Central Park, by its very nature, is one of the most romantic spots in New York City. Soon after entering the park you feel your pace slow, a certain edginess leaves your body and your mind can wander just a bit. At the same time you are able to focus that much better on the person strolling at your side. Tree branches interlace the sky and you follow walkways that stretch ahead in soothing curves; you’ve left behind the hard angles of avenues and the harsh reality of cement. Here your perception is filtered through a lens of diffuse clarity; your senses heightened, reflexes relaxed. The park becomes the perfect place for heartfelt declarations and, perhaps, subtle seduction.
Picnic in the Park – Pack a picnic lunch or light dinner, or have one prepared at one of the many specialty food shops that ring the park. Add a bottle of sparkling cider and toast the sunset from any one of the many lovely spots the park provides for blanket spreading. A favorite spot is Cherry Hill, just west of Bethesda Fountain. There you can relax on a gentle slope overlooking the lake and watch the rowboats glide along the glassy surface. Or just wander around and find your own favorite spot.
Conservatory Garden – Try a visit to the Conservatory Garden, a secluded Eden just east of the North Meadow. Take a seat under one of the flowering trees, for an added touch try reciting a poem, from memory if possible. Yes it’s a bit corny, but it works. As long as you don’t choose Dr. Seuss.
Walks – Take a walk through the Shakespeare Garden and then check out the view from Belvedere Castle. Stroll along the Mall up to Bethesda Terrace. Strawberry Fields, the North Meadow – the park offers endless possibilities for simply walking hand in hand and exploring the landscape.
Rowboats – Try something classic – rent a rowboat at the Boathouse and row around the lake. Take a tour of the western end of the lake, north along the ramble or south around Wagner cove. Or just float about and marvel at the skyline as the sunsets over the West Side of Manhattan.
Ice Skating – Ice skating in Central Park is easily one of the most picturesque and romantic, activities to be enjoyed on a winter’s night. Feel the cold tingle of New York’s crisp winter air, listen to the music, and take in the incomparable surroundings as you glide (gracefully or not so) around the rink. Then share a hot chocolate and critique the other skaters from the terrace overlooking the rink.
Concerts in the Park – Virtually every musical genre imaginable is featured at sometime and someplace during the summer months in Central Park. These include free performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera on the Great Lawn, Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield and the concert series at Naumburg Bandshell. What could be more romantic than relaxing on a blanket on the Great Lawn, listening to the New York Philharmonic and staring up into the sky.
Central Park Film Festival – Every August the Central Park Conservancy conducts a week long Film Festival north of Sheep Meadow.
Dinner in the Park– Take a walk through the park and finish with a surprise dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant, but make sure to call ahead to check on reservations.
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