Chess & Checkers House

The historic Chess & Checkers House is currently home to one of Central Park’s five visitor centers managed by the Central Park Conservancy.

It was built in 1952 to offer visitors of all ages a space to play games. Surrounding the octagonal brick structure are 24 game tables shaded by a wooden trellis; visitors can borrow game pieces and other board games from Conservancy staff inside the building.

Chess & Checkers House is located atop a large rock outcrop near the Dairy in the area designed as the Children’s District, dedicated to providing amenities and attractions to children and their caregivers. It was created on the site of the Kinderberg, which in the 19th century was the largest and most elaborate of the Park’s many rustic structures. It later deteriorated and was removed. Its name meant “children’s mountain,” a reference to its rocky perch, which remains. Like the current structure, the Kinderberg provided shade and shelter and a place rest, picnic, and play games.

In the summer, the Conservancy often offers classes at Chess & Checkers House with chess experts for anyone looking to develop their skills.