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Central Park: Guide to family attractions, playgrounds and events

A complete guide to Central Park, including playgrounds and family attractions, from the carousel to the the Central Park Zoo.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Central Park: The Mall

  • Photograph: The Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: North Woods

  • Photograph: Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: Belvedere Castle

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: Friedsam Memorial Carousel

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    Central Park: Snow monkey at the Central Park Zoo

  • Central Park: Sea lion at the Central Park Zoo

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    Central Park: Tisch Children's Zoo the Central Park Zoo

  • Photograph: Courtesy Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

  • Photograph: City Parks Foundation

    Central Park: Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater

  • Photograph: Gary Gershoff

    Central Park: Victorian Gardens

     

     

  • Photograph: Beth Levendis

    Central Park: Trump Wollman Rink

  • Photograph: Gaby Dressler

    Central Park: Ancient Playground

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Central Park: Billy Johnson Playground

  • Photograph: Gaby Dressler

    Central Park: East 72nd Street Playground

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Central Park: Heckscher Playground

  • Central Park: Diana Ross Playground

     

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Central Park: Bethesda Fountain

  • Central Park: Conservatory Garden

  • Central Park: Strawberry Fields

     

     

  • Photograph: Sara Cedar Miller/Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: Alice in Wonderland Statue

  • Central Park: Hans Christian Andersen Statue

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Central Park: Summer Stage Family Day

  • Central Park: Harlem Meer Performance Festival

  • Central Park: My Dog Loves Central Park Fair

  • Photograph courtesy Central Park Conservancy

    Central Park: Autumn

     

  • Central Park: Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail

     

  • Central Park: Holiday Lighting

     

     

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Central Park: Winter Jam 2013

  • Central Park: Summer author reading

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Central Park: The Mall


Even Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted would be astonished at the staying power of their 1860s creation, which is arguably the most beloved tourist attraction in New York City. A historic carousel, a small zoo with a separate, excellent petting zoo, and a beautiful ice-skating rink–cum–amusement park alone make Central Park worth a visit, and that’s just in its southernmost six blocks. Even for families on a strict budget, Central Park is a boon, sporting a fairy tale castle where kids can borrow a field kit, a nature center where they can practice catch-and-release fishing, treasured spots like Bethesda Fountain and the Egyptian obelisk, and some of the best playgrounds in the city, including one with a 45-foot marble slide that teaches kids that good things are worth waiting for. Best of all, though, Central Park offers city children a taste of the country, oxygenated air, countless trees and expansive grass lawns included.

RECOMMENDED: 50 best family attractions in NYC

How to support Central Park: You can help maintain the urban oasis by visiting centralparknyc.org.

Central Park information

Central Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Manhattan's green getaway is a lifesaver for local families with antsy tykes. The Olmsted and Vaux–designed space brims with kid-friendly attractions, including an ice skating rink in the winter, year-round performances at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, an Egyptian-themed playground, summer concert and theater series, the famed carousel, and plenty of free and cheap workshops throughout the gargantuan park.

  1. 59th St to 110th St, (between Fifth and Eighth Aves)
More info

Attractions in Central Park

  1. Midpark, enter at 79th St
More info
  1. midpark, (at 72nd St)
More info

Central Park Zoo

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Southeast corner of Central Park,, (enter at Fifth Ave at 64th St)
More info
  1. enter at E 110th St and Fifth Ave
More info
  1. west side, (at 79th St)
More info

Victorian Gardens

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. Wollman Rink, Central Park, (enter from 59th St at Sixth Ave)
More info

Trump Wollman Rink

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. Central Park, (enter at W 59th St at Sixth Ave), 10065
More info

Best playgrounds in Central Park

  1. Central Park, East Side, (at 85th St)
More info
  1. Central Park, East Side, (at 72nd St)
More info
  1. Central Park, east side, (at 67th St)
More info
  1. Seventh Ave, (at Central Park South)
More info


Address
59th St to 110th St
Central Park
New York

Cross street
between Fifth and Eighth Aves

Phone
212-310-6600

Website
centralparknyc.org

Transportation
Subway: A, B, C, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle; N, Q, R to 5th Ave; B, C to 72nd St, 81st St–Museum of Natural History, 86th St, 96th St, 103rd St, 110th St; 2, 3 to 110th St.

How to get to Central Park

Other NYC parks

Prospect Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Prospect Park West to Flatbush Ave, (between Prospect Park Southwest and Ocean Ave)
More info
  1. Broadway, (at 242nd St)
More info

The High Line

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Washington St, (at Gansevoort St)
More info

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. 111th St to Van Wyck Expwy, (between Flushing Bay and Grand Central Pkwy)
More info


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