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An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle and Central Park Zoo.
Covering 250 acres (100 hectares), New York Botanical Garden is a picturesque blend of rocks, waterfalls, hills, rivers, woods, ponds, plants, and of course, flowers. The property, which is a National Historic Landmark, also includes an interactive area for children. Another marvelous attraction is the beautifully restored Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is a Victorian-era greenhouse. Don't forget to visit the NYBG Shop - a store which offers a wide range of goods, from books and garden supplies to jewelry and body products. For those interested in fresh fruits and vegetables, the garden also hosts a seasonal farmer's market.
This small but beautiful botanic garden features a Japanese garden, as well as the Cranford Rose Garden, herb garden, the Children's Garden, and the Steinhard Conservatory of indoor flowers and plants. In all, there are 52 acres and 12,000 varieties of botanicals, ranging from the tiny bonsai to the towering oak. Self-guided tours, individual classes and certificate programs are all available. Students come with your valid id cards, if you want to avail of a discount.
Built in 1903, The New Amsterdam Theatre is one of the oldest theaters in New York City. Home to the original Ziegfeld Follies, unfortunately it had fallen into disrepair for a number of years and almost closed forever. During the renovation of Times Square in the early 1990s, it was purchased by Walt Disney Company and fully restored. It reopened in 1997 to house the Tony Award winning show, The Lion King. Tickets are expensive and hard to get, but don't let that discourage you.
This bronze statue in Central Park is a popular attraction for kids. Commissioned by George Delacorte and sculpted by Jose de Creeft in 1959, Alice in Wonderland is a tribute to the famous Lewis Carroll novel. The sculpture depicts Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Dormouse gathered around a troop of mushrooms. The statue is designed for children to climb and play on. Look for Alice in the eastern section of the park, just north of the Conservatory Water near East 74th Street.
The peninsular region of Coney Island offers lofty stretches of sands and makes for a perfect place to head out in summers. Apart from the stunning views of the sea, a walk along the coast will also acquaint you with a number of recreational options ranging from sports facilities to amusement rides. The area is a popular tourist hangout and therefore, is replete with an excellent number of eateries for all tastes. Irrespective of whether you just want to chill out by the beach or have a blast, you're bound to have a good time here. A number of attractions are close by if you want to venture out.
A renowned entertainment venue in the Big Apple, Madison Square Garden has gained iconic importance around the world. Attracting crowds since 1968, the stadium is abuzz with voices of Knicks and Rangers fans. With a capacity of 18,000, it is considered to be Midtown Manhattan's revered and oldest entertainment spot. From glamorous music concerts to award shows, the venue has witnessed some of the biggest events over time. A sought after venue in New York City and sitting right above Penn Station, it is easily accessible for everyone.
The American Museum of Natural History is a popular attraction and one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, displays and exhibits, all geared to reveal secrets of the beautiful natural world. The visit begins with skeletons and life-size replicas of elephants, dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, which welcome you as you enter the main hall. Other points of interest include the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, the Hall of Meteorites, a vast collection of gemstones, an IMAX theater and the Rose Center for Earth and Space planetarium shows (at extra cost), as well as a research library. The museum offers a number of specially customized public and group tours as well as educational programs and trips, enabling visitors to explore the exhibits in detail.
Walk the deck of the 872-foot (266-meter) aircraft carrier Intrepid, best known for its role in World War II, and witness thought-provoking exhibits on aviation as well as deep sea and space exploration with a visit to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Tour a submarine and take a virtual flight, in addition to viewing vintage and modern airplanes parked wing to wing. The interactive programs and events are designed for all ages and guarantee an educational yet fun experience. The stunning interiors and the panoramic views on the outside make The Intrepid a must-visit.
Located at the American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center for Earth & Space focuses on all things related to the stars - from our home planet to the most distant galaxies. The fantastic, high-tech architecture actually makes you feel as though you have stepped into the future, perhaps even to a distant planet. The most prominent feature of the Rose Center is the New Hayden Planetarium, but the other exhibits (such as the installations illustrating the scale and age of the universe or the inner workings of the earth) are just as fascinating.
Opened as The Republic Theater by Oscar Hammerstein in 1900, The New Victory Theater was the first theater to be renovated as part of the 42nd Street revitalization. Since its re-opening in 1995, it has become the premier theater for family entertainment. From theater and puppetry to dance, the world's top children's companies flock to this lovely space. Though marketed directly to kids and families, the level of performances are so diverse and exceptional that adults should not pass on the chance to visit this unique cultural stage. Check the website for show updates and other details.
Although its reign as a summer resort destination in the 50s and 60s has long since ended, this lovely beach is set for a come back once people realize how beautiful and close-by this beach truly is. Located on the south shore of Long Island in Queens Rockaway Beach provides New Yorkers with a beach that is accessible by subway. This beach is perfect whether you want to swim, surf, fish, play volleyball, or just enjoy strolling besides the ocean. Don't miss out on visiting the 1908 St. Rose of Lima Church to admire the classic architecture of the Rockaway subway stop.