10 Things to Do With Your Kids In Central Park This Summer
Since 1859 Central Park has been an essential pastime for New Yorkers and visiting tourists. Paris has Bois de Boulogne, and we have Central Park- located in the heart of the city, constantly bustling with life.
Once you become a parent, you start to see parks differently. For New Yorkers’ these nature nooks are a considerable part of our lives; regardless of the season, kids want to get out and explore. Thankfully, Central Park is oozing with activities and gorgeous spots catering to families. There are 21 playgrounds (yes, 21!), four zoos, one aquarium, and more. But what can you do now with the kids in these last summer days?
Here are 10 sites and activities to explore with your children in Central Park this summer.
Central Park Zoo 64th Street and Fifth Avenue
The Central Park Zoo is a wonder that should not be missed. Favorite attractions include the sea lions and polar bears. The Central Park Zoo is also home to the Tisch Children’s Zoo which includes animal feeding areas, a spider web net, and adorable photo ops. Pre-booking entry tickets online will help you save time and avoid long lines. The hours are 10:00am – 4:30pm. The adult admission fee is $16 and the child admission fee is $12.
Delacorte Musical Clock East Side at 64th
This beloved clock is located near the children’s zoo. Every half an hour between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, two bronze monkeys hammer on a bell at the top of the clock. Below, five bronze statues of different animals playing instruments rotate and turn on their axis, while a seasonal selection of music plays.
Carousel Mid-Park at 65th Street
While exploring the park make sure to check out one of the nation’s biggest carousels, hop on and ride one the 57 hand-carved wooden horses any day of the week for only $3 per person.
Boating Central Park Lake
The boat rentals on the Central Park Lake are a perfect to enjoy nature while taking in an incredible view of the New York City skyline. The row boats are $20 per hour, and are open April to November, from 10am until dusk. You can also take a classic Venetian Gondola tour with expert gondoliers for $50 per half hour. This tour is open from May to November, 10am until dusk.
You can find slides, swings, sandboxes, climbing structures and more at the 21 playgrounds throughout Central Park. Each playground is filled with adventures children will love. The oldest playground, Heckscher Playground, located at 7th Avenue and Central Park South, is also the largest, at nearly three acres. In addition to the typical park attractions, it is famed for its kickball games, which are popular during the summertime. Some other popular Central Park’s playgrounds are the Safari Playground, Mariners’ Playground and Ancient Playground. Renovated in 2013, the most popular playground in Central Park’s north end is the East 110th Street Playground.
The Alice In Wonderland statue is a large bronze sculpture, featuring Alice herself with other characters of the famous childhood tale: The Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Dormouse and the White Rabbit. This sculpture was donated by the philanthropist and publisher George Delacorte as a memorial for his recently deceased wife. Alice’s in Wonderland was her favorite children’s book. Children love taking pictures with the enchanting characters!
Bike rides are a great way to tour the park as a family. Get to know many attractions like Belvedere Castle, Alice in Wonderland, Strawberry Fields and many others. It’s a great way to exercise while exploring. There are a number of bike rental companies around Central Park, so you can find the option that works best for your family.
While a bit more pricey than the bike rentals this is a great way to tour the Central Park grounds. The Horse and Carriage is rich in tradition, and provides a regal experience like no other.
StorytellingEast Side at 74th Street
Bring your little readers for story time in the park! Every Saturday from June to September at 11 AM at the Hans Christian Andersen statue, children can be treated to readings of Andersen’s beloved tales, such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl and The Ugly Duckling. A full list of events can be found on the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center’s website.
Discoasis 59th Street and 6th Avenue, or 59th Street and 5th Avenue
The Discoasis is a new addition to the list of summer attractions in Central Park this year. The Discoasis is a large roller rink filled with music, art, and theatrical performances. Get ready for a funky roller disco experience with a 70’s feel. The rink is open to families 10 a to 4:30pm and while there is evening skating -day may be the more child friendly.