About 40 million people each year visit the 843 acres of manmade natural wonder known as Central Park in New York. It’s no secret that part of the magic of enjoying this beautiful urban wonderland is strolling along some of the 58 miles of pedestrian walkways, people watching from one of the park’s 9000 inscription-bearing benches, and seeing to the animals at the Central Park Zoo.
What if you’re bored of the usual or you’re visiting the Big Apple and can’t stand the thought of being just like every other tourist? Check out one of these slightly out of the ordinary activities and sights being harbored by the park:
- Venture up to the North Woods to enjoy the park’s several manmade waterfalls. The waterfalls are located at the Ravine, which was designed to look like New York’s Adirondacks. Interestingly enough, the waterfalls in Central Park, NYC are sourced with their H2O from New York City’s drinking water supply. It’s certainly BYOC (bring your own cup).
- Take in a puppet show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, situated on the west side of the park near 79th. Open-air entertainment smack in the middle of New York City – who’d have thunk it?
- Get your chess on – have a nerdy (in a good way) streak that just can’t be quenched? Head over to the Chess and Checkers House off 64th street, nestled mid-park in a shady pergola. You don’t even have to bring your own playing pieces, the staff’s got you covered – courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy.
- If you take a journey up to Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at Harlem Meer (110th and Fifth Avenue) during mid-April to mid-October, you can borrow fishing equipment for a little catch-and-release action.
- Go bird-watching – Central Park in New York is one of the top birding sites in the United States, home to over 275 species. You knew those binoculars would come in handy someday.
- Enhance your bird-watching experience by doing it from Belvedere Castle – a grand, albeit miniature, structure built in 1869 by Calvert Vaux, one of the park’s designers. Enjoy the premium view of the Ramble, the Great Lawn, and the New York cityscape. On a trivia note, those weather updates on TV and radio that go something like “the temperature in Central Park is…” are based at Belvedere Castle. Since 1919 the National Weather Service has used this charming little architectural delight as its gauge for CP weather.
No matter where you start in Central Park New York or where you end up, remember that you can always figure out where you are, due to the clever addition of numbers to each lamppost. The first two digits indicate the street you’re near, and the last two digits tell you whether you’re on the east side or the west (west is odds, east is evens). Now that you know, you’ll never get lost!