With the warm weather, lush green lawns, and bustling atmosphere of summer, it’s the perfect time to be active in the Park! Want to get moving in New York City’s backyard? We’ve got you covered.
Go boating on the Lake. Renting a row boat on Central Park’s second largest water body is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon in the Park. Boats can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse daily from April through October, weather permitting.
Go for a run or a walk. Central Park offers a variety of loops and trails. There’s the world-famous Reservoir running track which offers some of the best views of New York City. There’s the loop—totaling just over six miles—and the bridle path, which offers a soft, dirt surface throughout the Park. Before hitting the pavement, be sure to download our official running map or view our guide to running in the Park.
Play tennis. The Central Park Tennis Center offers 30 courts and is open from April to November. Private and semi-private lessons are available. Keep an eye out for celebrities—Roger Federer has dropped by to much fanfare.
Organize softball or baseball games. Central Park is home to 26 ballfields. Heckscher Ballfields, the Great Lawn, and the North Meadow are home to spring and summer softball games (the North Meadow is the only one also open to baseball). Don’t forget: use of any athletic field requires a permit from NYC Parks.
Go lawn bowling or play croquet. Two fields northwest of Sheep Meadow are used for lawn bowling and croquet—contact the Permit Office of the Parks Department for more information.
Play volleyball. Pickup volleyball games can be played year-round, and courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are two asphalt courts and two sand courts just east of Sheep Meadow, and two additional asphalt courts northeast of the Great Lawn. Don't forget to bring your own ball! For play on asphalt courts, you'll also need to bring your own net. Permits are required only for tournaments and special events.
Explore the Park by bike. There are many routes for bicyclists (see our official bicycling map) and you can rent bikes through BikeRent NYC, which operates at two locations on a seasonal basis. Rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit our bicycling page for more details.
We need your input to improve the safety of Central Park’s Drives and make them more user-friendly. Take the survey, and your feedback and ideas will be used to recommend innovative design and policy solutions.
Play basketball or handball. Basketball and handball courts are available at the North Meadow Center, with additional basketball courts northeast of the Great Lawn. Basketballs and handballs are free to borrow at the Center. No permit is required, and courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Want to enhance your skills? We also host a Youth Basketball Clinic each year.
About the Conservancy
5 Questions with Michelle Mueller Gamez, Manager of Climate Change Research
The Conservancy’s recent launch of the Climate Lab is the next step in our mission to care for this Park forever—especially through the unknowns of the climate crisis. We spoke with Michelle Mueller Gamez, our new Manager of Climate Change Research, to learn more.
Tags: Conservancy Staff / About the Conservancy / Nature Lovers
5 Questions with Mary Wittenberg, 10-Year Race Director of the TCS NYC MarathonMary Wittenberg, former President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Road Runners, shares her favorite running routes in the Park, NYC Marathon memories, and more.
About the Conservancy
People of the Park: Martha & Serena
Central Park is integral to many people’s lives, and we're talking to some of them to get to know the people behind the people’s Park. Meet Martha and Serena, whose relationship is deeply entwined with this vibrant greenspace.
Tags: Conservancy Staff / Tips for Visiting / About the Conservancy / Nature Lovers / Park Experts / First-Time Visitors
About the Conservancy
A Need for Trees: How Central Park Cools the (Urban Heat) Island of Manhattan
When the island of Manhattan faces an extreme “urban heat island” effect, Central Park’s 18,000 trees and 843 acres of paths, lawns, and woodlands offer a much-needed reprieve.
Tags: Summer / Conservancy Staff / Trees / Nature Lovers