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1-Day Itinerary Around Central Park With Young Kids

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Parents come to New York and hear about how they must go with the kids to Central Park. The park is amazing, right? But then, what exactly can you do in the park with the kids?


Here is a mini-itinerary for a fun day in Central Park for parents with young kids.

I split the area into 3 parts. Start with part 1, then if the kids still have energy, continue to the second part of the itinerary. If after that everyone are still not tired, continue to its third part. Scroll down to the end of the post to see the map.


Part 1


Heckscher Playground ("A" on the map)- Heckscher Playground is Central Park’s largest and oldest playground. - It features a variety of play equipment, including swings, slides, climbers, and an extensive water feature, as well as ample open space for games—all set against Umpire Rock, one of the Park’s most dramatic rock outcrops, and the Midtown skyline.



Wollman Rink ("B" on the map) - From October to April, Wollman Rink welcomes visitors for ice skating, an activity that has a long history in Central Park.



Gapstow Bridge ("C" on the map) - Gapstow Bridge spans the Pond in the southeast corner of the Park.



The Pond ("D" on the map) - Named for the cherry trees that bloom in this landscape each spring, Cherry Hill is a popular destination overlooking the Lake.



Central Park Zoo ("E" on the map) - kids can meet animals from tropical, temperate, and polar zones around the world. At the Tisch Children’s Zoo, get up close with potbellied pigs, sheep, goats, and the only cow in Manhattan.




Central Park Zoo


Delacorte Clock ("F" on the map) - The Delacorte Clock spans a section of path between the Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo. The Clock’s animated menagerie of musical animals announces the time every half hour between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.



Billy Johnson Playground ("G" on the map) – your kids would love the 45-foot granite slide that’s set into a hill.


Balto Statue ("H" on the map) - On a rocky outcrop just east of Willowdale Arch stands a memorial to the Siberian husky dog, Balto, one the most beloved monuments in the Park.


On the way to the mall don't forget to let the kids to choose their own path in the park and climb some rocks..




The Mall ("I" on the map) - A walkway leading to the beautiful Bethesda Terrace, the Central Park Mall runs through the middle of the Park. The Mall is still known as a gathering place, occupied by skateboarders, rollerbladers, and street performers. While strolling along the path, visitors will notice a large number of American elm trees.



Part 2


Bethesda Terrace and Fountain ("J") - The Terrace is a popular destination for relaxing, people-watching, and admiring the architecture and the scenery. At the center of the Terrace stands Bethesda Fountain, also known as Angel of the Waters, one of the Park’s most beloved works of art.








Row Boat Rental ("K") - Watch boaters glide by or hop in a rowboat yourself! Boating on the Lake, Central Park’s second largest water body, is a great way to spend a lazy summer afternoon in the Park. Row boats and gondolas can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse daily from April through October, weather permitting.




During the activity, we passed by some cute turtles tanning on some rocks. The kids were so happy to see them.


Row Boating in Central Park and the Discoveries On the Way

Hans Cristian Henderson Statue ("L") - In a terrace overlooking Conservatory Water is the monument to the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) best known for his fairy tales, including The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Little Match Girl.



Conservatory Water ("M") - Rent a model sailboat at Conservatory Water, the site of the children’s classic Stuart Little, from April through October. These remote-controlled, wind-driven sailboats provide a fun, interactive activity.



Alice in Wonderland ("N") - One of the most popular artworks in Central Park is Alice in Wonderland. The large bronze sculpture is located in a terrace at the northern end of Conservatory Water. The figure of Alice and her kitten, Dinah, sit atop a giant mushroom, surrounded by her Wonderland friends: the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Dormouse, and the White Rabbit.




Part 3


Belvedere Castle ("O") - One of the most iconic features in Central Park, this miniature castle is located atop the huge rock outcrop known as Vista Rock, the second highest natural point in Central Park.



The Met ("P") (East Side of the park) and Ancient Playground - Ancient Playground’s design is inspired by the collection of Egyptian art at the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Or go to the American Museum of Natural History ("Q") (West Side of the park)




All the destinations on we covered above are on this map:


If you would like to customize this itinerary even more based on your kids' preferences and your travel style, click here to learn how to FunDay app can help you to personalize family travel.

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