One of our favorite parks in Manhattan is Carl Schurz Park. This gem on the Upper East Side, Yorkville to be exact, is generally unknown to tourists, making it a quiet respite from the busy city. With over 14 acres of land along the East River, Carl Schurz Park gives you plenty of space to relax and play.
Carl Schurz is home to Gracie Mansion. The house was built in 1799 and eventually became the home of the mayor of New York City in 1942 when Fiorello H. LaGuardia was mayor. The NYC mayor still resides there today and, because of this, the grounds of the surrounding park are immaculately kept and security is tight. If you’re interested in taking a tour of the home, they are offered on Mondays only and require a ticket (https://www1.nyc.gov/site/gracie/visit/visit.page). If you'll be in NYC for Easter or Halloween, be sure to get tickets to the Easter Egg Hunt and the Haunted House both hosted by Gracie Mansion.
My kids are big fans of riding their scooters along the John Finley Walk that runs parallel to the East River and boasts beautiful views of Roosevelt Island, Astoria and Randall’s Island. They will usually either scooter to the Catbird Playground to play on the monkey bars or in the sprinklers on a hot day or to the large blacktop area to practice their sweet skateboarding and bike riding moves.
Be sure to find the Peter Pan statue when you’re walking through the beautiful gardens. Originally created in 1928 for the Paramount Theater in Times Square, Peter Pan made his way to his home in Carl Schurz Park in 1975. In 1999, Peter was stolen from his base and thrown into the East River but was later recovered by the NYPD and put back in his rightful place. Peter has seen a lot!
Recently the 90th St. Ferry Terminal finished construction and has become fully functional. This route, called Soundview or SV for short, starts in the Bronx then comes down to E 90th St. before stopping at 34th St. and Wall St. Be sure to get the NYC Ferry app to map out all of the places you can visit via the ferry. At only $2.75 per ticket, it’s a cheap way to experience the river and see the boroughs from a different vantage point.
Carl Schurz Park is a great place to spend an afternoon off the beaten path. If you visit, be sure to tag @comingtonyc in your Instagram pictures so we can see your favorite parts!