Central Park’s Most Instagrammable Wintertime Spots, Part II

Photo by: @an_uptown_girl
Photo by @an_uptown_girl

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” The same goes for capturing the perfect wintry Instagram shot! (Was Aristotle—to whom this quote is often attributed—an ancient influencer? We think he understood the assignment.) With fewer crowds and a tranquility not found in other seasons, winter is an ideal time to photograph Central Park. Brave the cold and visit the Park this season to appreciate the quiet beauty of its landscapes blanketed with snow, the bare branches of its trees silhouetted against the winter sky, or its abundant wildlife. No filter needed.

Nature's Catwalk

Is there a more iconic location to strike a pose than the Mall? The only straight path in Central Park, the Mall was inspired by the plazas found in Europe such as Piazza San Marco in Venice and the Champs Élysées in Paris. Adding to the drama, the twisted branches of towering American elms perfectly frame this famed runway-of-sorts. So channel your inner New York fashion icon (are you feeling Holly Golightly vibes, inspired by Jennifer Lopez, or in more of a Sally-Albright-meets-Annie-Hall mood?), and strut your stuff for the camera. Pro-tip? Keep these historic trees healthy by giving them space and staying on the path.

Blue Check Marks the Spot

Why do summer sunsets get all the likes? Cotton candy skies take on a new level of whimsy when paired with freshly fallen snow. Add a castle to the mix, and you’ve got Instagram gold. The Belvedere—which fittingly translates to “beautiful view” in Italian—was designed as a place from which to enjoy the surrounding scenery. We don’t think it’s possible to take a bad photo of—or from—this magical locale.

Fountain (or Filter?) of Youth

Nothing says #WinterWonderland quite like Cherry Hill Fountain in the snow. Designed by Jacob Wrey Mould in the 1800s, its ornate features—including small saucers for birds to drink out of and a light fixture with eight globes—will transport you to another world. The fountain is often mistaken for the one featured in the opening credits of Friends, but if you want to gather your crew for a group shot, we won’t tell them the splashing sequence wasn’t actually filmed in Central Perk…ermm, Park.

“Reel” Nature

There’s no need to travel upstate to snap and share a stunning nature shot. With meandering paths, a dense canopy of trees, and cascading waterfalls, the Ravine evokes the wintry wilderness of the Adirondacks. Added bonus: the soothing sounds of the Loch—the long, narrow watercourse that flows through the Ravine—make this setting ideal for a Reel. Sound on.


People get giddy over fall’s dazzling foliage, but just because the leaves are gone doesn’t mean you missed your chance to post a stunning pic. After the riotous colors of autumn filled our feeds the past few months, deciduous trees that are already dormant for the winter offer a refreshing change of pace. Check out the Great Lawn or the Great Hill, and angle that camera skyward to capture elements of these majestic plants that can be particularly arresting and frequently overlooked—the branches and shape of the canopy.


Another benefit of bare branches? It makes it easier to spot and photograph our feathered friends, especially in dense woodland landscapes like the Ramble. Gloria, a nature photographer and experienced birder who often frequents the Park, reminds us of the importance of responsibly photographing wildlife: Your number-one priority should always be the wellbeing of the bird. “Many birds we see are in the middle of migration,” she explains, “where they face an extremely perilous as sensitive to this as possible.” Please don’t get too close or disturb a bird with callbacks. You can share your amazement of these winged wonders with your followers while still being respectful of their space and safety.

This winter, when you post your Central Park photos on social media, be sure to tag @CentralParkNYC. Happy photographing!