In this post, you can find the coolest things to do in Central Park, read them all, and don’t miss a single minute of your trip!
Well, let’s get started! Do you feel excited? We totally understand because it’s normal! Seeing New York for the first time is an incredible experience! We’ve all been through it.
Things you should know about before you go to Central Park
Gustave Flaubert’s said, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. This quote is perfect to describe a travel experience in NYC!
Very high skyscrapers, large overcrowded streets, thousands of cars, noise, chattering, that’s what you’ll notice at first glance in the Big Apple.
But beyond that, New York City also has more secluded and quiet corners, where all those who need a moment of peace can take refuge.
One of those places is definitely Central Park, the most popular green attraction in the city, which covers 843 acres (3.41 km2), and it’s located in Uptown, between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side neighborhoods.
Just quoting Flaubert, it’s not difficult to feel small in such a big and rich park, that’s why we suggest you plan your tour well.
Things to do before entering Central Park: store your bags
First of all, we recommend you store your bags in a safe and tidy place.
Even if you only have a backpack with you, walking with a weight on your back could be harmful.
And since time flies in NYC, you’re probably wondering if there’s a quick service to get you out of your bags. The answer is yes, it exists and is also handy! You can book it through the Radical Storage app or the official website, and dump your burden in one of our luggage storage places near Central Park.
Once free, you’ll be able to explore Central Park to the fullest and, most importantly, hands-free!
We have several partners to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice! Moreover, you can benefit from a quick check-in of your suitcases and an immediate pick-up procedure.
There are many reasons, and we want to show you the main ones.
- Radical Storage is 100% trustworthy as it relies on public companies.
- It has an affordable price: $4.90 per day and per bag.
- Safety guarantee applied on each item.
- There are no additional costs.
- No queues and no need to wait to drop off and pick up your bags.
- 24/7 customer service.
Okay, now that you’ve reserved your Radical luggage storage, you can start your breathtaking tour through Central Park!
The coolest things to do in Central Park
It was challenging to select the coolest things to do in Central Park, but we tried, and we hope you’ll like them!
1. Warm-up your camera for Belvedere Castle
Recently upgraded, Belvedere Castle and its terraces are the perfect spots to take beautiful views (as the name Belvedere means) and to enjoy sunny days in the city. It was first designed in 1869 and today attracts almost a million people a year.
New Yorkers regard it as one of the most important aspects of the entire park because it fully reflects the purpose of Central Park, which is to create an oasis from the density of the city.
Address: New York, NY 10024, United States.
2. Get your picnic blanket ready in Sheep Meadow
Sheep Meadow is a 15-acre field used for relaxing picnics, sunbathing, and kite flying located on the west side of Central Park.
Its history is quite long and tumultuous. It was used for demonstrations and political movement even if upon the creation, its purpose was to serve as a parade ground for military drills. This idea, however, was quickly abandoned and, in 1864, on its grass were placed 200 sheep housed in a nearby building.
In the sixties and seventies, this field was the scene of protests, demonstrations, and hippie concerts.
Address: 1802 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065, United States
3. Strawberry Fields Memorial
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth (who died five years earlier), landscape architect Bruce Kelly conceived this 10,000 m2 area in Central Park.
Strawberry Fields Memorial is named after the Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever, written by Lennon himself.
The memorial’s entrance is situated at West 72nd Street, right by where the former Beatles was murdered outside his home.
Address: W 72nd St, New York, NY 10019, United States.
4. Behold Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
Bethesda Terrace is a two-level structure that overlooks the southern shore of Central Park’s Lake. Rising from it is Bethesda Fountain, one of the biggest fountains in NYC, measuring 26 feet high by 96 feet wide.
The fountain has a neoclassical sculpture atop, also known as Angel of the Waters, features a bronze angel statue that stands above four cherubs, symbolizing peace, health, temperance, and purity.
This area of Central Park has been the setting for a myriad of famous movies!
Address: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021, United States.
5. Don’t forget to drop by Central Park Zoo
One of the most popular questions among internet users is: “Is the zoo in Central free?” Unfortunately, you have to pay an admission fee (The last tickets are sold 30 minutes before close time).
The zoo is located a few yards from 5th Ave and houses more than 130 different species, ranging from penguins to wonderful snow leopards. Moreover, zoo collection also has lemurs and many varieties of birds.
This is the ideal spot for families and group of friends!
Address: East 64th Street, New York, NY 10021, United States.
If you’re in New York City alone, we recommend you read our article about solo experiences. You’ll find useful tips and bizarre places few people know about.
Get more information about Central Park here.
- Things to do alone in NYC only a few people know about
- Things to do alone in London: guide for all tastes & budgets
FAQ about Central Park – Here’s what visitors use to ask
How long will it take to visit Central Park?
It normally takes about 2 hours. You can book a walking tour or get a paper guide to explore it yourself.
What are the attractions in Central Park not to be missed?
Among the coolest things to do in Central Park:
- Central Park Carousel.
- Belvedere Castle.
- Strawberry Fields.
- Central Park Zoo.
- Bethesda Fountain and Terrace.
Can I rent a bike in the park?
Yes, bikes are available for rental through BikeRent NYC.
What are the opening hours of the park?
The Park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 1:00 am.
Can you park inside Central Park?
Unfortunately, you can’t park inside Central Park, however, you’ll find several parking lots in the surrounding areas.
Is drinking allowed in Central Park?
No, drinking alcohol in public places is prohibited.
Is Central Park Zoo free?
- Adult (13 & over): $13.95.
- Senior (65 & over): $10.95.
- Child (3 – 12): $8.95.
- Child (2 & under: free.
What is the most dangerous part of Central Park?
Central Park is a very safe area of New York City. However, we do not recommend walking in the park alone at night.
Are there quiet areas in the park where I can rest?
Yes, there are areas in Central Park where it’s forbidden to play and make noise. They include Strawberry Fields, Sheep Meadow, and Turtle Pond.