Central Park is one of the most renowned public parks in the world and it is an icon of New York City. The first landscaped park in the United States, Central Park was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. It required over 20,000 workers to complete and was opened to the public in 1857.
Since its opening, Central Park has grown to include 840 acres of land and welcomes approximately 37 million visitors each year! Therefore, it is the most visited urban park in America and one of the most visited public parks in the world! In 1962 Central Park was awarded the status of “National Historical Landmark” by the U.S. government.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Central Park! Fountains, lakes, zoos and playgrounds are just a few of the things that the location offers visitors. Below is the final installment in a four part list series that documents some of the most famous sites to see when in Central Park.
Central Park is popular with people because it offers many opportunities to have fun. Throughout the spring and summer there is a group called the “Dance Skaters Association” that sets up a makeshift roller rink and invites the public to join in and skate along to music. Some of the Dance Skaters Association members are professional skaters who can do fast moves and fancy tricks to amuse crowds so, even if you don’t skate, it’s a great place to be entertained.
During the winter Central Park is still bustling with people, mostly because of Wollman Rink. Since 1949, Wollman Rink has made it possible for the public to enjoy the experience of ice skating in the city’s most famous park. Wollman Rink is dedicated to a philanthropist named Kate Wollman who donated $600,000 for its construction. At present, the Wollman Rink lets anyone rents skates and go on the ice for a small fee. This 33,000 square foot ice rink has been featured in many films and television shows and is used by tens of thousands of people every year!
Sports Fields, Pitches, and Courts
Central Park is also a wonderful place for little children and people who enjoy playing sports and getting exercise. Overall, the park has a total of 21 playgrounds and 24 different ball fields. Basketball courts and bocce courts can also be found on the grounds of Central Park.
The Central Park Carousel is another must-see attraction. The current 57-horse carousel is actually the fourth one in the park’s history. However, all the carousels have been located in the same area since the initial one was introduced to the park in 1871. The present carousel was made in Brooklyn in 1908 and it originally stood in the Coney Island trolley terminal. It was moved to Central Park in 1951 where it remains. It is currently considered to be one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the United States and accommodates approximately 250,000 riders every year!
Last but not least, the quality of people-watching in Central Park is par-none. It is very enjoyable to go to the park and simply take in the sights and sounds, including watching the actions (and fashions) of other park goers.