CENTRAL PARK

Central Park is full of delightful surprises at throughout its 840 acres - some of the best playgrounds, interesting structures and so much nature.

Also see our favorite spots in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklynthe Bronx & the country and suburbs beyond NYC plus guides to museums or outdoor adventures.

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PLAYGROUNDS

Billy Johnson Playground

This rustic playground hosts an amazing 45-foot granite slide nestled into a rocky hill, bucket and tire swings, and an amphitheater and miniature stone bridge made of natural materials like plants, stone, and wood at a child’s scale.

Heckscher Playground

Central Park’s largest playground features a shaded area with swings and slides, a large, maze-like climbers, seasonal water features, sloped turf, a large sandbox area, low monkey bars, tunnels, ramps and (our favorite) giant rocks to climb. Plus a spacious bathroom.

Face painters, musicians and giant bubble makers often congregate at the entrance.

Take a…

Ancient Playground

This big playground invokes Egyptian themes with climbable pyramids, a large sand lot and a spray shower that represents Egypt’s Nile River in reference to the ancient Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art next door.  Lots of slides, tunnels and concrete bridges plus bucket, tire and strap swings are perfect for…

ATTRACTIONS

Sam Moyer: Doors For Doris

Try to open massive stone doors in a massive three-part sculpture on the southeastern edge of Central Park. Moyer’s hybrid sculpture unites imported stone with rock indigenous to the New York region with beautiful inlaid marble fragments. The title pays homage to Public Art Fund founder, Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981)

Conservatory Gardens

Enter the magnificent 1894 Vanderbilt Gate to Central Park’s only formal garden, a six-acre oasis within an oasis with European charm.

Climb onto the wisteria pergola in the Italianate Center Garden overlooking a yew hedges-bordered large lawn and 12-foot jet fountain. To the north, the French-style garden offers spectacular seasonal displays of tulips and Korean…

The Loeb Boathouse

Weather permitting, rent classic rowboats, available April through November, 10 am until dusk. Boats are $20 per hour (cash only), $5 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 cash deposit. Each boat holds up to 4 people. Life jackets provided.

Dine overlooking the lovely lake on a breezy. covered terrace at this elegant yet…

Discovery Pop-Up Program: The Birds of Central Park

Each year, more than 200 bird species make an appearance in Central Park, a popular stopover along the Atlantic Flyway. Discover how to spot and respectfully appreciate these winged wonders with park birding guides, stationed at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center Plaza Saturdays 11 am–1 pm and Belvedere Castle Sundays 11 am–1 pm.

Also borrow…

NEARBY

The Met

Explore a vast collection that spans millennia and continents. You might get lost searching for iconic favorites in the grand halls and you’ll definitely discover fascinating art that appeals all ages.

* Advance timed tickets required. On crowded days (or any day), enter through the accessible Uris Center for Education entrance on 81st Street to avoid longer lines.

* Walk like an Egyptian inside the Temple of Dendur…

American Museum of Natural History

Lovers of dinosaurs, sea creatures, outer space and more can get their animal & nature fix at this giant (45 fascinating halls) treasure trove of wonders.

* Online advance timed ticket purchase required, even for members.

* Download the Museum’s free Explorer app. for maps, self-guided themed tours, behind-the-scenes stories about exhibits, quizzes, and…

The Jewish Museum

Explore the global Jewish experience through works of fine art, Judaica, antiquities, folk art, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media intelligently organized in gorgeous galleries.

* The ongoing Scenes From the Collection features nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, a unique mix of artworks and ceremonial objects, including hundreds of stunning menorahs, presented…

Guggenheim

See exciting, well-designed exhibits in the striking Frank Lloyd Wright–designed landmark modern museum.

* April 30 through June 21, Christian Nyampeta transforms the Guggenheim’s iconic rotunda into a “night school” with a screening of his 2018 video Sometimes It Was Beautiful about group of friends gathering to watch and critique films made by Swedish…

Museum of the City of New York

Explore the greatest city in the world at this small museum with a big collection of theater artifacts, furniture, toys, paintings, sculpture and photos arranged into exhibits that entertain and educate all ages.

* Favorite spots include an extravagant Gilded Age dollhouse, a dangling light installation above the stunning spiral staircase and the fascinating

New-York Historical Society

Learn about the layered, diverse history of NYC at this fascinating museum.

* Although the interactive Children’s Museum is sadly closed, look for kid-friendly objects throughout – a Noah’s Ark toy and historical fire fighting equipment, dragonflies in gorgeous Tiffany Lamps, and more discoveries. Free disposable stylus are available for touchscreens and in-gallery interactives including…