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.
The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is a massive venue when it comes to live entertainment. The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors has something for everyone: internationally recognized dances, high-level performances, special events and jazz. Watch out for Live From Lincoln Center, a program that has famous orchestras and artistes performing. Lincoln Center holds about 400 live performances a year, ranging from classical to modern productions. And as if that wasn't enough, the Center also hosts many events put on by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. There are guided tours on a daily basis that explore the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, the New York State Theater (home of the New York City Opera) and the Vivian Beaumont Theater. During the tour, your guides will entertain you with fascinating stories and give you a glimpse of a rehearsal in progress.
With a permanent collection numbering over two million individual works of art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, is not only a New York City landmark, it is the United States' largest art museum and the fifth-most visited museum of any kind in the world. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the museum encompasses more than 1.5 million square feet (139,355 square meters) of exhibition space. European paintings on display include those by world-renown masters like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Titian, and Vermeer. The vast collection has been split between several galleries, arranged by geographic origin and other thematic schemes. The Egyptian art gallery is especially enticing, as are the Met's repositories of Asian, African and Medieval art. Others include Islamic, Roman, and Greek art, the Arms and Armory section, the Costume Institute, and European Decorative arts. When weather permits, contemporary sculptures are displayed at the open-air roof garden. Apart from being a treasure trove for art lovers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a fun-filled and educational experience for all ages.
This powerhouse in the modern art world doubles as one of the best-known museums on the globe. Its galleries burst with intriguing exhibits showcasing mediums ranging from painting and drawing to print and illustration. Photography fans will also find a lot to love at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Classic artworks closely associated with the museum include Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Should your appetite for food begin to compete with your appetite for art, there is a charming restaurant on site, as well as a gift shop to browse on your way out.
Home to the legendary dance company The Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most spectacular and famous performance venues in the United States. Its locale in the heart of the Big Apple has made it a cultural center, particularly during the Christmas season. Originally opened in 1932 and nicknamed "The Palace for the People," Radio City was renovated in 1980. Anybody who is anybody has performed here - New York legends Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis, Jr. are just a few that spring to mind, and to this day, the stage remains a showcase for entertainment royalty.
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.
Come to the The Newark Museum of Art to immerse yourself in a world of art, beauty and innovation. Exhibits are not restricted to fine art but also include installation art and artifact exhibits. Besides the quintessential features of a museum, the Newark Museum goes a step further to make your experience extraordinary. From a well-equipped library open to the public by appointment to curator-led museum tour podcasts that can be downloaded from their website, the Museum endeavors to take the visitor on a great trip. It also conducts art appreciation workshops for kids and adults.
A visit to Newark Public Library while in the city is a must for those who wish to learn about the culture and history of the city in-depth. The extensive collection of literature, artworks and historic exhibits make it an important landmark and a popular tourist attraction. The Newark Public Library is home to New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center and James Brown African American Room. This main branch of The Newark Public Library first opened its door to the public in 1901 and now has as many as eight locations across the city.
The Orange Public Library is a historic library building which was established in 1901. Made in the Classical Revival style of architecture, the library boasts of serving nearly 33,000 people. The library is fully functional and accepts memberships.
The Thomas Edison National Historic Site is an important landmark that conserves the working laboratory and abode of the world renowned scientist, Thomas Edison. This historical site is the place where Edison made his inventions that benefited the entire human race. Explore the laboratory on your own or you can avail special audio tours. For more details, check website or call ahead.
Built in 1913 by Wells & Marvin and designed by Lansing C. Holden, the Bayonne Trust Company stood by Broadway with beautiful Beaux-Arts Architecture. It was first occupied by Commercial Trust Company which sold the place to Summit Bancorp in 1948, who then went on to sell the building to the city in 2001. The Cubical structure with granite fittings gives it an classy aesthetic feel. The doors are made of glass and bronze oxidized aluminium as compared to the original doors made of bronze, which were replaced in 1979. The museum was finally listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2006
Embrace your wild-side at New Jersey's top zoo - the Turtle Back. Affiliated to the Essex County Parks Department, don't miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the exotic and breath-taking animal world. Gray kangaroos and kookaburras from Aussie-land, American alligators, penguins, red pandas, Himalayan leopards, Komodo dragons, stunning reptiles and marine life form part of the family of 800 that call this haven home. The globe-spanning ensemble comprises of 150 species, most rare and endangered, and justify Turtle Back's commitment to conserve wildlife and educate society on the same.