There are so many things to do in Central Park that seeing it all in a day is difficult. The activities you choose can vary form season to season as well. The Central Park Zoo is always a good choice at any time of year and a staple in any New York City hotel guide to the city. In the summer make sure to make time to see a production from Shakespeare in the Park, and in the winter visitors can enjoy ice skating at Wollman Park.
Central Park Zoo
One of the most popular activities in Central Park is the Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center (http://www.centralparkzoo.com). A popular attraction is the indoor rainforest where visitors can see monkeys swinging from the trees and birds nesting. Visitors can also view the harbor seals and sea lions feeding. The zoo is home to many penguins, which delight the many visitors. One of the most attended attractions in Central Park, it welcomes visitors all year long.
One of the favorite things to do in Central Park in the winter is to ice skate. The park has two ice skating rinks, but the favorite of most people is the Wollman Rink (www.wollmanskatingrink.com). The rink is available from October to April, and for those who do not know how to skate offers a daily skating school. Visitors can rent skate at the rink. For those more advanced, the rink offers synchronized skating and ice hockey lessons.
Shakespeare in the Park
Central Park New York is also home to Delacorte Theater (www.shakespeareinthepark.org) where each summer the outdoor theater offers a series of Shakespeare plays. The performances began in 1954, and occur each summer. The performances are offered for free, by talented young actors and actresses. Each summer, the actors and actresses provide a camp for middle school and high school students giving them a look at what it is like to be in a major production.
Ride the Carousel
Another great thing to do during a day in Central Park is to ride the carousel (www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/south-end/carousel.html). The carousel is easy to find on the south end of the park, just listen for the calliope music. The carousel features 57 carefully restored horses that are ridden by 250,000 visitors each year. The first carousel was installed on the site in 1873 and was powered by real horses and mules. Today’s carousel was first used on Coney Island and was built in 1908.