Central Park Conservancy. Here are some fun facts about the park: there are 21 playgrounds scattered throughout the park; 48 fountains, monuments and sculptures; 24, 000 trees; 9,000 benches, 36 bridges and at least 275 species of migratory birds have been spotted flying through. Don’t forget that I did mention that there is a zoo in the park too!
It is open 365 days a year but each night it is closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Entrances for the park can be found all around it. There are four entrances along 59th street (central Park South), on the Fifth Avenue side there are more than 10 entrances between 60th and 110th Streets, more than 12 on the Upper West Side between 63rd and 110th Streets and four more along 110th Street.
Central Park Tours
Check availability, prices and book online any Central Park Tour >> HERE.
The Central Park Conservancy offers many volunteer-led walking tours year-round, and each highlights something different about the park. The fee for any tour including custom tours is a donation that goes to helping support the park. Depending on the type of custom tour you want, the requested donation range will differ. It is recommended that you donate $10 for a basic tour of the park led by a volunteer, but for a minimum donation of $100 you could get an experienced and knowledgeable guide from the Central Park Conservancy, who could help you tailor a tour of your choice. You could even arrange to have a 1.5 hour van tour and have the park’s main photographer and historian, Sara Cedar Miller help tailor a tour for you. The minimum donation for this kind of tour will cost you closer to $500 but you’ll get all the finer details that $10 won’t get you. Expect the tours to last between 1- to 2 hours.
You can also get a guided tour with groups or you can also take a self-guided tour. Download a document from the Conservancy’s sight and follow along or try their unique “Seeing Central Park Audio Guide”. By dialing in via cellphone at spots where you see the Conservancy’s little green signs you will hear recorded details about the park, as spoken by a variety of famous Hollywood celebrities.
The tours are short and the park is huge so to see it all, you’ll have to stay longer or visit multiple times! I doubt you’ll find anything wrong with needing to come back!
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Have a great time at Central Park, NYC!
Photo: Jenny Rotner / NYCGO