Thursday, November 3, 2016

Our 5 favourite things to do in Central Park in the fall

 Central Park is amazing at all times of the year but right now with the hazy sunshine and explosions of colour on the trees it feels extra special during these fall (or autumn to us Brits) months.

The park isn’t just full of people on a break from shopping in the city or couples on romantic strolls; there is plenty to keep families entertained too. We were at a loose end this weekend and aware the temperatures could begin to drop any day now we headed for Central Park to enjoy the autumnal magic.

Below I’ve listed our five favourite highlights from the day, I hope you enjoy them too.  

1. The Carousel

Would you believe that even thought we’ve visited Central Park countless times, we’ve never ridden the carousel? Well what better day to fix that than on a beautiful fall afternoon!

A carousel has stood at this spot in Central Park since 1871. The original ride was powered by an actual live horse underneath it! Fires destroyed the subsequent two, and the current carousel was found abandoned in Coney Island in 1950 after it was originally built in 1908. You can ride on one of the 57 magnificent horses on this beautiful vintage carousel seven days a week (weather permitting) for only $3.

2. The Model Boats

Kerbs boathouse over at Conservatory Water is the famous place where Stuart Little the mouse from E.B. Whites story sailed his boat to victory in 1993.

Don’t worry if you don’t have your own sailboat you can rent one from the boathouse and take part in the fun. On Saturday mornings they even have races on the water.

We also love to grab a drink and a snack at the small café in the boathouse when the weather is kind as they have some nice outdoor seating, which is sheltered by the trees. It’s a beautiful Central Park location to watch not only the boats but also the world go by.

3. The street entertainers

Sometimes you’ve just got to stop and chase the bubbles! I’m not sure if the street performers in Central Park are licenced to be there or if they just turn up. I certainly feel like I see the same acts most times I visit and they are generally in the same area (near the fountain everyone mistakes for the one from the Friends opening credits).

On this visit to the park, a guy blowing bubbles appeared to really capture the imagination of B and some other children passing though. He probably could of stayed there all day chasing them!

4. The Rowboats

When we first arrived in New York last October, we visited Central Park and I remember being amazed that it was still warm enough to have the rowboats out. Despite the jet lag and exhaustion of an international move we were captured by the magic of it all and we spent the best part of an hour exploring the lake by boat. So seeing the row boats out at this time of year will always remind me of that first trip to Central Park with B.

We didn’t ride them this visit but it was fun watching some couples board the boats in wedding outfits (white dress included) for an impromptu photoshoot.

When the weather is still warm enough, typically April through to October rowboats and gondolas can be rented daily from the Loeb Boathouse.

5. Central Park Zoo

 There is plenty of fun to be had at the Zoo at any time of the year, but as we ended the day here, I thought I’d end my list here too.

With some exhibits indoors and some outdoors when the weather can be unpredictable, you get the best of both worlds at the Zoo.

What are your favourite Central Park moments?

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