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10 Things Not to Miss in and Around NYC's Central Park This Summer: Part 1!

If you and your kids are heading to NYC this summer, Central Park is definitely a must-see destination. It is an 843 acre haven smack in the middle of Manhattan. There are plenty of things to keep you and the kids busy in Central Park itself, but we’ve put together a list of must-sees in and across the street from Central Park for your kids this summer.

And stay tuned for Part 2 of fun things to do with your kids in and around Central Park coming next week, including Central Park’s very own amusement park and the best playgrounds Central Park has to offer.

Enjoy! And start packing. Because you’ll want to make sure to visit New York City and Central Park with you kids this summer!

Read more at Marinka’s personal blog Motherhood in NYC and follow her on Twitter!

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  • The Carousel 1 of 10
    The Carousel
    Younger kids love the carousel and parents love the nostalgia. And the fact that the rides are only $2.50 each. The Central Park carousel has 58 hand-painted horses, making it one of the largest in the United States. Located mid-park at 64th Street. click here for additional info
    Photo Credit: Central Park NYC
  • Cleopatra’s Needle 2 of 10
    Cleopatra's Needle
    Ancient Egypt in Central Park! Cleopatra's Needle in NYC is one of the three ancient Egyptian obelisks from Egypt and is the oldest monument in Central Park. (There are two more in London and in Paris!) The Needle is about 68 feet hight and weighs some 224 tons, so don't try to grab it to bring home as a souvenir, please. See Cleopatra's Needle at the East side drive, at 81st Street (behind the Metropolitan Museum). source
    Photo Credit: Wiki
  • Central Park Zoo (and Children’s Zoo!) 3 of 10
    Central Park Zoo (and Children's Zoo!)
    Remember Madagascar? The Central Park Zoo is where it all began! Come see the seals get fed, the polar bears swim and the penguins waddle around! And if you want to hand feed some animals, the Children's Zoo is a short distance away!
    Photo Credit: Morguefile
  • Metropolitan Museum 4 of 10
    Metropolitan Museum
    I think there's a law that you can't visit NYC and not stop by the Met. And luckily there's something for everyone there. The kids will love the Egyptian collection, including the Temple of Dendur. And all summer long, check out Tomas Saraceno's "Cloud City" installation on the roof. (Please make sure to read admission details, as children must meet both age and height criteria in order to enter the exhibit.) And of course don't forget that many a Gossip Girl scene was filmed on the steps of the Met.
    Photo Credit: Wikipedia
  • Horse-Pulled Carriage Rides 5 of 10
    Horse-Pulled Carriage Rides
    Carriage rides are available in Central Park and it's a great way to see the park, but beware-- it is pricey-- $50 for the first 20 minutes. Be sure to discuss the terms with the driver in advance. Also there are temperatures above which the rides aren't offered. Check here for more information!.
    Photo credit: Morguefile
  • Strawberry Fields 6 of 10
    Strawberry Fields
    A memorial to John Lennon on the West side of the park, at approximately 72nd Street, is a lovely designated quiet area. It is a good place to sit and reflect and let the kids think about a kind of world they'd like to imagine.
    Photo credit: Morguefile
  • American Museum of Natural History 7 of 10
    American Museum of Natural History
    Since you're on the West side already, sneak out of the park for a quick trip the American Museum of Natural History. Although it's entirely possible to spend a day there, you can also go in for a bit to see the Rose Planetarium or to say hi to the dinosaurs.
    Photo Credit: Wikipedia
  • Boat Rides 8 of 10
    Boat Rides
    One of my very favorite things to do in Central Park is to take a boat ride. Rentals are in the middle of the part, at 72nd Street, and are fairly reasonable-- $12 for the first hour. If you prefer not to row your own boat, you get reserve a classic Venetia gondola ride--$30 per half an hour. Either way, you're on the water, in the middle of the park that's in the middle of the city and your kids are probably singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat! What's not to love?
    Proto Credit: flickr
  • The Guggenheim Museum 9 of 10
    The Guggenheim Museum
    This is a museum that's really fun to look at from the outside! On 88th and Fifth you can peek out of the park to see it. (The ramps inside are closed this summer because of a special museum installation. But come back when the ramps are open, because there has not been a kid yet who hasn't wanted to rollerblade/skate/skateboard/scooter down those ramps.)
    Photo Credit: Morguefile
  • The Four Bodies of Water 10 of 10
    The Four Bodies of Water
    There are four bodies of water in Central Park-- the pond on the south side, the lake in the west 70s, the reservoir in the east 80s and the Harlem Meer at the Northeast tip. Keep an eye out for them as you explore the park!
    Photo Credit: Morguefile

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