Row boats in Central Park
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Row Boats in Central Park

October 29, 2019

I keep a number of lists related to things I want to do, places I want to see, and things I want to eat. And for a long time — nearly seven years — renting row boats from the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park has had a space on my NYC list of things to do and see.

Somehow, checking this one off the list always meant that many things had to be just right. The right weather, a day without pressing commitments, and childcare needed to come into alignment.

Well, to my surprise and delight, all three of those things did come together on my birthday, and Jordan and I made our way to Central Park to rent our row boat.

Bow Bridge in Central Park
Row Boats in Central Park
Bow Bridge in Central Park
Row Boats in Central Park

While the autumn colors weren’t yet at their peak, the start of fall’s show was still great to witness. The weather was sunny and crisp, the skyline was a sight to behold (and crazy how multiple skyscrapers have been added just in the years I’ve lived here), and our limited rowboating skills gave us reason to laugh at ourselves. Plus, the boat rentals end their season at the end of October, so we were grateful to experience all of this on one of the final days.

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
Row Boats in Central Park

As you can see, we made our way past the Bethesda Fountain, under the Bow Bridge, and into The Lake.

Fall in Central Park

Those boats were every bit of fun that I imagined. I can’t think of a better way to have spent $15 or an hour of my time on my birthday.

Here are some details, if you want to give it a go:

  • Row boating on The Lake is available April through October, weather permitting.
  • The boats can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse daily, 10:00 am until dusk (East Side of the Park between 74th and 75th Streets).
  • Boats can hold up to 4 people
  • The cost is $15/hour, and you provide a $20 deposit that is refunded when you return the boat on time. Cash only!
  • We came in the middle of the afternoon (around 2:00 p.m.) and had a very short wait.
  • Life jackets are available for children/unsure swimmers.

What else should I add to my NYC bucket list?

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