December 17, 2019
BLOG: A Slice of the Past: Winter Recreation in New York’s Central Park__ Read article
BLOG: A Slice of the Past: Winter Recreation in New York’s Central Park
Known for theater, picnics, and vigorous recreation during the summer months, Central Park changes with the first snowfall into a picturesque land of skating rinks and snowshoe trails. As the transformation moves across the park like frost up a windowpane, New Yorkers recall childhood snowball fights and skating expeditions and hope to recapture the joy of friends and family gatherings in the seasonal cold. Luxury no-fee residences in nearby buildings—like ARO or The Pearl—make for the perfect home base from which residents can explore this wintry landscape, safe in the knowledge that they can quickly retreat for a mug of cocoa and a blast of central heating to warm up their frosty fingertips.
Central Park features a pair of skating rinks, making ample space for New Yorkers whose preferred winter recreation takes place on the ice. In fact, New Yorkers have been skating in Central Park for more than 150 years, nearly the park’s entire history, although for the first century, daring skaters took to the frozen tops of ponds and lakes instead of gliding around dedicated rinks. Since 1950, Wollman Rink in the park’s south section—open late until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays through early April—has served as the city’s premier outdoor ice skating rink, as well as one of the best hot cocoa dispensers around. The north section of the park is home to the Lasker Rink, which was originally built in 1966 and was almost shuttered in the 1980s before being rehabilitated by a New York developer and turned into the modern, LEED-certified rink we know and love today. The holiday hours for Lasker Rink are extended until 11 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays leading up to the New Year.
More serious winter warriors will enjoy the vast tracts of land around Sheep Meadow, where the terrain is perfect for strapping on a pair of cross-country skis and setting off through the trees to explore the familiar park now blanketed in six inches or more of snow. The less athletic among us may prefer to traverse the same ground on snowshoes, another Central Park tradition. One destination perfect for winter exploration is the Arthur Ross Pinetum, a stand of 17 coniferous species that creates a tiny evergreen forest just north of the Great Lawn. Especially during the winter months, this four-acre forest is a slice of another world, bringing trees from around the world into concert to create a place where time seems to stand still.
Grab a pair of snowshoes, skates, or a travel mug of coffee or tea and head over to Central Park from your luxury rental apartment to make some winter memories.