union square park

Originally a town square, Union Square Park serves as the setting for numerous community events and various festivals. It has a long and interesting history starting from when it opened in 1839 to its redesign in 1872 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to accommodate mass congregations of New Yorkers. In 1882, it hosted the country’s first Labor Day parade and in 1970 it was the staging area for the initial Earth Day. Today, it is the site of the popular Greenmarket. The park includes statues of various historic personages including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi, and Marquis de Lafayette. Union Square Park offers visitors plenty of room and a pleasant environment.

Union Square Park

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New York Harbor Parks has a wide range of opportunities to offer. Throughout the year, visitors can take any and all of the self-guided walking tours: The New Amsterdam Trail explores the city’s Dutch roots; This Hallowed Ground teaches about slavery in Old New York; the New York Freedom Trail or George Washington’s New York delve into the Revolutionary War years. During the warmer months, one can opt for ranger-led walking tours of the following: The New Amsterdam Trail, This Hallowed Ground, the New York Freedom Trail. Self-guided tours can be downloaded from the website.

Seasonal water tours have a different perspective to offer. Gateway to America Official Tours, in partnership with the National Park Service, presents a comprehensive history of the harbor. America: Who We Are addresses the evolving immigrant experience. America’s Frontline focuses on harbor defenses, while Naturally, New York teaches about harbor wildlife and ecology.

Special programs and events are held throughout the year. Be sure to check the website for the latest listings, dates and times.

ny harbor park

NEW YORK CITY - JUN 9: Tourists enjoy Governors Island, June 9,

Although small in size, the location of this island has assigned it a prominent place in the area’s history. In turn, it was occupied by Native American tribes, the Dutch, the British, and the Americans. The name Governors Island evolved from the British declaration that the island would be for the “benefit of His Majesty’s Governors.” However, it wasn’t until 1784 that the island officially was so named. The island was to serve as the site of military functions until 1966 when the Coast Guard assumed control until 1996.

Today, Governors Island is a national historic landmark district open to the public for several months during the summer and early fall. Located about one half mile from the southern tip of Manhattan, access to the island from Manhattan and Brooklyn is by both free and paid ferry rides. Activities on the island include free National Park Service walking tours, bicycle riding, picnicking,

governors island

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flushing meadows

For those who want to get away from it all and at the same time have a lot to do, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the solution. The site of two 20th century World’s Fairs, it is the largest park in Queens. The park includes a zoo, an art museum, a botanical garden, a science museum, and a baseball stadium. The park offers six playgrounds and a huge recreation complex featuring an Olympic sized pool and a NHL sized hockey rink. (Some facilities require a Recreational Center Membership.)

 

Need a break from a busy touring schedule? Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a wonderful place to relax with a leisurely stroll along the Flushing Bay Promenade.

flushing meadows

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Bryant Park in New York at night

Bryant Park

Located behind the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is a welcoming oasis of natural beauty and human design. The park, which includes an array of seasonal gardens, public monuments and various amenities, is a wonderful spot to picnic, socialize or simply relax.

Designed in the French classical style, the park offers visitors a truly special ride on le Carrousel. This exquisite amusement ride includes replicas of more than a dozen traditional carousel animals that travel around and around to French cabaret tunes. At Bryant Park there are shops, games to play such as Ping-Pong and chess and much more. This is a beloved refuge in the middle of Manhattan. The park offers opportunities to relax, dine al fresco with a bag lunch, and enjoy beautiful city views at evening. It is a stunning location with buildings towering above the trees, lots of chairs and tables, live public events, etc. Very conveniently located, it is a short walk to the 42nd Street and Times Square theatres.

Bryant Park Le Carrousel

bryant park

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The Brooklyn Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York

When completed, Brooklyn Bridge Park will stretch 1.3 miles along the East River. Parts of the waterfront park already are open to the public, offering visitors a myriad of experiences. For those in need of a time out from a busy touring schedule, the Pier 1 section offers expansive lawns for picnicking, a playground, a waterfront promenade, and lush landscaping. Pier 6 adds seven more acres to the park and offers a playground and three regulation-size sand volleyball courts. From Pier 6 there is free weekend ferry service during the summer to Governor’s Island.

Recently renovated, the Empire-Fulton Ferry area of Brooklyn Bridge Park is home to the historic and beautifully restored Jane’s Carousel that will operate year-round. Just north of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Tobacco Warehouse. Built as a tobacco customs inspection center in the 1870s, it is a reminder of shipping activity that once dominated the waterfront.

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Children playing in battery parkBattery Park,New YorkUS Navy Memorial Eagle in Battery Park - New York Citybattery park

Located on the southern tip of Manhattan, historic Battery Park, with its lovely flower gardens and  waterfront, is a wonderful area to visit. Originally, it was the world’s first official immigration center, welcoming millions of people from Europe and other continents who had come to this land to start a new life.

Today, Battery Park hosts summertime concerts and serves as the dock for ferries going to historic Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Rich in history and a favorite of New Yorkers since the late 18th century, Battery Park is an interesting and beautiful place to visit.

Central Park ZooConnecting People to Wild Nature

The Central Park Zoo is a great diversion for those looking to get away from the glare and blare of Manhattan. Nestled in Central Park, the zoo features the Tisch Children’s Zoo , which is perfect for the little adventurer who wants to get close to some furry friends. The Central Garden and Sea Lion Pool is a great place to enjoy some restful moments or to commune with the lively, featured acrobatic mammals. The Polar Circle includes an indoor bird colony of penguins and puffins and an outdoor pool environment that serves as home for the zoo’s polar bears. There’s a lot happening at the Central Park Zoo!

central park zoo

Full Screen Google Map

 

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