UrbanMatter’s Ultimate Central Park Guide

There’s a shit-ton to do in Central Park.

No, really – we know you know about the Mall and the Zoo, but trust me when I say there’s so much more.

This place is absolutely huge – if you haven’t noticed – and I’d be skeptical if you tried to tell me you’ve actually walked the entire thing and know every corner and crevice. People literally get lost in here. And this actually underrated, “overrated” urban jungle is here for you to explore, mostly for free, so what the hell are you waiting for?

From obscure, organized events to some free things you might not have even thought of, here is UrbanMatter’s guide to all the best things to do in Central Park.

 

For the Athletes

 

Yoga Classes

Yoga
Photo Credit: Central Park Facebook

There’s more than a few choices in Central Park for all you yogis out there.

Take a breather as you find your vinyasa flow, or get up early and try sunrise yoga mixed with power walking. If you need something a little more upbeat, take an Afro Flow Yoga class. The options are endless, so there’s really no excuse!

 

Running

Running
Photo Credit: Central Park

Find your groove with a group of people who share your running interests when you join the Power Hour people on their two-mile course. Training for a marathon? The 5K Core Tour is perfect for balancing your cross-training with other people.

 

Rock Climbing

Bouldering
Photo Credit: Central Park

You don’t have to travel all the way out to Bear Mountain to do your hiking. NYC has some great places to climb right here in the park!

Though you won’t be going that far up, the 10-foot jagged rocks scattered throughout the park are perfect for practicing how to get out of those tough climbing scenarios.

 

For the Romantics

 

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride
Photo Credit: Central Park

If you’re a hopeless romantic, or you just happen to be dating someone Italian, take your loved one on a Venetian gondola ride around this breathtaking lake during the summer. You even get to point out Cherry Hill Fountain, where the Friends theme song was filmed, and tell your date, “I’ll be there for youuu”.

Damn, I’m good. You’re welcome.

 

The Loch

The Loch
Photo Credit: Central Park

We’ve found the perfect spot to hide away from the crowds and maybe steal a kiss or two. This enchanting environment, complete with a waterfall, is so beautifully constructed that you’ll forget it’s entirely man-made.

 

Tavern on the Green

Tavern
Photo Credit: Central Park

This lantern-illuminated outdoor patio bar is nestled on the edge of Sheep Meadow. Celebrities like Grace Kelly and John Lennon used to visit this renowned bar, which makes a great talking point for a first date, if you catch my drift.

 

For the Culture

 

Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park
Photo Credit: The Public Theater Instagram

Experience the best of outdoor drama when you gather at the Public Theater this summer to see productions of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays. This year, Othello takes the stage through June, followed by Twelfth Night until August.

 

GMA Summer Concert Series

GMA Summer Concert Series
Photo Credit: Central Park

All of your favorite bands will be at Rumsey Playfield on Fridays between 7 – 9 p.m. this year, including Halsey, G-Eazy, Florence & the Machine, Backstreet Boys, Camila Cabello, Fall Out Boy…shall I go on? See the full lineup here and reserve your tickets today. Did I mention they’re free?

 

Amazing Race-Style Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt
Photo Credit: Central Park

Solve a mystery in Central Park through an interactive smartphone app on this 3-hour real-life scavenger hunt. You can play at any time. Just sign up at Urban Adventure Quest, grab your cleverest friends, and hit the trails!

 

For the Aesthetics

 

Bethesda Terrace Arcade

Bethesda
Photo Credit: Central Park

The very moment you see the ceiling at the Bethesda Terrace Arcade walkway in the middle of the park, we know you’ll be reaching for your iPhone. There’s no shame in Instagramming this exceptional work of art, though. It’s #nofilter worthy for sure.

 

Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden
Photo Credit: Central Park

Not to be confused with the Public Theater (previously mentioned), this gorgeously designed array of specific flowers mentioned in the Bard’s work is not to be overlooked. This place goes perfectly well with Shakespearean captions, so go on and take ‘the primrose path’.

 

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle
Photo Credit: Central Park

It’s not every day that you can put a castle on your Snapchat story.

And you’ll get great views when you climb into one of the two open towers. Inside the castle is the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, so you can even look through a telescope out at the park. People-watching at its finest.

 

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