When we were in New York, we decided pretty early on that we needed to spend some time in Central Park. It’s one of those places that everyone is so easy to take for granted because it’s easy enough to get to, it’s free and you can go there pretty much anytime you want.

You’d think these are all great reasons why we’d have spent more time here but it’s reasons like that which lead you to procrastinate on visiting until you’re back home and realise you skipped the entire thing! And there’s the fact that there’s just so much to see and do in New York City (especially if you’re only visiting for a few days) that sitting in a park for hours on end does seem like such a waste of time.

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The sunshine was on the money on this day and we decided to make the most of it once we arrived and get ourselves some boats and see a bit more of Central Park than we had during spring time several years ago! Before I carry on, let’s cover a few essentials might be useful if you find yourself with a bit of spare time in New York City…

WHERE IS IT?
The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. It’s near the Bethesda Fountain which is THAT fountain in the middle of Central Park. You’ll know the one I mean and even if you don’t, everyone else around you will.

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The boats cost $15 hour and you have to put down a $20 deposit. They only take cash so make sure you get some before you arrive (you’ll be hard pressed to find a cash machine around). $4.00 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 cash deposit.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN YOU GET ON THE BOAT?
You can get a max of 4 people on the boat. Considering their size, they’re surprisingly roomy that way.

WHEN IN THE YEAR CAN YOU GO BOATING HERE?
Any day the weather is good but between April through to November. Essentially, if the sun is shining you’re good to go! Call in advance just to make sure though.

HOW LONG CAN YOU HAVE THE BOAT FOR?
As long as you want/can afford. It costs $4.00 for each extra 15 minutes. Also do bear in mind that it’s only open between 10am – 6:00pm.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Turns out you can also get a Gondola tour here (max 6 people). This is perfect if like me, you much rather the idea of someone rowing you around rather than you doing all the manual labour. 🙂 I jest! It was actually quite fun rowing albeit rather clumsily.

More details are on their website but you don’t really need much more than knowing the cost and location to arrive and get started!

Lloyd started the rowing (he had the fortune of being sat in the rower’s seat). As it turns out, Lloyd is terrible at rowing (or so we thought) so I decided to take over.

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You know, put in some of that Cambridge rowing club experience into good use…

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I soon called in for reinforcements in the form of Georgia. Truth be told, we all wanted to try our hands at rowing this boat!

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Though we were very easily distracted…

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… and may have gotten stuck in a hedge or two.

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Everyone was out and about and definitely making the most of the sunshine! (That’s the Bethesda Fountain below, by the way)

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As it turns out, hiring a boat here is a pretty unique was to see Manhattan! It’s a perspective that’s very different from seeing New York from the top of very tall buildings but nonetheless quite charming!

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Georgia and I soon found a way to row and splash quite a lot of water on Lloyd.

Don’t feel sorry for him though. He deserved it. He was acting like Little Lord Fontleroy and bossing us around. Someone had to knock his ego down a few pegs. 🙂

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There were some friendly ‘Canadians’ visiting the park too.

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Quick question, do Canadian geese actually come from Canada each year or are they just called that because that’s where they were first discovered?

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Like I said earlier, you can hire the boat for as long as you want and so we did just that.

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We did managed to bump into quite a few people on the way (sorry folks). Turns out, your rowing coordination goes flying out of the window when you’re laughing with friends.

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Eventually, we headed back to ‘shore’ to drop off our lifeboat. Thoroughly impressed with this new view we’d wrangled of New York City, fulfilled by our new found rowing prowess (or lack thereof) and absolutely ready for lunch!

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