Bryant Park: Discover this must-see NYC park!

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Elia Tabuenca García
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A little history on Bryant Park

Bryant Park opened in 1843. Before bearing its current name, this green space was baptized Reservoir Park, in reference to the reservoir that was located there (the latter was destroyed and replaced by the public library, the New York Public Library in 1899).



The name Bryant Park was chosen in 1894 and the latter derives its origin from William Cullen Bryant, an American poet, novelist, and journalist.

Over the years, different constructions have appeared in the park such as: the Crystal Palace erected in 1853 for the first universal exhibition. This was burnt a few years later. In 1912, the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, the first memorial in honor of a woman also took place in the middle of the park.

In 1989, New York City decided to renovate the park and this one reopened its doors in 1992. Its success was immediate and this green space became a place of rest and relaxation for the locals.

But Bryant Park's developments do not end there. In 2001, the latter became the first wireless park, in other words the first park allowing a free access to Wi-Fi. The public toilets also reopened in 2006 (listed building over 95 years old) after some work.


What are the activities to do in Bryant Park?

As stated at the start of this article, Bryant Park is a favorite place for locals and tourists wishing to rest and relax. But this park is also a place of multiple activities, especially in summer and winter. Here is a quick overview of the main things to do during the year.


Bryant Park in summer

During the day

In the summer, activities are plentiful in Bryant Park. It must be said that the weather is fine, which is very pleasant for strolling, taking in the air or resting on the lawn. Because of its proximity to the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is also an ideal location for lire. Moreover, if you want to read a book quietly, you can go to the Bryant Park reading room where books and magazines are available to you.

During the day, you can also rest and enjoy the sun while contemplating the magnificent buildings around you. If you wish, you can also drink a coffee, eat an ice cream or simply picnic.

But during the summer, there are still many activities. Indeed, the park offers its visitors a multitude of installations allowing you to play chess, ping-pong or pétanque. A merry-go-round is also installed.

In summer, outdoor events are also organized every day such as yoga, Tai-Chi, fencing, dance ...

In the evening

Every summer the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival takes place. This event invites you to watch old films in the middle of the park. If you are in New York in July or August, think about it!


Bryant Park in winter

In winter, the ambiance of Bryant Park changes to give way to a rink and to a Christmas market.


The entrance to the Bryant Park ice rink is fully free. If you don't have skates, rest assured! You can request it for free. Whether you have a beginner or advanced level, don't hesitate to put on your skates and get out on the ice. This experience is magical and very convivial.

The Christmas market, also known as' Bank of America Winter Village«  brings together sellers from all over the world. You can find decorative items, accessories or even food products.

If you are in New York during the Christmas period, do not hesitate to take a short trip to Bryant Park. You can discover a magical and magical atmosphere.

Bryant Park in the fall and spring

In spring, sunny days reappear. You can therefore take advantage of the sunny days to walk around and discover the beauties of bryant park. In the fall, the landscapes change to give way to pretty colors. So don't forget your camera to take wonderful pictures!

Useful information about Bryant Park

Where to eat in Bryant Park

To eat during your walk in Bryant Park, you can picnic. This first solution is in my opinion the most pleasant. Sitting on a towel in the middle of the lush green lawn, you can mingle with the locals and live like a New Yorker for a little while.


If the picnic does not tempt you, know that restaurants are located in the park: the Bryant Park Cafe or the Bryant Park Grill. You will therefore necessarily find something to eat in case of a little hunger.


Park opening hours

Bryant Park is open every day from 7 a.m. to 22 p.m. From June to September, it is open until midnight Monday to Friday and until 11 am on Saturday and Sunday. Its entrance is entirely free.

Where is the park located?

Bryant Park is fairly easy to find: it's close to Times Square and Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street and 5th and 6th Avenue.

To help you spot it, here's a little map:

How do I get to Bryant Park?

If you plan to spend a lot of time in the Manhattan neighborhood while in New York City, the best way to get to Bryant Park is at marche walk. Indeed, if you walk on Times Square or Fifth Avenue, you will be right next door! If you also pass by the New York Public Library, don't forget that the park is right next to it!

On the other hand, if you are far from the park, the Metro is the best solution to access it:

  • Lines B, D, F and M to 42nd - Bryant Park station.
  • Line 7 to Fifth Avenue station.

For the bus, you can take lines M5, M7, QM15, QM16, QM17, QM18.

You now know everything about Bryant park. You also have everything in hand to visit it and so not miss any of the activities on offer. For my part, I advise you to plan a little walk in this park very popular with locals during your stay. You will be able to spend a pleasant time away from the bustle of the city and discover the daily life of New Yorkers. I wish you a good trip and a good discovery of this place with many surprises!

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