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Here are some must-do activities in Central Park this fall

Central Park in the fall
Photo via Getty Images

As the leaves begin to flicker from the bright green foliage of summer to the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn, Central Park is NYC’s escape from the endless concrete jungle into a glimpse of nature. There’s so much more to do than simply admiring the trees, from exploring monuments, playgrounds and the last of grass before winter takes them away. 

Forest-bathing at the Ramble (Mid-Park at 73rd-79th Streets) is a way to soak in the atmosphere of nature and avoid the honking horns for a bit. The art of Shinrin-Yoku evolved in Japan in the 1980s to help workers disconnect from the common feelings of the urban lifestyle. The Ramble is one of the few fully-forest areas in Central Park, making it an ideal space to connect to self and reflect. 

If lush forests aren’t a favorite, go see the autumnal blooms at the Central Park Conservatory Garden (East Side at 104th-106th Streets) and celebrate its 85th birthday this fall. The Korean chrysanthemums only survive in the fall and come in a vivid palette of pinks, oranges and yellows.

Take in the scene at Bow Bridge (Mid-Park at 74th Street). This bridge is one of Central Park’s most iconic places and is a spectacular place to observe the beauty of the changing leaves. To say goodbye to the grass before winter whisks them off, visit East Meadow (East Side at 97th-100th Streets). Taking a picnic or absorbing the heat before the cool weather hits is a good way to unwind.

For families with children, the park features 21 playgrounds, including the Billy Johnson Playground (East Side at 67th Street). The playground has a 45-foot granite slide along with mini versions of Central Park locations. 

History lovers can go see the newly unveiled Women’s Rights Pioneers monument in all of its bronze glory (Mid-Park at 68th Street). The statue highlights 3 incredible women— Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony. 

Nearly all activities mentioned above have the option of an accompanying self-guided tour for the area or monument. Central Park Conservatory Garden guide tours are also a great option, offering self-guided tours, both in-person and virtual tours and online weekly walks. Some available tours include Picture Perfect Central Park, which covers the most famous places, Urban Sanctuary and Flying South for Winter, which focuses on birdwatching and Discovery Walks for Families, which focuses on the ecology of Central Park. Autumn features over 210 species of migrating birds in the park, so go see the birds before winter strikes.

Many of these tours begin at the Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop (Mid-Park at 65th Street), which is a great place to get an upper hand on holiday gift shopping. 

“Central Park Conservancy offers unique tours that provide visitors a true behind-the-scenes look at the Park from the people who care for it 365 days per year. Fall is a beautiful time to explore the magic of Central Park, and we look forward to welcoming the public this season,” said a spokesperson for the Central Park Conservancy.

As a reminder to protect the beautiful and limited trees in NYC, Central Park says to not climb trees, etch or damage bark and to avoid picking off leaves. For further updates on events and happenings, follow @CentralParkNYC on social medias. Alerts on park closures and schedule updates can be found on centralparknyc.org.

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