At the end of a traveling day, there is nothing quite like putting your feet up and relaxing. Of course, when you have kids, that isn’t always possible. So how do you guarantee your rest and relaxation time in the evening? Simple, tire them out all day long.
Central Park is a wonder to behold. This 843-acre green space is located in the heart of Manhattan. Not only is it filled with interesting historical sites, peaceful gardens, and beautiful architecture, Central Park is a bonafide wonderland for kids.
If you want to get your kids moving so you can sit still, check out these great kid-friendly areas in Central Park.
Central Park is home to twenty-one playgrounds, of varying sizes, shapes, and themes. The Heckscher Playground, however, is the epitome of the go big or go home attitude. Spanning over almost three acres, the Heckscher Playground is the oldest playground in Central Park.
In addition to the usual playground finds– slides, swings, seesaws, and so on– the Heckscher Playground also has interactive water features and giant climbing rocks. The playground is located at 7th Avenue and Central Park South and has both restrooms and snack carts on site.
The Central Park Zoo
If you can’t fit the famous Bronx Zoo into your schedule, be sure to stop by the Central Park Zoo. Located on the East side between 63rd and 66th Street, the Central Park Zoo is an eclectic blend of new and old.
In the center of the courtyard, you can watch sea lions frolic in the water of their 360-degree view glass enclosure. Further into the park, you can enter the Tisch Children’s Zoo, a relatively new addition. This part of the zoo features domestic animals– cows, pigs, and goats– that your children can interact with.
In the center of the Tisch Children’s Zoo is the Enchanted Forest, which was constructed to take you back into a time of towering trees and huge woodland creatures. The Central Park Zoo is a great option if you have children of varying ages.
Peter Jay Sharp Children’s Glade
Once an untended and mostly useless area within the park, the Peter Jay Sharp Children’s Glade is now a place for your children to explore nature, culture, and artistic expression. With stone and tree trunks for seats and grass acting as a natural floor, this is the perfect spot to encourage your children to use their imaginations and explore.
The Glade is also home to many different cultural and artistic events. Be sure to stop by and see what is going on when you’re in the area.
The Victorian Gardens Amusement Park
The Victorian Gardens Amusement Park is exactly as it sounds. Located in the Wollman Rink, this amusement park is how the park officials make the most of what would otherwise be wasted space during the summer season. Filled with classic rides, the Victorian Gardens Amusement Park gives you the feeling of a country fair in the heart of the Big Apple.
If you’re heading to Central Park in the winter, you won’t be able to visit the amusement park. You will, however, have the opportunity to go skating!
The Chess & Checkers House
After running around for a while, your children might want a chance to unwind. Or maybe you just need a break. Regardless, the Chess and Checkers House is the place to go. Located mid-park at 64th Street, this little refuge has various boardgames with which to unwind. They also offer a free Discovery Kit for children, complete with field guides and binoculars.
Note that if you’re in a group of five or more people, you may need to make a reservation to get full access to this gem.
Book a Tour
If you want to get the most out of your time at Central Park, take a more traditional approach and book a tour. Various companies offer New York City rentals & tours with both walking and cycling options. Just be sure to choose a tour option that provides a balance of adult and children friendly activities.
With a well planned day at Central Park, you’ll be able to tuck your kids into bed and get some much needed downtime. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but after your adventures, your children are certain to be off to dreamland.