22 Feb 10 Fun Things to Do in Central Park with Kids
New York City is home to one of the most iconic parks in the world: Central Park. Kids and families can spend a whole day exploring the park’s 843 acres and enjoying the many activities it has to offer. Whether you’re visiting the park for the first time or you’re a New York City native, this post will provide you with 10 fun things to do in Central Park with your kids and family.
1) Go for a Bike Ride
Central Park is one of the best family fun things to do in NYC, and biking is a great way to explore the 843-acre park. You can rent bikes at various locations throughout the park, or you can bring your own. The paths are mostly flat, making it a great place for beginner cyclists to practice. Depending on how much time you have, there are several great routes you can take. The 6-mile loop around the park is great for getting a comprehensive look at all that Central Park has to offer. Or, if you’d like a shorter ride, try the Reservoir Loop for a 2.5-mile ride. For a longer ride, try the Lower Loop and the Harlem Hill route, which takes you up to the northern tip of the park for incredible views of the city. No matter what route you take, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife and beautiful landscaping along the way!
2) Have a Picnic
Nothing says family fun quite like a picnic in Central Park no matter what time of the year. This iconic spot is the perfect place to spread out a blanket and have a snack or a meal with your family. Whether you pack your own lunch or pick up something on the way, there’s nothing quite like sitting outside and enjoying some quality time together. With plenty of spots to choose from, you can find the perfect location for your family picnic, ranging from small secluded areas to large sprawling lawns. The South End of the park is especially popular for picnics and offers plenty of benches, tables, and trees to lounge under. Whatever you decide to do, Central Park provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon of family fun!
3) Play Frisbee or Catch
For a classic family fun activity, grab a frisbee and head to Central Park. There are plenty of wide open grassy areas perfect for playing catch or throwing a frisbee around. The Great Lawn, Sheep Meadow, and East Meadow are all great spots to find some room to play. If you don’t have your own frisbee, you can pick one up at the Central Park Boathouse or the Central Park Zoo. Just make sure to obey the park rules and always clean up after yourself.
4) Visit the Zoo
One of the best family fun things to do in Central Park is to visit the Central Park Zoo. This small but delightful zoo has been entertaining visitors since the mid-1800s and features animals from all around the world. The highlights of the Central Park Zoo include sea lions, polar bears, monkeys, snow leopards, red pandas, and a pair of giant tortoises. You can get up close and personal with some of the animals at their petting zoo or watch them being fed in the Penguin House. The Zoo also has a 4D Theater and a seasonal Butterfly Garden for extra entertainment. The Central Park Zoo offers an excellent opportunity for families to explore nature together in an urban environment.
5) Take a Pedicab
If you’re looking for a unique family fun thing to do in Central Park, consider taking a pedicab ride. Pedicabs are bike-powered rickshaws that can transport you and your family around the park. The pedicab drivers are knowledgeable about the park’s sights, so it’s a great way to learn more about Central Park while having some fun. They can take you to all of the main attractions, like Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields, and the Bethesda Fountain.
Depending on the number of people in your party, you can rent a single or double pedicab. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the sights of Central Park with your family.
6) Go Boating
One of the most family-friendly fun things to do in Central Park is to go boating. Boats can be rented from Loeb Boathouse, located near East 72nd Street and Park Drive North. They offer rowboats, pedal boats, and electric boats that are perfect for exploring the lake. The boats can hold up to six people, so it’s a great activity for families to do together. Boats must be returned after an hour and rates start at $15 per hour.
7) See a Show at the Delacorte Theater
If you’re looking for family fun things to do in Central Park, check out the Delacorte Theater. Every summer, they host free Shakespeare in the Park performances. Enjoying a classic play outdoors with the beautiful Manhattan skyline in the background is a truly magical experience. This is a great way to introduce your kids to theatre, as well as learn more about classic literature. Plus, it’s completely free! Make sure you arrive early to get tickets; these shows are extremely popular and fill up quickly.
8) Visit the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is a perfect family-fun activity for a day in Central Park! The charming theater offers a variety of shows, from classic children’s stories to Broadway favorites. Your family will be captivated by the colorful puppets and fun storylines. After the show, take a photo with the characters to capture this special experience. The Swedish Marionette Theatre also hosts workshops, parties and classes for those who want to learn more about the art of puppetry. Bring your kids for a magical experience at the Swedish Marionette Theatre – it’s sure to be one of your favorite things to do in Central Park!
9) Explore Belvedere Castle
Belvedere Castle, located in the heart of Central Park, is a great place to bring the family for some fun things to do. This castle was built in 1869 and offers stunning views of the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, and the Ramble. Inside the castle, you can find the Henry Luce Nature Observatory which is a great spot to observe birds, insects, and plants.
Outside, you can explore the grounds with your family. The terrace on the north side of the castle provides spectacular views of the city skyline and offers an ideal spot for taking pictures. There’s also a path that winds through the gardens where you can admire flowers in bloom and check out the many sculptures scattered throughout the park.
At Belvedere Castle, you can also join one of their fun and educational programs designed for families. These events include nature hikes, storytelling, wildlife workshops, puppet shows, and more. So take some time to explore this iconic landmark while enjoying quality family time together.
10) Take a Hike
Central Park is an amazing place to explore on foot. With its natural landscape, winding paths and stunning views, a hike can be the perfect way to experience all that Central Park has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, there’s something for everyone. For families looking for family fun things to do, there are plenty of great trails suited for both young and old.
The Ravine is a great place to start, as it offers the perfect mix of easy terrain and natural beauty. It’s home to many species of wildlife, so it’s a great opportunity to teach kids about nature. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is another fantastic option, with its 2.5 mile loop offering stunning skyline views. And for a real challenge, the Summit Rock trail is definitely worth considering. It’s an uphill climb but once you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in Central Park. So no matter what your age or fitness level, there’s sure to be a trail that’s perfect for you. So grab your family, lace up your sneakers and get ready to explore Central Park on foot.
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