How to be an Instagram Pro in Central Park

It’s the chilliest time of year, and there are fewer people in Central Park than in any other season—giving visitors the perfect opportunity to meander through the winter wonderland taking a ton of photos! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur wielding a phone, here are some of our favorite shutter-worthy spots.

Get a little bronzed

Winter’s starkness beautifully sets off our collection of bronze sculptures—especially when it’s snowing. Strike a pose and take a photo with characters from Alice in Wonderland or with the heroic sled dog Balto, just to name a few of the many, many characters and people immortalized throughout the Park.

Bring the drama

One of the Park’s most famous spots, the Mall is majestic this time of year—the dizzying twists and turns of the Elms lining the way are especially dazzling without leaves. And be sure to take a moment and step back, as Central Park’s only intentionally straight walkway lends itself to a dramatic wide shot of the entire area.

Snap an angelic image

At the Mall’s northern end is Bethesda Terrace, which overlooks the Lake. Considered the heart of Central Park, this popular spot features an iconic viewpoint year-round, but it’s especially breathtaking on a crisp blue winter’s day. And if it’s snowing, you can take cover under the Arcade’s Minton tile ceiling (this and the Park’s many other arches provide shelter from the elements so you can still shoot in a storm).

Capture the view from inside a snow globe

The Arthur Ross Pinetum is a hidden gem in plain sight, with a collection of over 17 different types of pine trees that provide a green landscape year-round. If there are some flakes falling from the sky, the Pinetum makes you feel like you’re in a snow globe—so make sure to wander there when it’s frosty out!

Take advantage of the leaf-free view

This time of year, the Obelisk (or Cleopatra’s Needle) stands tall through the bare trees. Handily located between the Great Lawn and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can take some fabulous photos before ducking into the museum for creative inspiration... and warmth. Dating to about 1450 B.C., Central Park’s oldest man-made object on a sunny, midwinter day makes for a “monument”-al photo!

Enjoy a little sanctuary

The Hallett Nature Sanctuary, bordered by the Pond at the southeast corner of the Park, is particularly peaceful in the winter. One of Central Park’s three woodland landscapes (along with the Ramble and North Woods), it’s the perfect place to capture the rustic features of its wooden fences, railings, benches, and hand-crafted gate. And the Hallett’s scenic overlooks provide some of the best views of the skyline—the juxtaposition of the buildings and wilderness makes for a great photo.

Bridges are beautiful

Central Park contains 31 arches and bridges (plus 14 bridges that carry Park traffic over the four transverse roads), as well as numerous rustic bridges throughout the woodlands. They’re not just functional, though—most of them are stunningly gorgeous as well. Bow Bridge and Gapstow Bridge (home to many memorable Home Alone 2: Lost in New York scenes) are two of the most famous. But there are many others, like Trefoil Arch and Pinebank Arch, that also merit your lens time.

Whenever and wherever you wander, there are endless places to take spectacular photos in the Park. This winter, when you post your Central Park photos on social media, be sure to tag @CentralParkNYC. Happy photographing!