Happy Monday! It felt so nice to be in the city all weekend. I’ve had a handful of weekends in the city this summer and I’ve been using my early bird status to my advantage by getting up to Central Park in the morning hours before the city comes alive.
Summer in Central Park
Central Park has long been my happy place and on summer mornings it is truly beautiful to soak up all it has to offer before the crowds descend. I always go by the Bethesda Fountain, the Loeb Boathouse, the Bow Bridge, the Conservatory Pond and The Mall. The Belvedere Castle is also finally back open after renovations and the Shakespeare Garden is also worth strolling through. If I want to get in a bit of a power walk, I head to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir which is a loop around a lake offering beautiful views and typically a nice breeze, too.
At the park during lunch time? Don’t miss the food carts that offer up hot dogs, pretzels, ice cream and cold drinks. And the park is truly such a wonderful place to have a picnic with friends or to find a good spot under a shady tree to spend your afternoon reading. If you’re more active, you can head to Central Park in the summer to play softball, baseball, tennis or to run or bike.
There’s so much ground to cover and cars are extremely limited so feeling like you have freedom to roam is one of my favorite parts of Central Park.
I particularly love early evening on a summer night or early morning. The light is magical and usually the park isn’t too, too busy if you want to take in some serenity before the crowds descend. If you’re not as familiar, you can check out maps on your phone but I personally feel like getting lost in the park is one of the best parts about it. I never cease to marvel at having such an expansive, protected large park smack dab in the middle of the world’s iconic New York City and it’s why you’ll always find me heading there from Brooklyn whenever I have a free day.
Before or after the Park you can visit Ralph’s Coffee on the East Side or Levain Bakery which has historically always been on the West Side but just opened a new outpost on the East Side as well! I can’t wait to visit the new shop the next time I am in that neighborhood.
Other ideas for Central Park in summer? You could take in a variety of performances in Central Park – your best resource will be the Central Park Conservancy website which shares all the park’s happenings including performances. You can also check out concerts on the Capital One City Parks Foundation summerstage that has programming all summer long. I’ve been to a few shows there back in the day and it’s pretty magical! There’s also Rumsey Playfield for live music performances.
Have you visited Central Park in the summer? What’s your favorite part of the park in the summer?s