One-Stop Summer Shopping at the Dairy Gift Shop in Central Park

As the days get warmer, New Yorkers and visitors flock to Central Park to lounge on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow. Some might take time to walk through gardens, meadows, woodland landscapes, and more, appreciating the incredible variety of plants and wildlife that call the Park home. But nothing interrupts a pleasant day faster than realizing you forgot to bring a picnic blanket, snacks, or activities for the kids. Fortunately, one of Central Park's best-kept secrets, the Dairy, offers a solution. This charming and historic building is home to the Central Park Conservancy’s largest gift shop, where you can find everything you'll need, eliminating a lengthy detour. Conveniently located mid-Park at 65th Street, the Dairy provides not only essential items but also the satisfaction of supporting the Conservancy, the nonprofit responsible for all aspects of the Park’s care.

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Visitors shop at the Dairy, Central Park’s largest gift shop that is housed in a charming Victorian country cottage.

If you arrive to find your favorite picnicking spot damp, pop into the Dairy for a Water-Resistant Picnic Blanket with an easy-carry harness. If you’ve planned a romantic picnic in the Park but forgot plates or utensils, don’t panic: The Picnic Cooler Backpack has two plates, two glasses, silverware, a corkscrew, napkins, and even a salt-and-pepper set.

To keep the date going, grab a deck of Central Park Playing Cards, which feature iconic images and conversation-starting fun facts about the Park. Additionally, you can find wellness essentials like sunscreen, grounding oil, lip balm, and snacks to ensure everyone stays comfortable until it's time to leave.

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Setting up for a comfortable day on one of Central Park's lawns is easy with this water-resistant, cozy picnic blanket. And the streamlined design of the picnic backpack is guaranteed to impress.

For restless kids, pick up the Travel Checker Set, which includes a hand-drawn checkerboard on a foldable cotton voile fabric, 24 wooden playing pieces, and a drawstring bag to keep it organized. Science enthusiasts will also want to grab the Cloud Identifier, an inexpensive tool that lets you learn about different cloud types. Kids of all ages will love the Dual Magnifier, featuring 5x and 10x magnification lenses—perfect for observing the Park's biodiversity, from insects and leaves to birds and blooms.

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The Dairy offers an array of fun and educational items to keep kids entertained.

Beyond these practical items, the official Central Park shop also has plenty of thoughtful gifts that your loved ones will adore, including jewelry, art, apparel, and accessories.

Some unique gifts from New York–based artists include the Trees of New York Tote by Brooklyn artist Claudia Pearson and the India & Purry Tree with Flower Serving Bowl by NYC painter Jessica Hollander. There’s also the Central Park Line Drawing Tee, which features one-of-a-kind artwork from Conservancy volunteer and graphic designer Martha Dao. For avid Park enthusiasts, consider the Bench Design Baseball Cap, which features embroidered artwork of one of the Park’s iconic benches, or the Imagine Tee, which has artwork of the Park’s Imagine mosaic dedicated to John Lennon.

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There’s something for everyone at the Dairy, which carries unique gifts from New York–based artists.

Don’t have time to swing by the Park in person? You can order many of these items through the Central Park Conservancy’s online gift shop. If you’ve got a lot of shopping to do, consider becoming a Central Park Conservancy member for discounts on gift shop and online purchases and previews of new merchandise.

No matter what you buy, you can feel good knowing that your purchase directly supports the care and maintenance of the gorgeous lawns, meadows, woodlands, and other landscapes that make up Central Park. By shopping at the Dairy, or the Park’s other shops, you’re ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to this beautiful greenspace—and we’d argue that’s the best gift of all.

Jamie Ballard is a freelance writer and editor who lives in New York City.

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