We visited Central Park in Winter. We stayed a short walk from Central Park towards Time Square. We loved the markets at Columbus Circle where we bought waffles and souvenirs. We hired bikes. The bikes are only worth maybe $50 and they want $25 to use them for 1 hour and they want to keep your photo ID. We walked away and they followed and haggled down to 10 for 1 hour and no photo ID. Riding a bike is a great way to see Central Park (NB the hills can be tough on a bike without gears). We got a good look at the Guggenheim and the Natural History Museum from the roadway and many of the awesome upmarket apartment buildings. Lots of people jog around the park or walk their dog(s).
The park has several lakes, a baseball park, many areas with children's play equipment, a mini zoo, a castle-like lookout and several theatres including a Swedish puppet theatre. We had drinks and dinner at the Boathouse restaurant which was great. We went to the park several times but only really got to explore the southern end.
As tourists from Australia we loved seeing squirrels (which we don't have in Oz). There are plenty in Central Park. We went ice skating which was great because this can only be done indoors where we come from.
There was snow when we arrived but this soon turned black (?from car exhausts). The meadows are fenced off in Winter and the trees are typically just trunks and branches without leaves but the park has a certain Winter beauty.
There are horse-drawn carriages which go through the park. We didn't ride them because there are concerns that the horses are overworked and not well cared for and there is a campaign to stop the carriages.
Another way to see the park is to ride on a pedal taxi. The pedalling operators of these conveyances usually give you a guided tour as you are pedalled around at $2.50 per minute.
On the edges of the parks we saw and heard buskers from break-dancing displays to solo saxophonists.
At midnight New Year's Eve we avoided the mad crowding in Time Square and opted for a 30 minute fireworks display to usher in the new year. Good choice I think. See my review of Time Square.
Advice: don't go to New York City without seeing Central Park.
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