Parks and Zoos
Need a break from the city? Get back to nature at one of the city’s 1,700 parks, covering more than 29,000 acres. Manhattan’s largest park, Central Park, is a short subway ride from Pace, and hosts events like Adventures NYC (outdoor sports programs) and Winter Jam (winter sports competition). Get even wilder and visit the well-known Bronx or Central Park zoos.
For more information, visit:
- New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (www.nycgovparks.org)
- Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com)
- Central Park Zoo (www.nyzoosandaquarium.com)
(between 59th and 110th streets;Central Park West to 5th Avenue)
Covering 6% of Manhattan, Central Park is more than just landscape and baseball fields. At Central Park, you can check out the polar bears at the zoo, go ice skating at the park's Wollman Rink, explore the Belvedere Castle, dine at the world famous Tavern on the Green, listen to free performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera on the Great Lawn, pay tribute to the Beatles' John Lennon at the Imagine Mosaic in Strawberry Fields, take a row boat out on one of the lakes or, if you're looking to relax, enjoy gondola or carriage rides. All this and much more at the most visited park in America.
between 40th and 42nd streets, and 5th and 6th avenues
Located just a block from Times Square and across the street from the New York Public Library, this park is home to world-famous New York Fashion Week. Every year, workers transform Bryant Park into a slew of tents that house the fashion industry’s finest, including Project Runway’s finale show. Bryant Park is a hugely popular destination for lunch, where 5,000 business people alone meet daily. People also get together in the Chess Area to play backgammon, checkers, Scrabble, and, of course, chess. The Holiday Shops and the Pond, the park’s ice rink, make Bryant Park a definite go-to during the winter season. And during the summer, bring a blanket and catch a movie under the stars. Also during the summer months is Good Morning America’s free concert series, which included acts like the Counting Crows, Feist, the Jonas Brothers, and Maroon 5 last year. Stop by in between classes, grab a sandwich at Top Chef Tom Collichio’s ‘wichcraft (or an ice cream sandwich in the warmer months) and sit out on the lawn and get some work done using the park’s free wifi.
|Hudson River Park
59th Street to Battery Place along the Hudson River
Stretching along the Hudson from Lower Manhattan to Hells Kitchen, this park is home to some great fun. You may remember Hudson River Park’s Trapeze School New York from an episode of Sex and the City, where Carrie Bradshaw has a tough time taking the leap. Go kayaking, sailing, or big city fishing on the Hudson, hit the batting cages, and do some rock climbing. During warmer months, watch the sun set as you listen to live music off the piers.
|Madison Square Park
between 23rd and 26th streets and Fifth and Madison avenues
Two words: Shake Shack. We know that the lines are incredibly long, but a great Shack burger and a delicious shake take time. Take a break from your studies and lounge on the park’s Oval Lawn. Take in Mad. Sq. Art, the park’s free gallery without walls. During the summer months, check out Mad. Sq. Music, Wednesday nights’ free concerts ranging from folk to bluegrass to jazz, and Mad. Sq. Reads, a free series of summer readings by notable authors on Thursday nights.
(along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th streets)
This lesser known park in Manhattan boasts some of the city’s greatest views. Check out the Eleanor Roosevelt monument, the Joan of Arc statue, and Grant’s Tomb, kayak at the marina on 79th street, hit the half pipe at the skate park, or sit on "Mount Tom,” a spot that Edgar Allen Poe frequently visited. This park really is one of Manhattan’s gems. Union Square Park http://unionsquarenyc.org/ Broadway to 4th Avenue, East 14th Street to East 17th Street Check out the Union Square Greenmarket, the city’s first, largest, and most popular year-round greenmarket. Harvest in the Square , the city’s big food tasting event, brings together some of the great restaurants in the area. Stop by in the winter to visit the Holiday Market at Union Square with over 100 booths, ranging from holiday decorations to handcrafted jewelry to baked goods.
Washington Square Park
Admire the historic Washington Square Arch or sit by the fountain and take in some sun as you people watch and catch some of the great street entertains that frequent the park. If you’re a chess player, stop by one of the tables where Searching for Bobby Fischer was filmed.