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
Visit the iconic landmarks and landscapes that make Central Park the world’s most famous park.
Tags: History / Art & Architecture
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
Also in the area
About the Conservancy
Central Park's iconic Chess & Checkers House and Kinderberg are newly restored. See how the Conservancy's expert team of landscape architects, architects, project managers, and historians worked to revive the site, a destination for kids of all ages for over 150 years.
Tags: Conservancy Staff / Park Design / About the Conservancy / Rustic Architecture / History / Park Experts / Landscape Design / Restoration and Maintenance
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.
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
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