Carl Schurz Park and Gracie Mansion
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:90th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan, NY
Hours:Park, all hours daily; mansion, call ahead
Fee: Free
Contact:; 212-459-4455

Bathrooms: Catbird Playground
Water/Snacks: None

USGS Central Park;

The massive and well-manicured front lawn and gardens of Gracie Mansion are a stunning place to walk, stroll, and picnic while taking in beautiful views of the East River.

Gracie Mansion in Carl Schurz Park is the official residence of the New York City mayor.
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons/Jim Henderson

Delightfully incongruous among the soaring steel and brick buildings of Manhattan, Gracie Mansion is a two-story, yellow-clapboard, Federal-style house that dates to 1799. It has served as the official residence of New York City’s mayor since 1942, and today its lawns and gardens form Carl Schurz Park.

The 14.9-acre park is named for Carl Schurz, a general in the Union army during the Civil War who was the first German-born American elected to the U.S. Senate. His wife, Margarethe Schurz, was instrumental in founding the kindergarten system in the United States.

A waterfront promenade borders the east side of the park, which connects to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Visitors can hike along the paths of the park, enjoying waterfront views and cool breezes off the river. The benchlined, tree-shaded paved paths are perfect for strollers and young walkers, as are the stairways leading down to a small garden area, in the center of which is a statue of Peter Pan. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Charles Andrew Hafner (1889–1960). The statue briefly went missing in 1999, but was later recovered by the New York City Police Department at the bottom of the East River. This mysterious act of vandalism caused the parks commissioner to comment: “We thought his only enemy was Captain Hook.”

Also be sure not to miss Catbird Playground, situated at the north end of the park, which is named for the beautiful animal-themed artwork it contains.

Remember: Gracie Mansion holds several public tours on most Wednesdays (small fee, but free for students). Call 311 or email [email protected] for more information.

Plan B:

If you’re in the mood for a long waterfront promenade, the East River Esplanade runs north and south of Carl Schurz Park.


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