The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
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Get a fresh perspective on your own city. The setting is serene enough to offset the somewhat stiff service and hefty prices. The Boathouse salad is a gorgeous sculpture of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives and large, rectangular chunks of feta cheese. Crab cakes, more crab than cake, are worth every penny. Fish and fowl are fresh and beautifully presented, if a bit bland. things to do in Central Park Allow yourself to linger over mascarpone cheesecake before taking the restaurant’s trolley back to civilization. Paying for location is par for the course in New York routine; here, it’s well worth it.

Monkey around at the Central Park Zoo
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More than a million visitors a year flock here for quality time with some 130 species that inhabit this 6.5-acre corner of Central Park. Don’t miss the Allison Maher Stern snow leopard exhibit, where tots can look for the critically endangered cats in a rocky evergreen landscape meant to replicate the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Visit the frigid penguin house to see the gentoo and chinstrap penguins waddle, and try to spot four new king penguins. Also look for the adorable California sea lion pup named Bruiser, a new addition to the sea lion exhibit. At the Amphibian Crisis Center, children can observe jungle frogs, poison-dart frogs, Surinam toads and tons of other little critters. Your fam can also gape at a giant indoor ant farm complete with interactive “I Spy…” challenges. Or explore the outdoor Tisch Children’s Zoo: It houses more than 30 species, including goats and cows that enjoy being petted. A pair of rare Babydoll sheep (a chocolate–brown ram named Sid and a white ewe named Nancy) share the space with other sheep and the zoo’s resident alpaca. The newest denizens are four miniature Nubian goats, as well as a teensy kid that was born a few months after their arrival.

Get ready to Ramble
Visitors can enjoy views of the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble from the castle’s two balconies. Inside they’ll find the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, where they can peer into microscopes and telescopes, look at skeletons and papier mâché birds, or borrow a field pack that contains binoculars and reference materials.

People watch in Sheep Meadow
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Central Park’s bucolic Sheep Meadow is a 15-acre field located along the southwestern edge of the park. Its designation as the park’s first Quiet Zone—organized sports and alcohol aren’t allowed, pets are technically prohibited, and audible music is verboten—has helped lure the crowds, making the Meadow one of the park’s most popular spots for relaxing.

Trip on shrooms at the Alice in Wonderland statue
Don’t fret if the kiddies climb all over this bronze statue of Alice and company—that’s what it’s there for. Dedicated to the children of NYC and commissioned by George Delacorte after the passing of his wife, who enjoyed reading Alice to their children, the larger-than-life figures have been explored by children since 1959. Relive your youth and join them on the mushroom, or if you can’t let go, read the engraved verses of the poem “Jabberwocky,” by Alice scribe Lewis Carroll, portions of which line the sculpture. Make sure to meander over to the nearby Conservatory Water, where you can grab a bench and watch motorized miniature sailboats whiz by as you contemplate life’s meaning

Ice skate or hit the carousel at Wollman Rink
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If you decide to check out this famed rink, be prepared for hordes of children and slow-moving newbies. There won’t be room for speed skating or fancy tricks, but braving the crowds is worth it for the priceless Central Park scenery. If you’re a skating greenhorn yourself, take heart—Trump Rink things to do in Central Park Allow is home to the largest learn-to-skate program in the country.

Central Park Mall
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Under the shade of one of the largest stands of American Elm trees in North America, without a skyscraper in sight, you can truly feel like you’ve left the city behind for a minute. Once a place to stroll in your Sunday best, it’s now an area where many artists and performers set up shop (but not in an obnoxious way) and it’s a great place to grab a bench and watch the fabulous eccentricities of the strangers around you unfold over an afternoon.

Stroll through the Conservatory Garden
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This serene garden is a quiet zone, so if you bring your kids, be sure they abstain from biking, running, playing sports and making noise. Visitors flock here in the spring to see gorgeous tulip displays, and in autum to see chrysanthemums.

Ride your pony
Experience the retro charm of bobbing along to organ music atop one of the Friedsam Memorial Carousel’s 52 saddles. The carousel is in its third incarnation since 1871 (the original was horse-powered, and the next two were supposedly destroyed by fires), and the current version things to do in Central Park dates to 1950, when it was discovered in a Coney Island trolley terminal. Expect long waits, popcorn, hot dogs and a few crabby kids.

Climb up Belvedere Castle
Visitors can enjoy views of the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble from the castle’s two balconies. Inside they’ll find the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, where they can peer into microscopes and telescopes, look at skeletons and papier mâché birds, or borrow a field pack that contains binoculars and reference materials[​IMG]