A walk around the park is 6.1 miles! The Big Bus Blue Route does go almost right around the park with a commentary, and allows you a number of stops to hop off and on again, so it is not a bad option, especially when you see the prices of the bicycle chariots and other transport inside the park which charge per 30 minutes or per hour. If you can cycle then that is the best way to see the Park. But, you might just do the bus first for the information and orientation, then another method. The bus tour will educate you as to what is there and which areas you might want to see. Our film takes you round the park first, then into the children’s district so you get a taste of each.
There are many areas for children in Central Park, Diana Ross and others have donated generously. But at the southern end of the park is an area originally known as the children’s section, which is where the famous Carousel is. The original ride which opened in 1871 has gone not least because it was powered by a blind mule and a horse that walked a treadmill in an underground pit which would not be acceptable today, just as photographing children isn’t. So, we show you the area, hopefully avoiding showing the children. The historic Carousel remains popular with an estimated over a quarter of a million riders a year, giving a rest from the busy noisy city. Commercial elements in the park were originally frowned upon but then accepted as they offered assets that could otherwise not be afforded. The income now is a welcome source of needed revenue to the city. Just up the hill on 65th Street is the Victorian Gothic style Dairy which is normally open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is an information centre and gift shop now but used to offer fresh milk to children in the late 19th century when fresh milk was apparently hard to find. Along from there is the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo set in five acres of land. So, not far from 5th Ave you can find a park, a carousel and over 130 different species ranging from giant Polar Bears to the Brazilian black tarantula. The Zoo is also actively involved in the preservation of endangered species, providing a home for rare tamarin monkeys, Wyoming toads, thick-billed parrots, and red pandas.
The park is huge, it has its own NYPD precinct. You can get a taxi round it, a horse and carriage or a cycle rickshaw, but it is cheaper to cycle or walk … a lot cheaper. The park contains several lakes including Harlem Meer at the top corner, ponds a reservoir with running track around it. It also has extensive walking tracks, bridle paths, two ice-skating rinks (one of which is a swimming pool in July and August). Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, an outdoor amphitheatre, the Delacorte Theater, which hosts the Shakespeare in the Park summer festivals. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature centre and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. This film loops you around the park and then shows you a little of the Children’s area at the top of 5th avenue and the famous Home Alone 2 Hotel. Apparently, the pigeon lady is a real character and can be seen there in the mornings.
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