Its main feature is an ornamental pond, also known as the Model Boat Pond, where children and hobbyists launch and race miniature sailboats and yachts. These are stored and rented at the nearby Kerbs Boathouse, which also houses a cafe. The edges of the water, lined with benches, are popular spots for relaxing and watching boats and people. The area also draws visitors to two significant statues: Alice in Wonderland, one of the most popular statues in the Park, and the monument to the children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen. In the winter, when the water freezes all the way through, the pond is also open for ice skating.
Model boating draws from a long tradition in Paris parks such as the Jardin du Luxembourg. Visitors to Conservatory Water also may recognize it as a setting in E.B. White’s 1945 story, Stuart Little, and its 1999 film adaptation.
The pond is named for the conservatory (a large glass and metal greenhouse) that was originally planned for the site but never realized. It was designed as a reflecting pool and its regular shape and edge provide a contrast to the Park’s other more naturalistic water bodies.
Things you can do here
Whether you’re just stopping by for a visit, heading to a concert, or consider Central Park your backyard, we have you covered for your perfect weekend in the Park.
Tags: Kids and Families / Health & Fitness / Art & Architecture / Wildlife
Take a trip through the heart of Central Park.
Tags: History / Staff Picks / Art & Architecture
Spot more than 70 species of trees on this beautiful walk up the east side.
Tags: Plants and Trees
Look up to admire the many trees in the heart of the Park.
Tags: Plants and Trees
Enjoy the Park’s quieter season on a walk past its best winter sights.
Tags: Kids and Families / Art & Architecture
Also in the area
Snowy scenes from the 1980s and 1990s are some of the Central Park Conservancy's recently digitized images.
Tags: Conservancy Staff / History
Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal shares his fondest memories of the Park, his idea of a perfect picnic there, and what he’ll do when the coronavirus pandemic is all over.
CBS This Morning co-host and Central Park regular Anthony Mason averages four miles a day, mostly spent meandering the hidden paths and trails.