Bryant Park is located in the heart of Manhattan, a veritable oasis among Midtown skyscrapers and just outside of the chaos of Times Square. It's inspired by French classical style, and whether you want to relax on the lawn, catch a free movie screening, play a game of chess, or take a ride on Le Carrousel, there is something for just about everyone to enjoy in Bryant Park. Run by the not-for-profit Bryant Park Corporation, the maintenance and programming of Bryant Park is privately funded for the benefit of all.
Wondering how to get to Bryant Park? An oasis of green in midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park and the New York Public Library occupy four city blocks. Bryant Park is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Sixth Avenue on the west, 42nd Street on the north, and 40th Street on the south. Take the B, D, F, and M trains to 42nd St/Bryant Park or the 7 train to Fifth Avenue. You can also take the 1, 2, or 3 train to Times Square and walk one avenue east.
Catching Special Events
Bryant Park hosts a wide variety of different events throughout the year, particularly in the summer. Check out HBO/Bryant Park Summer Movies from mid-June through August, Broadway in Bryant Park in July and August, and Holiday Shops in Bryant Park in November and December. All winter long the ice skating rink is open (it's free to skate. You have to pay for rentals.)
Curious about the layout of Bryant Park? This helpful map and guide will show you where things are, whether you're looking for a bathroom or for the New York Public Library. It's a small park, so don't worry too much. It's easy to find most of what you're looking for.
Finding Things to Do
Even if there isn't a special activity happening in Bryant Park it's fun everyday of the week. Here are a few ideas:
Eating in Bryant Park
Bryant Park is a wonderful spot to enjoy lunch or dinner. There are casual and formal options, as well as plenty of spots to spread out with a feast you've brought yourself.
The Bryant Park Cafe is the place to go for casual outdoor dining/drinking, and its outdoor seating area is open from mid-April to November. You don't need reservations at the cafe.
Choose the Bryant Park Grill for upscale dining overlooking Bryant Park, where you can eat on the outdoor patio or rooftop garden, weather-permitting, or the dining room. Reservations are suggested for the dining room only but are not taken for outside seating.
For more casual eating, check out the kiosks: Joe Coffee Company, Le Pain Quotidien, and Wafels & Dinges. And find grub from some of NYC's best restaurants at Urbanspace, at the corner of 40th Street and Fifth Avenue. It's kind of like an outdoor food court; buy your food and find a lovely place to sit outside nearby.
Southwest Porch has swings and comfy furniture to just chill a little. You can eat, too; it has a restaurant with burgers, salads, and a full bar.
Shopping the French Way
Check out the French Market from mid-April through September for produce, cheeses, olive oil, artisan breads, and cut flowers. It's fun just to look a lot and spend a little. In the winter you can find a holiday market with stands selling hot apple cider, gingerbread cookies, and more. Regardless of the season, there is something for everybody.