If you want a family friendly place to spend the day in New York City, head to Central Park. It has the distinction of being the most visited urban park in the entire country, and it’s also filled with a wealth of amenities and attractions. Here are five of the top family activities that you can enjoy in Central Park.
Central Park Carousel
Kids and adults alike flock to this gorgeous carousel that’s one of the most popular attractions in Central Park. It’s open seasonally from April through November and it looks magnificent — picture a classic merry-go-round complete with vivid colors and organ music. When it’s open, the Central Park Carousel has vendor carts positioned near it that sell sweets, snacks, and treats.
Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 and it’s an impressive sight. In addition to its observation deck and exhibit rooms, it serves as Central Park’s official weather station. One of the most interesting exhibits at Belvedere Castle is Woods and Water, an entertaining and educational display aimed at children that details the plants and animals found in Central Park.
When summer hits and it’s time to cool off, families in Central Park often go to Lasker Pool. Not only is admission free, but the pool is huge and has plenty of room to share for all visitors. A wading pool is attached, and NYC Parks offers free swimming lessons in the summer for guests of all ages.
Tisch Children’s Zoo
Central Park has its own zoo, and within it is the wonderful Tisch Children’s Zoo. If you don’t have time to tour the entirety of Central Park Zoo, you have babies or toddlers, or you want exhibits that are geared towards capturing the interest of little ones, Tisch Children’s Zoo is definitely worth checking out. In addition to habitats featuring frogs, birds, and turtles, you’ll find a fun petting zoo, the Enchanted Forest exhibit, and the Acorn Theater.
The Marionette Theatre
During the school season and summer, Central Park’s Marionette Theatre puts on lively shows for kids and families. The productions are typically based on classic children’s tales and are acted out by whimsical puppets in the park’s Swedish Cottage.
Central Park has 778 acres to explore, and these are just a few of the things to see and do there. Visit Central Park with your family to discover the other gems that it has to offer.
David Milberg is a financial analyst from New York City.