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.
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 the late 17 Century, the Military Park actually served as a training ground for Newark's militia. However, today it serves the locals with a beautiful park to relax and enjoy the evening. The park contains monument of the 'Wars of America' and a large concrete sword. The park also has an underground parking area. The Military Park hosts a variety of local events like the Common Greens, a popular farmers market, annual festivals like the Africa-Newark Festival and other concerts.
This gorgeous Downtown Newark park is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring 360 acres (145 hectares) of walking paths, vast lawns and water features. Have a picnic, go for a stroll along the riverbank or ride your bike. In the Spring time the 4,000 Japanese Cherry Blossom trees bloom, making for beautiful scenery.
Located on 28 acres (11 hectares) of beautiful gardens and woodlands, this non-profit cultural institution overlooks the Hudson River. Wave Hill is dedicated to exploring the interaction between human beings and the natural environment. It maintains four historic buildings and five greenhouses and has won many awards for its gardens. Its Arts Program presents the work of contemporary artists and landscape professionals. Partake in educational, horticultural and art programs that are held at the cultural center from time to time. Come enjoy the feast of nature in its own arms.
The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the United States. It houses thousands of animals, ranging from lions and monkeys to sea lions and sloths. The Congo exhibit features lowland gorillas, pythons and other central African animals. A modern zoo, it places animals into re-creations of their own ecosystems. Also, a plethora of activities held at the zoo provide an educating and entertaining experience for adults as well as children. Admission prices vary according to season, so check the website for details.
Located in Newark's Ironbound area, Riverbank Park was opened to the public in 1907. Although small as compared to others in the Essex County Park System, Riverbank Park is extremely popular, and the baseball field, running track, playground and soccer field are always packed. An area of the park also offers waterfront access.
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.
Located in The Staten Island Botanical Garden, this garden was designed by the Landscape Architecture Corporation of China and has a collection of beautiful pavilions, walkways and courtyards. Scholar gardens are a concept unique to the Ming and Qing dynasties around 200 years back. A scholar or administrator belonging to the royal court would design these enclosed gardens. In these gardens the scenery changes beautifully, leaving a wonderfully dramatic impact. Guided tours are conducted on weekends, please check the website for specific timings.