You can finally float a miniature boat in Central Park again!

The beloved tradition went on hiatus back in 2019.

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto
Staff Writer
Toy boat in the pond at Central Park Model Boat Sailing in Central Park in New York,USA
Photograph: By Ben Bryant / Courtesy of Shutterstock

If it seems like forever ago since you last noticed miniature boats floating over Central Park's Conservatory Water pond, that's because the tiny crafts have not graced the body of water in five years. 

But now, for the first time after the pandemic, New Yorkers can once again sail the iconic remote-controlled vessels at the park: model boat sailing is officially back!

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Rocking the Boat, a non-profit based in the Bronx that teaches teenagers how to build life-size boats for sailing on Long Island Sound, is behind the relaunch of the beloved activity, reports the New York Times

According to Central Park's own website, model boating is a tradition that is just as central to the character of the city as the park itself, with towns across the world also partaking in the pastime, including at Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. 

A word on Conservatory Water, the pond where the boats float in: first made famous by E.B. White in his beloved 1945 children's novel Stuart Little, which was adapted to a movie in 1999, the area is named after a large greenhouse of glass and metal that the city had planned to build but never finished. Originally, the pond was meant to reflect the greenhouse. Now, the body of water is known for turning into an ice skating rink during the winter, when the water freezes all the way through, and for its model boat racing, which attracts children from all over the city, during warmer months.

You can rent the model boats, which are built by members of Rocking the Boat, for $15 for a 30-minute session. If you decide to bring your own miniature boat, you'll need to secure a $15 permit from the city's parks department. 

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