Family Visit to Central Park with TV and Movie Sites Tour. Photo Essay and Travel Tips

By Victoria@celebratetheweekend
In New York
May 31st, 2015
23 Comments
10055 Views

I love spending time with my family in New York City’s Central Park any time of the year, but summer is our favorite season to visit. So when On Location Tours invited me and my family to choose a Movie and TV Sites Tour among several options the company offers in New York City – the walking Central Park TV and Movie Sites Tour was an easy choice.  I knew that I could not go wrong with a walking tour of Central Park and I was right.  This 2-hour tour was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon on a gorgeous recent weekend in May.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Central Park in May: Flowers in Bloom.

843-acres Central Park is the site to hundreds of movies and is considered the most filmed location in the world.  Let me show you some (definitely not all!) of the famous movie sites where our tour guide (aspiring actor Peter) took us during the tour.  Each place has appeared in multiple films and so as not to spoil your own tour surprise, I will only name some.

The tour started near Plaza Hotel – which is a National Historic Landmark (only one other hotel in New York City -Waldorf Astoria- is awarded this status).  Plaza opened to the public in 1907, and as far as movie making goes, it is the most filmed building in the world; it  allows filming inside and outside.  (Plaza-filmed movies you may have seen: The Way We Were, Big Business, Crocodile Dandee).

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

The Pulitzer Fountain in front of the PlazaFisher King and Serendipity were shot here, but a smaller replica recreated on the Warner Brothers’ studio in California was used for  the fountain scenes from Friends‘ opening credits.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Once inside the Park, we were guided to the The Duck Pond and the stone Gapstow Bridge (the scene of  Home Alone-2 and Devil Wears Prada).

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Gapstow Bridge

Here is the view of the upper West Side’s Skyline from the Duck Pond.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Next we strolled the Mall (also known as the Literary Walk), a lively area in the southern end of the Park lined with American Elm trees and monuments to famous poets. Originally called the Promenade by the park creators,  it is the widest pedestrian pathway in the Park and is featured in Vanilla Sky, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Kramer vs. Kramer (among many others).

The area is popular with balloons artists, to the delight of my daughter:

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

At this point, my son and I  took advantage of one of the many benches  on the Promenade to relax and admire the scenery.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Next was the Bandshall (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mighty Aphrodite). The stage has featured New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and other prominent music  groups.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

In the meantime, we are making our way to the Bethesda Terrace, with the famous Bethesda Fountain located in the middle.

In the picture immediately below the Fountain is hidden on the upper area of the terrace.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Now you can see it!  

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain is the site of the musical number at the end of the Enchanted (also featured in Deconstructing Harry, Out of Towners and Avengers. It is the most filmed location in the Park!).

The Fountain overlooks Central Park Lake. The famous Loeb Boat House is in the distance (as featured in When Harry Met Sally and Sex in the City).

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Another (side) view of the Boat House in late spring bloom:

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

The twenty-two acre Central Park Lake offers several boating options (and a gorgeous view of Manhattan) and was featured in the Manchurian Candidate.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Here is another Fountain where the  Friends series was NOT filmed. It is no less beautiful. (According to our guide Peter, Will and Grace’s only NYC-shot scene – the wedding – featured this fountain.)

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Cherry Hill Fountain (mid-Park at 72 street)

Famous Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon.

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

Vi is studying commemorative plaque with the list of countries that supported the petition to dedicate the fields to John Lennon

The tour ended at the Sheep’s Meadow (Wall Street) where our family then spent a relaxing couple of hours. (You can buy picknick supplies at the takeout window of the nearby Tavern on the Green).

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

So here is What to expect and how to best prepare for the walking TV and Movie Tour of Central Park:

1. This is not a lecture on film making history: the focus is on observing the many noteworthy movie and TV sites in Central Park while noting Central Park’s facts and history. This tour is definitely about the Central Park as much as it is about the movies and that is what I loved about it.

2. There is a lot of walking (it’s a 2 hour walking tour!), so dress comfortably and wear walking shoes (I had 4 miles registered on my step meter)

3. While the walking part may be somewhat challenging for the little tots (ours is a trained traveler),  tweens and teens will enjoy the tour, and parents know how difficult it is to please this age group!

4. You will be taken through some gorgeous places in the park- have your camera handy.

5. Wear sunscreen/bring water bottles.

6. There are 20+people (from all over the world) on the tour which makes for engaging movie pop quizes; you will get more from the tour if you stay close to the tour guide and ask questions.

(Here I am staying close and taking notes: blogging is hard work!)

Family Visit to Central Park with New York City's TV and Movie Sites Tour

 

Central Park TV and Movie Tour runs Thursday – Sunday and Tuesday at 12pm. Rain or shine. (daily May – Sept.) For complete tour selection and prices, go to NYC TV and Movie Tours. You can use code OLT2015 for $3 off each ticket you book online through onlocationtours.com.  While my family and I were invited by the company to take the tour, I don’t receive any compensation for recommending this tour to you and I am doing so because I enjoyed it.

CENTRAL PARK FACTS

1. Central Park stretches from North 110th Street to Central Park South (59th Street), and from Central Park West (8th Avenue) to 5th Ave.;

2. Central Park was the first public park in America; it is completely manmade (took 15 years to build, including planting over 500,000 trees and shrubs);

3. With 843 acres, it offers 58 miles of pedestrian paths and 21 playgrounds. Two web sites with helpful Park information are Central Park and Central Park Conservancy.

PIN THIS FOR LATER

Family Tour of Central Park with TV amd Movie Sites Tour.

This post is part of the exciting collection of travel stories: #fridaypostcards at Walking on Travels, #WeekendWanderlust at Casual Traveler , #TheWeeklyPostcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, and #wkendtravelinspiration at Reflections en Route. Be sure to check them out for your next trip’s ideas!

Weekend-Wanderlust-Logo-V2

 

wkendtravelinspirationBadge[1]

 

Travel Notes & Beyond

23 Comments to “Family Visit to Central Park with TV and Movie Sites Tour. Photo Essay and Travel Tips”

  1. Anda says:

    I love The Big Apple too, Victoria. It’s been while since I haven’t been there, so your post made me want to go back again. Very beautiful photos!
    Anda recently posted…Lucerne to Interlaken via the GoldenPass RouteMy Profile

  2. Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

    Thanks, Anda! Time to visit:)

  3. Katja says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun and a really different way to see NYC, great idea!
    Katja recently posted…The MAD Blog Awards 2015 – please vote for us!My Profile

  4. Victoria, you are living my dream, New York and Central Park. Your pictures made me feel like I was there and showed places featured in some of my favourite movies and TV series. Thanks for sharing.
    Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe recently posted…Perth itinerary – Day twoMy Profile

  5. We didn’t have time to completely explore Central Park the last time we were in NYC. I would love to return and take this tour. It looks like something that would interest my family. (I think my hubby was worried I would make him reenact scenes from Enchanted if we got near the movie locations.)
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Farewell to FAO SchwarzMy Profile

    • Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

      He should not worry:) It would be great if you do:) I love it when people do out of the box things in Central Park:)

  6. I would love to visit New York and Central Park, though this tour looks like a great out of the box way to explore the park
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour recently posted…How to Save Money on Holiday at ResortsMy Profile

    • Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

      Thank you, Sally. I have been in the Park numerous times before and still greatly enjoyed the tour

  7. Rhonda Albom says:

    This sounds like a really fascinating tour. Your photos are great. I didn’t know there was a Strawberry Fields – very cool. Thanks for linking up with weekend travel inspiration.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #31 – Sunrise SilhouettesMy Profile

  8. Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

    Thank you, Thonda! There was a story behind the fields too, as they were supposed to be dedicated to someone else and when John was killed (on the steps of the nearby Dakota building where they lived), Yoko started the rededication campaign with the support of petitions from over 60 countries!!

  9. Tonya says:

    This looks like so much fun. My husband and I are heading to Boston later this year and I’d love to do one of the On Location Tours there.
    Tonya recently posted…International Wine at the Mill Fundraiser in Loudonville, OhioMy Profile

  10. Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

    Yes, Tonya, Boston has a lot of interesting movies sites as well. If the weather is nice, consider the walking tour. Bus tour of Boston movies sites does take you through more neighborhoods, but I personally prefer walking tours:)

  11. Robin says:

    Looks beautiful! We have have been there the same day! Nothing beats Central park in the summer!
    Robin recently posted…Nantucket Hotel & ResortMy Profile

  12. This is such a fun way to explore the park. I’ve been but want to dig deeper the next time I am in NYC. The one thing I kept thinking of with many of your photos was to watch out for the weeping angels, a pretty popular Doctor Who episode was filmed there a couple years back. Thanks for sharing!
    Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver recently posted…Why Laguna Is The Perfect Beach; If You Don’t Like The BeachMy Profile

    • Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

      Thanks, Megan. You and I have the same blogging (and travelling) concept: Celebrate the weekend! 🙂

  13. LOVE the photo of you taking notes! 🙂 We still haven’t made it to NYC with the kids. Maybe one of the upcoming weekends we’ll manage to do it. Did the tour guide really not mention Dr. Who during the tour? I see several places in your photos where it was filmed – the bridge, the literary walk, the angel fountain! That’s what I’d love to do – a NYC Dr. Who tour!
    Jolanta aka Casual Traveler recently posted…How much can you see in three-and-a-half days in Quebec City?My Profile

    • Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

      No, Jolanta, I don’t remember Dr. Who being mentioned although you can’t possibly name them all, there are just sooooo many. You have to take the kids to NYC!

  14. Andrea says:

    I just did this tour yesterday. However, it was sideways raining most of the time. Your photos turned out slightly better than mine 🙂 It was still a great tour though- would recommend it to anyone.
    Andrea recently posted…Kayaking Keuka Lake and Keuka Artisan BakeryMy Profile

  15. Victoria@celebratetheweekend says:

    Andrea, I am sorry you were not as lucky with the weather. I wonder if it is possible to switch to a bus tour if you know what’s the weather is going to be like a couple of days ahead….

  16. […] first long weekend of the year we went to New York City where we took a Movie Tour of Central Park and enjoyed a family spa day (also part of the new Water Retreats Series on the […]

  17. […] personally took the bus tour option last year in Boston and their walking Central Park TV and Movie Tour in New York […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge