How to Get the Most Out of Central Park All Year Round

things-to-do Jan 29, 2021

Central Park can be super fun in any season. It provides excellent activities of every time of the year - biking in spring, theater and music in summer, boating in fall, and skating in winter.

Spring

Starting off with springtime, we’re going to look at activities and sightseeing destinations all across the park. See live music or theater, learn something new on a walking tour, or change up your fitness routine with a run through the Park. No matter what interests you, there’s something for everyone in the Park this season.

Walks for families are very popular among younger and middle-aged families. Often scheduled for April, May, and June, these tours through Conservatory Garden include admiring the thousands of flowers through hands-on exploration and guided tours, complete with a free Discovery Journal — an activity book that teaches kids about plants and wildlife in the Park.

Springtime also makes Central Park a great locale to enjoy arts and theater. There are new shows throughout the spring for visitors of all ages. Kids will love the historic Swedish Cottage, originally built in 1876 and now home to the oldest marionette theater troupe in the country!

swedish cottage

Last but not least, you can embark on a guided walk that showcases Central Park’s famous collection of cherry trees surrounding the Reservoir.

Summer

The hottest season in an urban jungle such as NYC can be brutal – just ask any of the locals. They’ll tell you that one of the best ways of beating the heat is by heading into The Park.

If you’re a fan of fishing, you can indulge in a leisurely day of fishing in the middle of one of the world’s busiest metropolises. Head to Harlem Meer at 110th Street and, if you don’t have your own, pick up a pole and some bait at the Charles A Dana Discovery Center. While fishing is strictly catch-and-release, you’ll have a good chance of snagging something on your line!

The Lake in Central Park is perhaps its prettiest body of water and offers a unique means of seeing the park – via rowboat. Head to the Loeb Boathouse to rent one of its fleet of 100 boats, which seat up to four people.

Lastly, for any fans of the more refined arts, from June until mid-August, you can catch some of the Bard’s best work being performed at the Shakespeare in the Park, often with a famous face or two in the lead roles (Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken have all performed over the years).

Fall

It’s often been said that Central Park is best seen during autumn - fall is a feast for the eyes and a photographer’s delight.

Starting on the south side at Central Park South between 5th & 6th Avenues, the area known as the Pond becomes a kaleidoscope of colors which makes it a top spot for local New Yorkers and tourists alike.

Heading north, up to the Bethesda Terrace. Looking out over the Bethesda Fountain, you can take in the view of the Lake and the trees that border the area. The reflection of the changing trees in the water is breathtaking.

bethesda terrace
Bethesda terrace

Central Park is one big photography studio and a perfect background in all seasons, but what makes the fall so special is the constantly changing palette of colors that offers so many unique opportunities to capture amazing images of Central Park.

Winter

Don’t let the cold keep you from Central Park this winter! With fun, year-round destinations like the Carousel and the Swedish Cottage — and snowy activities like sledding and ice-skating — there is so much to see and do this season.

Visitors can cross country ski or snowshoe through Central Park’s wide-open meadows or along the bridle path, which we leave snow-covered in the winter to protect its soft surface.

the carousel
The carousel

Take in the surrounding views while you skate in one of the Park’s ice rinks: Wollman Rink or Lasker Rink. Both offer skate and locker rentals.

Grab your sled and enjoy fresh snow on the slopes of Central Park! Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill, two popular sledding destinations in the Park, are open for sledding when there is at least six inches of snow cover on the ground and conditions permit.

In the 1860s, six boat landings were constructed along the shoreline of the Lake and they mark the perfect spot to relax and take in the winter scenery. Designed to complement the surrounding scenery, the small structures served as scenic lookouts and docks for recreational boaters.

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