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Bryant Park transforms into a winter wonderland every year, with the Bank of America Winter Village ice skating rink providing the busy inhabitants of New York with some much needed winter recreation. Entry to the rink is free, while skates and other amenities and services are available at a low rate. One can see everyone from tourists, families with kids, groups of youngsters, as well as couples having a good time at the rink, with skating lessons being offered here as well. If the skating has you too tired, relax with a hot beverage outside the rink area.
The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center has been a regular New York tourist fixture since its inception in 1936. Even though it is one of the most popular ice skating rinks of the city, it is actually quite small compared to many other rinks. During the holidays, the rink can become a bit crowded, but skating under the great Christmas tree is a once in a lifetime experience. Nonetheless, if you're here just to enjoy the lively ambiance and indulge in some people watching, the mezzanine above the rink is a nice, second option.
In the midst of the bustle, noise and pollution of Turtle Bay, the Tudor City Greens provide an oasis of peace. Located on either side of East 42nd Street and under the first multi-building residential complex in the world, these not-for-profit greens are run under the auspices of Tudor City itself. Stroll down the cobblestone paths on a summer lazy afternoon, watching flowers bloom or enjoy an al fresco lunch break on one of the bistro-style chairs which are strategically placed all around the park. When you are done, don't forget to visit Ralph Bunche Park and take the Sharansky Steps to the United Nations across 1st Avenue.
In the heart of Midtown East lies the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, a rectangular patch of green that has served as a popular gathering point in the community for several years. Named in the honor of former Secretary-General of United Nations and posthumous recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize award, Dag Hammarskjöld, this plaza-cum-park lays spread over 1.59 acres (0.64 hectares). Besides being a good place for a stroll, the park is also a popular spot for community events, like the healthy farmer's market held every Wednesday. Call to know more.
Located on New York's East 51st Street, GreenAcre Park brings in a breath of fresh greens amidst the concrete buildings it is nestled in. Founded and managed by the GreenAcre Foundation, this park was established in 1971. Designed by Hideo Sasaki, an award-wining architect, the park features a beautiful waterfall on one end. The outdoor cafe, located within the GreenAcre Park is a great place to spend some time with friends while feasting on delicious food. The park offers a tranquil space for those wishing to spend some quiet time.
Offering a much-needed green environment to the urban headaches before you reach Midtown, Madison Square Park is a lush green patch at the beginning of the Flatiron District. All through the year, the park plays host to various cultural events, exhibitions and concerts, all of which are attended in large numbers. Throughout the park, visitors will find a burst of color within its well-manicured flower gardens. Tiny tots and four-legged friends will also have lots to do at Jemmy's Dog Run and the playground. Another perfect addition to the park is the original Shake Shack, the beloved burger place; it can't be missed.
The botanical garden is open to the public and completely accessible by wheelchair for the convenience of recuperating patients and their families. This oasis is definitely a blessing for oxygen-starved NY lungs. Consisting of an excellent array of flowers and assorted grasses, the garden is educational and informative just as it is refreshing. Families often visit the place as it also has a play garden where the children can frolic safely, or sit by the Koi ponds or eat at the barbecue-seating place.
Grand Army Plaza is one of two historic NYC sites that pay homage to the Union Soldiers who fought in the Civil War (1861-65). After the war, this fraternal organization began as the Grand Army of the Republic and it was the forerunner to many veteran's groups in the present-day. This plaza located at the southeastern end of Central Park features a magnificent gilded statue of William Tecumseh Sherman, the war general who is most known for his sack and burning of Atlanta. In front of Sherman, the goddess Victory leads him upon his horse. On the other end of the plaza, a beautiful fountain with the goddess Pomona is hidden from the tumult of 5th Avenue and it provides a fleeting moment of peace in the urban jungle. The other Grand Army Plaza is located in Brooklyn, adjacent to another spectacular space, Prospect Park.