(Credit: Central Park website)

(Credit: Central Park website)

With 843 acres of greenery, Central Park is an oasis from the concrete and skyscrapers. According to the Central Park Conservancy, the park stretches over 51 streets and five avenues and visited by 42 million people a year. Here are some of the best things to do in and around the iconic park. By John Friia

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Central Park - File Photo

(Credit: John Friia)

Central Park

More: Overlooked Central Park

TO EXPLORE: New Yorkers can experience the tranquility and quietness of Central Park through their various trails and activity centers. Besides visiting the Central Park Zoo and Belvedere Castle, people can head to the northern end of the park and visit the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, which offers a wide variety of free educational community programs. Further downtown, people can visit the Central Park Police Precinct, which is the oldest precinct in the city. Covering the entire 843 acres of the park, the precinct is houses in a horse stable from 1871. During the winter months, New Yorkers can grab their sled after a snowstorm and head to Pilgrim Hill or Cedar Hill. These popular destinations for sledding are opened when there is at least six inches of snow.

Wollman Rink - File

(Credit: John Friia)

Wollman Rink

830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065

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TO PLAY: A visit to Central Park is not complete without skating at Wollman Rink. It’s a winter tradition to skate at the beloved rink with quintessential views of the skyline. The 33,000-sqare-foot venue originally opened in 1950 and has been the backdrop for plenty of movies and TV shows. People can avoid the long lines with VIP reservations, which gives access to the ice faster and reserved table seating at their heated tent.

Exploring Central Park - Frick

(Credit: The Frick Collection)

The Frick Collection

1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021

TO LEARN: Located just steps from Central Park, The Frick Collection showcases distinguished paintings and European sculptures that were assembled and displayed in the former house of Henry Clay Frick. People can gaze at the artwork of well-known artists, including Rembrandt, Vermeer and Goya, while standing inside one of the few remaining Gilded Age mansions on Fifth Avenue. Throughout the year, the museum rotates exhibits that feature European artwork.

Exploring Central Park - 1 Hote

(Credit: 1 Hotel Central Park)

1 Hotel Central Park

1414 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

TO STAY: Exuding a warm and earthy atmosphere, 1 Hotel Central Park invites guests to a unique stay that feels like an extension of the beloved park. From the wood and oak aroma to the 24,000 plants throughout the hotel, people will fill transported from the hustle and bustle of Sixth Avenue to a retreat in the forest. Guests will be welcomed to rooms decorated with reused farm wood, antique bricks, a Napa-style walk-in marble shower, and a window-nook daybed that extends out over the city.

Turnstyle at Columbus Circle

(Credit: John Friia)


1000 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

More: Exploring TurnStyle

TO EAT: Whether people are getting ready for a day of exploring or need to refuel after walking through the park, people can head to TurnStyle at the southern end of the park. The subterranean two-block long passageway is located under Columbus Circle and stretches to 57th Street. With 38 local and national businesses, including 20 eateries, there is something that will satisfy anyone’s appetite.

John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.