Situated on 843 acres, Central Park is the United States’ first public park. Since 1858, the park has been a place for visitors to socialize, exercise, and learn. It is open daily from 6 am to 1 am, and there is no charge for admission. Begin your Central Park experience at one of the several visitor centers located near various park entrances. Belvedere Castle, a mini-castle built in 1869, is one such center where you can find out about special events. The Chess & Checkers House is another visitor center. As the name implies, this part of Central Park is where players gather to challenge one another at chess, checkers, backgammon, and dominos. Bring your own game or borrow them at the Chess & Checkers House, which is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily.
Central Park is a place one can enjoy alone or under the guide of an expert. Within the park are countless places to walk and run. Paved paths will take you underneath stone archways, alongside peaceful lakes and by gorgeous waterfalls. Lakes and streams actually cover 150 acres of the park! Guided tours, some requiring tickets be purchased, educate visitors about historical points of interest within Central Park. The land played an essential role in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Historical and fictional figures are memorialized in statues and monuments throughout the park. If you enjoy flora, do not miss the Shakespeare Garden or the Conservatory Garden. Animal lovers will also want to visit the Central Park Zoo.
Each year 42 million people visit Central Park. In addition to beautiful scenery and a being a great exercise venue, this is a place where people can join one another to play sports and attend special lectures and performances. The custodians of Central Park continue to excel at environmental management and world-class service.