North Meadow

The North Meadow is the largest of Central Park’s open meadows.

It hosts 12 fields for baseball, softball, and soccer in the spring and summer, and soccer and touch football in the fall. It’s one of three areas in Central Park with sports fields—the others being the Great Lawn and Heckscher Ballfields. All games require a permit from NYC Parks. The meadow also includes ample space for relaxing, picnicking, and strolling.

The North Meadow was originally envisioned as an open area for games such as baseball or cricket, known in the 19th century as a playground. Only one such playground was built in the Park, and instead this area was designed as an open meadow, a pastoral landscape intended to evoke the countryside and to provide a respite from the confined conditions of urban life. During the early 20th century, the growth in popularity of organized sports led to the meadow being used for baseball and soccer. In the 1930s, this use was made official with the addition of diamonds and backstops. In the 1990s, the Central Park Conservancy restored the landscape to balance its use for sports while accommodating other activities and return some of its original scenic beauty.

How the Conservancy Cares for Ballfields

Learn how the Conservancy cares for the North Meadow’s fields to ensure they’re ready for your next sports game.