Central Park in Manhattan is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 40 million visitors every year. It covers a whopping 843 acres, making it the fifth-largest park in New York City. However, its central location, constant events, and famous image have led to it being the most popular park in the city.
As New York City expanded rapidly in the mid-19th century, citizens began to voice their desire for a quiet outdoor space where they could get away from the noise of the densely populated city. Influential residents cited London’s Hyde Park and Paris’ Bois de Boulogne as examples of urban nature centers. By 1853, the New York legislature approved a plan to designate 700 acres of land in the middle of Manhattan for the creation of the park. The Central Park Commission was formed in 1857, and the park’s first public area was opened in 1858. Construction continued throughout the Civil War, and the park reached its current size in 1873.
The park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963, and it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States to this day. The Central Park Conservancy cares for the well-being of the park and provides updates to keep it clean, fresh, and beautiful.
Fun Things for Families to do in Central Park
Central Park is one of the most kid-friendly areas in New York City, with plenty of entertaining and educational activities that provide fun for the whole family. Some of these include:
o Tisch Children’s Zoo – this is part of the main Central Park Zoo, and it contains a petting zoo, a theater, and an Enchanted Forest that offers an interactive experience for kids.
o Playgrounds – there are a total of 21 playgrounds located throughout Central Park, so there are plenty of opportunities for kids to stop