7 Fun Activities To Do in Central Park

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Central Park is one of the most attractive and fun spots in New York City, thanks to the 843 acres of green space it provides. You wouldn’t believe there is a park of this size right in the middle of such an active and congested city, right next to enormous 60-story skyscrapers.

You definitely won’t believe how enveloped you feel in nature as soon as you step foot in Central Park with all its infinite possibilities for activities. While there are seemingly unlimited things to do in Central Park, we’ve picked out a few fun activities to do in Central Park to share with you.

central park aerial shot - activities to do in central park

You can enjoy the grassy areas for a picnic, wander around discovering all the statues, monuments, and buildings that are strewn around the park, or go on a tour via bike or horse carriage. Central Park can be an active, exciting, and even romantic place to spend time.

» Spending time in New York City? Check out our essential city guide and see the top 25 touristy things to do, where to stay in the city, a perfect 4-day itinerary, plus fun activities in Central Park.

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7 Activities to Do in Central Park

1. Central Park PediCab Tour

central park pedicab

While a carriage ride in Central Park is often depicted as a romantic activity you do with your love, who might pull out a ring and propose on the ride, it’s not one that we would recommend due to the treatment of the animals.

Instead, why not go on a pedicab tour. A pedicab is a carriage pulled by a bike rider. There are dozens of Pedicab Tours available that will take you through Central Park in 1 hour or more.

See the park’s famous bridges, fountains, and statues and ride past popular movie scenes, all with a fun and informative driver/guide.

Reserve your Pedicab tour here: Guided Central Park Pedicab Tour

2. Go On a Bike Ride or Tour

Biking through Central Park is a fun activity for the whole family
Biking through Central Park is a fun activity for the whole family (Photo by Savored Journeys)

You’ll notice right away that Central Park is mostly a pedestrian and bike-friendly zone. There are places where cars can drive, but traffic is very regulated in the park, so it’s safe for a runner or biker to get around without having to dodge cars. You can rent bikes for the whole family at Central Park Sightseeing.

They check and maintain their bikes rigorously so you won’t have any problems on the road, and helmets are included in the rental. They will supply you with a map of things to see in the park and send you off on your way to explore. Or you can take a guided tour and the guide will show you all around to the top sights. The guided tour lasts about 2 hours.

3. Discover the Statues, Monuments & Buildings of Central Park (Walking Tour)

Alice in Wonderland statue

Taking a stroll around the park will allow you to stop off at all of the things you see along the way, including numerous statues, monuments, and buildings. You can do this at your own pace with a map, or you can take a guided walking tour with Central Park Sightseeing.

Unless you look at a map of the park and look intently for these landmarks, you might not even know they’re hidden in there. But there are actually dozens of statues and such in the park. Some of the most popular are listed below. See this link for more.

Statues & Artwork

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Balto
  • Group of Bears
  • Bethesda Fountain
  • Honey Bear & Dancing Goat
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • The Rowers

Buildings & Monuments

  • Friedsam Memorial Carousel
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Dana Discovery Center
  • Lasker Rink
  • Conservatory Garden
  • Bethesda Terrace

4. Central Park Zoo

A snow leopard at the Central Park Zoo
A snow leopard at the Central Park Zoo (Photo via Flickr User kowarski)

No matter how you choose to see Central Park (by carriage, by bike, or by foot) you’ll likely pass by the Central Park Zoo. The zoo covers 6.5 acres of the park and holds over 130 species. It’s not a huge zoo, but it’s a great activity for an hour or so to see the snow leopards and penguins.

Try to go during off-peak times though or you’ll be competing for space with dozens of strollers. You do need to buy a timed ticket in advance. You can get them online here.

5. Row Boat Rentals

row boats in central park

One of my favorite sunny day activities in Central Park is to rent a row boat at The Loeb Boathouse. It’s an iconic activity when visiting the park, especially for a special occasion. It might feel touristy, but believe me it’s something you’ll never forget.

Boats are available for rent from April to November for $25 per hour, with $5 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 deposit (cash only). Each boat holds up to 4 people.

You can row as far as you like within your time frame. The lake is bigger than you might think it is! After you’re done, you can enjoy brunch or lunch at the Boathouse.

6. Central Park Urban Adventure Quest

Beautiful central park in fall
Beautiful Central Park in fall

If you like Amazing Race style races with clues, this Urban Adventure Quest is something you’ll love. It’s a great way to see a large swath of the park while having a really great time answering questions and completing challenges.

There are two unique adventures in Central Park, each costing $49 for a team of up to 4.

  • Lower Central Park– Starts at Columbus Circle and takes you to Wollman Ice Rink, Central Park Zoo, The Mall, Bethesda Fountain and Shakespeare Garden 
  • Mid Central Park– Starts at the Dakota and takes you to Strawberry Fields, the American Museum of Natural History, Delacorte Theater, The Reservoir and The Met

There’s no set time or date for this activity, but it does take about 3 hours to complete, so you want to make sure you have enough time. All you need to participate is a smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device with access to the internet.

7. Central Park Ice Skating

ice skating in central park

During the winter, there’s nothing more fun than ice skating in Central Park. There are two main ice-skating rinks in Central Park, Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink. You can rent skates and lockers for your things at both rinks.

For the Wollman Rink, enter the Park at 59th Street and 6th Avenue, or 59th Street and 5th Avenue. It’s open from 10 am to 2:30 pm at the beginning of the week and until 10 am to 9 pm from Thursday to Sunday. It costs $15 for adults and $10 for kids.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is picnicking allowed in Central Park?

Yes, picnicking is allowed in designated areas of Central Park. Visitors can bring their own food and beverages or purchase them from nearby vendors. Popular picnic spots include Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn.

What activities are available for families with children in Central Park?

Families with children can enjoy various activities in Central Park, including visiting playgrounds, taking carousel rides, exploring the Central Park Zoo, and participating in family-friendly events and programs offered by the park.

Are there any special events or performances held in Central Park?

Yes, Central Park hosts a variety of special events and performances throughout the year, including concerts, theatrical productions, festivals, and holiday celebrations. These events often take place in iconic locations like the Delacorte Theater and Rumsey Playfield.

Can I bring my pet to Central Park?

Yes, pets are allowed in Central Park but must be kept on a leash at all times. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pets. There are designated areas within the park where dogs can be off-leash during specified hours.

CONCLUSION

Central Park should definitely be included on your itinerary. It’s a great place to get away from the crowds and activity of the city where you can unwind and have a great time with these suggested activities in Central Park.

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7 Fun Activities To Do in Central Park

2 thoughts on “7 Fun Activities To Do in Central Park

  1. Caroline McDonald says:

    I looked at this because I was working on a travel brochure for summer school. This really helped and got me most of the information I needed for Central Park. I’m now also very excited to go to New York if I ever get the chance.

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