This area was designated in the 19th-century design for Central Park as the “Ball-ground” or the “Play-ground,” a place for playing fields games such as cricket or baseball. Although the growing popularity of these games led the Park planners to envision additional fields as part of the Park, they ultimately created only one. Because of overwhelming demand, they decided to prioritize its use for children. The nearby Ball-players House was created as a changing room and is now a cafe.
Later, more fields were added to the Park. Adults began to play on the ballfields in the 1920s.
Things you can do here
This self-guided tour is dedicated to Richard “Dick” Gilder, Jr., a visionary philanthropist who grew up playing in Central Park.
Tags: For Groups / Kids and Families / Health & Fitness
Visit the iconic landmarks and landscapes that make Central Park the world’s most famous park.
Tags: History / Art & Architecture
Also in the area
Things to See and Do
We received curious inquiries on everything from the best places to take skyline photos to the history of the Minton tile ceiling in the Bethesda Terrace Arcade.
Tags: Tips for Visiting
Not long after construction of Central Park began, the Park’s designers created the Children’s District in the lower end of the Park.
Tags: Families / Best for Kids
Here are 10 ways to combine a desire for a new you in the new year with the joy of spending time in Central Park.