At the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd Street sits one of New York City’s best parks. Do you know what park it is? Here’s a hint: it’s not Central Park.
If you guessed Bryant Park, you’re right!
For visitors, most parks in New York City fall away in the shadow of Central Park but Bryant Park is a great oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. It is nearly 10,000 acres is a beautiful example of New York City’s revitalization movement in the 1990s.
Here are some of the many activities and services Bryant Park offers:
One of the great features about Bryant Park is that it offers free Wi-Fi. It’s especially nice this time of year to sit out side, people watch and catch up on email, work or just surf the internet. There are even power outlets on the Southwest Porch to plug in your laptop or wireless device.
There are several kinds of free classes offered in Bryant Park. Free yoga classes are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are classes for all levels and ages.
Free tai chi classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
For a really unusual experience, try the free fencing classes in Bryant Park. Manhattan Fencing Center offers free beginner classes every Friday at 1 pm. They even provide the equipment! For more information or to sign up for classes, visit their website.
There are ping pong tables in the park and paddles and balls are free to use.
Chess, Checkers and other Board Games
Bryant Park has an area in it to play board games, including: chess, checkers, backgammon, and Scrabble. Visitors can rent the boards for a small fee.
Open Air Library
The Reading Room is an open-air library in Bryant Park. Visitors do not need a local library card. You can just sign a book or magazine out and read it on one of the many benches, tables or grassy areas.
There is a summer reading series called “Word for Word” in Bryant Park. Discussions and events include: poetry readings, book discussions with authors, kids entertainment and more.
Le Carrousel is a central feature of Bryant Park. Its beautiful animals are replicas of those from classical carousels.
Visit Bryant Park without Leaving Home
If you don’t have plans to visit New York City anytime soon, no worries, you can still take a tour of Bryant Park with this audio tour It is narrated by actor and New York native, Matthew Broderick.