Annual Events in Central Park

Central Park New York is a green haven for city-dwellers. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city streets by enjoying a picnic or stroll or by taking advantage of the many popular programs offered by the park. There are events for every season, but be sure to not miss these most popular events in Central Park.

A Clearing in the Forest
“A Clearing in the Forest” (official website) is a great family-friendly way to spend an afternoon in the park with activities ranging across dance, music, art, storytelling, wildlife, and puppetry performances. Every other Sunday, the Central Park Conservancy sponsors these programs for kids of all ages. The shows are free and no advanced registration is necessary.

For 26 years, the City Parks Foundation has sponsored one of the most exciting events in Central Park New York, SummerStage ( Free of charge, SummerStage is a series of concerts held on the park’s Rumsey Playfield. Some recent performances include Florence and the Machine, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Hugh Masekela, Jarabe de Palo and more! There are also dance, comedy and spoken word events enjoyed by thousands throughout the season.

Pumpkin Festival
Each October, New Yorkers and visitors alike flock to Central Park to celebrate the Pumpkin Festival (official website). The free festival includes a “spooktacular” haunted house, marionette performances, face painting and hay rides. Find the perfect pumpkin in the patch and decorate it before taking it home. With costumed characters and musical entertainment all day, the Pumpkin Festival is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween. The festival is located at the Bandshell Area of Central Park and is easily accesible by 72nd Street.

Winter Lighting
No Central Park events schedule would be complete without mentioning the Winter Lighting at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center ( This event has become a holiday tradition for thousands of New Yorkers. Spend the day making ornaments, decorating cookies and enjoying live holiday music. You can even see the big guy himself, Santa will be making an appearance! Advanced registration is not requires and the event is totally free. Located inside Central Park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues, the Winter Holiday Lighting ceremony is a much-loved event by all.

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