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Central Park New York's lung | NY Central Park Accommodation

Central Park

Central Park is a lot more than an oasis of gardens, groves and lakes amidst the jungle of concrete towers in midtown Manhattan. The park is a symbol of New York and an area where beside green spaces you can find popular attractions and landmarks, take your children to amusements and playgrounds, make use of sports facilities and even indulge in a bit of dining and souvenir shopping.


Central Park is a popular spot for practising a wide range of sports. The Park Drives and other pathways have designated lanes for joggers and cyclists. Throughout the park you can find basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, tennis and handball courts, while hundreds of water fountains throughout the park allow all visitors to freshen up after a tiring workout. Guided horse tours are available only to skilled riders. Anyone else can opt for a carriage ride which is a great way to amuse your children or impress a date.


The lakes and ponds in the North End of Central Park are also used for a variety of sports. Lasker Pool which is used for outdoor swimming in summer is transformed into a skating rink in winter, while the scenic Harlem Meer is a popular catch-and release fishing spot. You can even buy tackle at the local shop. The Reservoir in the heart of the park is the largest water basin in the whole of Manhattan, much loved by joggers who come here to run the pathway that encircles it, while the nearby Tennis Centre provides facilities for those who prefer team sports.  If you prefer leisurely activities, simply take a stroll through the elaborately landscaped Conservatory Garden filled with sculptures and exotic plants or climb up Great Hill to enjoy the vistas.


The Great Lawn in the mid-section of the park is a popular spot for leisurely activities like picnics and sunbathing. Here you will find a towering ancient Egyptian Obelisk (more than three millennia old) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As one of the finest and richest art museums in the world it will appeal to artists and connoisseurs alike. The museum halls display art works from schools, ages and cultures as diverse as Egyptian, Japanese, Greco-Roman, American and European, to name but a few.


The park has dozens of playgrounds equipped with toys and water sprays which children love on hot summers but the majority of child-friendly activities are concentrated in the South End. The model boat races at Conservatory Pond are particularly entertaining for older children who are welcome to take part. Your kids can pose for a picture with the sculptures of Andersen who is reading to the ugly duckling and Alice in Wonderland at the tea party or simply take a spin on the beautiful vintage carousel. At Central Park Zoo younger visitors can watch exotic species but the best part is petting the farm animals in the barnyard.


In the South End of the park you will come across Strawberry Fields, an area planted with strawberries in memory of John Lennon who lived nearby. Climb up to Belvedere castle and enjoy the views over Manhattan or escape the city hustle and bustle by exploring the Ramble, a grove so natural and secluded that you feel as if you are out in the wild. In fact the park is home to many wild but harmless animals. Numerous fish and turtles swim in the lakes, while during migration periods hundreds of bird species roost in the trees.


The park is dotted by vendors selling snacks and cafes offering simple menus to those who want to eat on the cheap, while several restaurants serve fine food, drinks and cocktails to the more discerning.


Numerous subway stops along Central Park West, aka 8th Avenue and on the northern and southern fringes of the park offer easy access. Several bus services run along and through the park.