Conservatory Water Central Park. Updated 2018.
Stuart Little, that wily but charming little mouse from the book and movies of the same name, sailed his fictional sailboat to victory on the Conservatory Water Pond in Central Park.
Follow in Stuart Little’s footsteps by taking the kids to sail their own remote control sailboat on the pond too!
Rent them at the cart provided by the boathouse – it’s next to the pond – and join in the fun!
- 1 Conservatory Water Central Park
- 2 Central Park Sailboats Hire
- 3 Alice in Wonderland Statue Central Park
- 4 Kerbs Boathouse Cafe
- 5 Bonus – Central Park Bathrooms!
- 6 The Inside Scoop – Conservatory Water Central Park Boat Pond
- 7 Toadstool Rating.
- 8 Looking for MORE Super Fun Things to Do in NEW YORK CITY with Kids?
Conservatory Water Central Park
If you are wondering what to see in Central Park with the kids, the model boat pond Central Park, made famous by Stuart Little, should be on your list. (The Central Park boat pond is formally known as Conservatory Water)
On sunny and warm days, this is the place to see model ships, most remote-controlled, gliding across the water. Many of them are privately owned by NYC locals, but your rented boats are welcome.
If you happen to visit on a Saturday, races are held on the water. Kick off is around 10am.
We visited in late March, after an unexpected few days of bitter cold, and the pond was frozen over in parts, so there was no model boats racing.
Central Park Sailboats Hire
Sail the Park offers a way for adults and children to enjoy this pastime during the warm NYC months, April to November.
- The company rents out small sailboats that are completely powered by wind, and the user operates a remote control that allows you to control the trim of the sail and the direction of the rudder.
- Sailing novices and experts are welcome; 30 minutes of sailing costs $11.
- The boats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so expect a wait on weekends.
Alice in Wonderland Statue Central Park
It’s giving your kids the childhood of dreams to see all three.
You might also see bird watchers with binoculars at the ready. They are searching for signs of the famous Fifth Avenue red-tailed hawks.
Kerbs Boathouse Cafe
On the East side of the Conservatory Water Central Park Pond stands the green-tinged copper-roofed boathouse that is home to the Kerbs Boathouse Central Park, and the Kerbs Boathouse Cafe.
The building is home to model yachts.
There’s also a cafe, the Kerbs Boathouse Cafe, with hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. It has a delightful patio and is landscaped with perennial planting beds, and plenty of bench seating and tables outside to enjoy the fresh air.
We put our feet up and enjoyed the best cup of HOT CHOCOLATE we’d had all week, and a snack, with the frosty air nipping at our fingers and toes.
Bonus – Central Park Bathrooms!
Yes, thank goodness. The Kerbs Boathouse is home to Central Park rest rooms too. Bathrooms (toilets) are hard to find in Central Park, so make sure everyone in the family takes their turn to tinkle.
The Inside Scoop – Conservatory Water Central Park Boat Pond
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of.
Address: Conservatory Water Central Park Pond is at East Side at 74th Street.
Telephone: Call 212-310-6600 – Monday – Friday, for information 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Opening Hours: Central Park is free and open to visitors 365 days a year. Central Park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 1:00 am. Kerbs Boathouse Cafe is open from sunrise till dusk.
Entry Fees: Free
Parking: There is no parking in Central Park. Many parking garages are available nearby.
How to get there: Subway to Central Park.
- By Subway Train: Q train (Yellow line) Stop at Lexington Av – 63 St Subway Station
- By Subway Train: 4, 6 Train (Green line): 72 Street or 77 Street Station
- On Foot: Enter at the E 72nd St entrance and walk down the hill
- By Taxi/Uber: Exit at E 72nd and 5th Avenue
Interactive Central Park Map: Find cafes, toilets, playgrounds and more here.
Nearest takeaway coffee and food options: Snack Shack in the copper-roofed Kerbs Boathouse or Le Pain Quotidien, both at Kerbs Boathouse Central Park at the Conservatory Pond
Toilets: Yes including baby change table
Disability access: Yes
Closest playground: Billy Johnson Playground
Shade: Shady trees
Enclosed: No fences. Keep an steady eye on small children near the water.
Ground cover: Concrete
Picnic tables: Yes – for Cafe patrons only
Electric BBQs: No
Water Bubblers/fountains: Yes
Scooters and Bikes: Yes
Dogs: On leash only.
This Central Park attraction was last reviewed in June 2018.
This is the spot to share your love of childhood fairy tales with your kids.
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