We’ve seen it so often ever since we were kids in the movies and all over TV. It’s become one of the most recognizable symbols of New York city and is naturally a place you just can’t miss if you are in New York City.  Covering 843 acres it deserves a whole day of exploration  just for itself.

Here are 7 ideas how to make a day in the park one of the best experiences in NYC:

Have a photo walk

Even if you aren’t professional, exploring the biggest green space in New York City with a camera in hand will make for a more exciting experience than just walking around. There aren’t many viewpoints from where you can see the famous NYC skyline peeking behind lush greenery.  That is definitely something you would want to take a picture of. Since the park is one of the favourite places of locals and tourist alike to hang out, you are sure to come across some interesting situations and people that you wouldn’t want to miss to capture, especially if you are into street photography.

Visit the Zoo

Estimated to be visited by more than a million people every year, the zoo is among the most interesting places to see in Central Park. Here you can see a lot of exotic animals like snow monkeys, snow leopards and tamarins. Do not forget to also stop by the sea lion pool to admire those curious sea creatures. If you feel like giving some love to the animals, you can go to the children section where you will find many farmyard animals to pet and feed. Just be careful and follow the instructions and restrictions about that.


Visit Belvedere Castle

Literally translated from Italian “belvedere” means “beautiful view” and that is exactly what you get from the castle – the best views over the park. It also houses the official Central Park weather station. Don’t be surprised if you feel this place kind of familiar since it’s been featured in many movies like the Sesame Street where it was the place which Count von Count lived in or The Smurfs – where it was the hiding place of the evil wizard Gargamel.

Explore the Lake by boat

One of the best ways to spend an afternoon at the park while still including some activity is to rent a boat and row around the second biggest body of water in the park. Check out the historic boat landings that were originally built in 1860s and were recently reconstructed to make the experience feel even more scenic. If you feel like just chilling instead or rowing, you can opt for a gondola ride as well.

Have a picnic on Sheep Meadow

As the name suggests, this 15-acre green space was once used as a pasture for sheep until the 1930s.

It has also been the a gathering place for many protests and demonstrations throughout history, as well as significant festivals and concerts. Nowadays it is favorite place for locals for chilling, playing some sports or having a picnic with friends.

Admire the beautiful tiles of Bethesda Terrace

Created in the 1960s it is one of the park’s most beautiful architecture features.

What deserves special attention is the ceiling made up of almost 16 000 tiles. Their beautiful patterns were handmade by the famous English Minton and Company. Those kind of tiles are normally used for covering the floor so their use as a ceiling here is very curious to see. The way they reflect the light makes this passageway one of the most aesthetic ones you will ever see.


Visit an open-air performance

If you are lucky to be visiting during the summer, then you are in for a treat since you have the chance to enjoy one of the many open air performances happening in the park. You can see a live band playing at Summer Stage or enjoy a play at Rumsey Playfield – “Shakespeare in the park” is a series of annual events that are definitely worth visiting if you happen to be there at the right time.