Top 5 Activities in Central Park: The Heart of New York

2:45 pm  |  23.06.2021

Central Park in the heart of Manhattan is also known by the locals as “The Green Lungs” of New York. Central Park is also always an absolute highlight for tourists, as it has great events and excursion options to offer in every season. We have put together the top 5 activities in Central Park for you. Have fun exploring Central Park.

Wollman Rink: The Famous Ice Rink

If you have the opportunity to visit New York in winter, you should definitely go ice skating at the Wollman Rink ice rink in Central Park. 

New York’s most famous ice rink opens in Central Park every year from late October to April. New York residents and visitors alike meet here, where numerous Hollywood productions have been filmed.

When it gets dark, when the lights of the metropolis start to shine, the result is a fantastically beautiful backdrop. Whether you can ice skate like Kati Witt, enjoy hot cocoa with the gang, or just want to use the beautiful backdrop as a photo motif – the Wollman Rink ice rink is a great attraction in Central Park and always worth a trip.

Sheep Meadow: Relaxing on the Sheep Pasture

Sheep Meadow is now a gigantic green space in the middle of Central Park. Locals and tourists alike relax here from the urban jungle in New York or meet for a picnic with friends and family. Until 1934, Sheep Meadow was actually a pure sheep pasture in the middle of New York. 

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At that time the shepherd lived in a nearby hut. The famous restaurant “Tavern on the Green” is located in this hut today. In the 60s and 70s, the huge green area was used for concerts and demonstrations with several hundred thousand visitors. Even today, numerous concerts and events take place on Sheep Meadow.

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Due to the excellently developed high-speed WiFi network, students and office workers who study and work from here are also drawn to the meadow in summer. If you are touring New York in the summer, you must definitely visit Sheep Meadow. There is nothing better than taking a break in the green heart of Manhattan after an extensive sightseeing tour and listening to the background noise of the bustle of the big city.

Central Park Zoo: The Second Oldest Zoo in the United States

The Central Park Zoo was founded in 1864 and is the second oldest public zoo in the United States after the Philadelphia Zoo. The 1980s wasn’t a good decade for the zoo. It gradually fell into disrepair, as little attention was paid to the enclosures and outdoor facilities.

In 1983 the Central Park Zoo was even temporarily closed. In 1988 the zoo was reopened – with new enclosures, which were adapted to the natural habitat of the animals, the zoo grew to the absolute darling of the residents and visitors of New York.

In addition to the famous snow leopards, grizzly bears, sea lions, and, among many penguin species, also the king penguin lives here. In addition to the rainforest area with various species of birds and snakes, there is also a small petting zoo for younger visitors to the Central Park Zoo. In the petting zoo, you can see pigs, goats, and sheep.

The main attraction at the petting zoo is a cow – yes, a cow, the only one in Manhattan. The Central Park Zoo is ideal for a trip with the whole family, as adults and children alike get their money’s worth here.

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Explore Central Park by Bike or on Foot

To explore the entire Central Park, it is a good idea to rent a bike. There are bike rentals everywhere at the entrances to Central Park. Of course, you can also explore Central Park on foot, but you shouldn’t underestimate the size of the park. There are some important waypoints that you should definitely not miss on your tour of Central Park.

The 13 Bridges

There are 13 beautiful bridges throughout the park, each with a different architectural style. Many bridges have also made it to Hollywood, onto the cinema screens. The most famous bridge in Central Park is the Bow Bridge. When you cross this bridge, it is not uncommon for you to witness a marriage proposal right away.

Strawberry Fields

After John Lennon’s death, his wife Yoko Ono designed part of Central Park and dedicated it to her deceased husband. This area was named after the song “Strawberry Fields” by John Lennon. On October 9, 1985 – John Lennon’s 45th birthday – the Strawberry Fields were inaugurated. The heart of the Strawberry Fields is the circular mosaic with the word “Imagine” in the middle. If you pass there, with a bit of luck you will see a musician who sings old songs by the Beatles.

The Loeb Boathouse

The restaurant “The Loeb Boathouse” is located directly on the large pond “The Lake”, over which the famous “Bow Bridge” leads. Make a stop at this excellent restaurant on your tour of Central Park. In summer you can enjoy the idyllic Rohe on the terrace directly on the lake. The Loeb Boathouse is known for its excellent dishes. A stop here is worthwhile at any time of the year. Even in winter, you can take a break from the urban jungle with great desserts.

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Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride in Central Park

A ride in the famous horse-drawn carriages through Central Park is an absolute highlight in summer and winter. 

In numerous movies and series, you can see the iconic horse-drawn carriages driving through Central Park again and again. If you book a horse-drawn carriage ride in the summer, you will be driven through Central Park for about 30-60 minutes. You sit comfortably in the open car and the local driver tells you a lot about the various sights in Central Park.

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Every now and then the coachmen tell a few anecdotes from their lives and about extraordinary experiences in New York. In winter they ride a closed horse-drawn carriage through the snowy Central Park. You can watch the ice skaters at the Wollman Rink ice rink or watch the Manhattan skyline go by. If you ask nicely, the driver will stop anytime so they can take nice photos.

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