The Great Lawn

Central Park
New York, NY

Submitted by: Josh Kent

A sweeping, grassy expanse in the middle of Olmsted and Vaux's masterpiece.

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Why It Works

I spent my spring, summer and falls playing softball, soccer, frisbee and basketball on the Great Lawn's fields and playgrounds. However, the space is so much more than a place to play sports. The combination of great management and multiple activities makes it a gathering point for sun tanners, fishers, picnickers, concert-goers, theater-goers (Shakespeare in the Park), roller bladers, playground users and much more.

People run barefoot through the grass as if they were in an open country field and not in one of the densest cities in the world. It is a remarkable feat and a great service for New Yorkers and tourists alike.

The Great Lawn is at its peak in the summer. Wednesday night concerts and Shakespeare in the Park bring New York culture right to the Lawn, making Central Park active and safe at night. But on any given day of the year, whether it be for a picnic or a cross country ski excursion, the Lawn is one of New York's great places to gather.

What Makes The Great Lawn a Great Place?

It is accessible by foot and easy to reach from any point in the park, which is especially impressive considering the size of Central Park.

The Lawn is maintained and programmed exceptionally well, and it has a strong image as one of the park's premier spaces.

It has a plethora of uses and activities, from sports to outdoor theater.

The Lawn is a wonderful group destination, be it for planned activities like Shakespeare in the Park, or spontaneous picnics or other outings.

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