Good for: culture and people watching, people watching, warm days, lazing around, free movies
Not good for: Handicap Accessibility
Lonely Planet review for Bryant Park
European coffee kiosks, alfresco chess games, summer film screenings and winter ice-skating: it's hard to believe that this leafy oasis was dubbed 'Needle Park’ in the ’80s. Nestled behind the show-stopping New York Public Library building, it's a handy spot for a little time-out from the Midtown madness.
It's a shamelessly charming place, complete with a Brooklyn-constructed, French-inspired Le Carrousel offering rides for $2, and frequent special events, from readings to concerts. This is where the famed Fashion Week tent goes up every winter. It's also the site of the wonderful Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, which packs the lawn with post-work crowds lugging cheese-and-wine picnics. And it becomes a winter wonderland at Christmastime, with holiday gift vendors lining the park’s edge and a popular ice-skating rink sprouting in its middle. Bryant Park Grill, a lovely restaurant and bar situated at the eastern end of the park, is the site of many a New York wedding come springtime. When it’s not closed for a private event, the patio bar is a perfect spot for a twilight cocktail or three.