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Central Park has something for everyone, including the littlest ones. Here are some don’t-miss statues the kids will love:
1. Alice in Wonderland—This bronze statue depicts Lewis Carroll’s classic fairy tale character sitting on a giant mushroom as she’s surrounded by the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Cheshire Cat and has her pet cat Dina sitting on her lap. The statue was commissioned in 1959 by philanthropist George Delacorte who intended it as a gift to the children of New York City as well as being a tribute to his late wife, Margarita, who read the story to their children and the Mad Hatter is believed to have been modeled after Mr. Delacorte. The statue is located near the East side of the park around 75th street.
2. Hans Christian Andersen—Located near the Alice in Wonderland statue, this bronze statue depicts the beloved Danish fairytale author of classics such as The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, and The Ugly Duckling of which the statue pays tribute. It features Andersen sitting on a bench with a duck by his feet gazing up as he reads a book opened to the first page of the story. The statue was a gift, by Danish and American children and funded primarily by the Danish-American Women’s Association on April 2, 1955, in honor of the 150th anniversary of Andersen’s birth. During the summertime, children gather for a special storytelling program to hear his classics read aloud.
3. Balto—Created by Frederick G.R. Roth, this bronze statue depicts a heroic Siberian husky named Balto. During the winter of 1925, a deadly outbreak of diphtheria hit the city of Nome in Alaska. The disease was especially devastating for children and the only medicine that could cure the illness was located in Anchorage, nearly a thousand miles southeast of Anchorage. Balto and his team of sled traveled through intense blizzard conditions to delivers jars of medicine to the children of Nome and Balto was the only dog to complete the final leg of the journey receiving wide recognition and praise from the media and general public. Balto’s statue was erected in Central Park in December 1925, and his story inspired a 1995 animated film. Located near the East Drive at 67th street.
4. Group of Bears—Perched on a circular step in the middle of a children’s playground, this statue is a popular favorite among many youngsters who enjoy climbing on them. They depict three large bears situated on a group of rocks with one bear standing on its back legs tall and proud in the center with the other two stand on all four legs on either side. Located at East 79th Street just south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
5. Honey Bear and Dancing Goat—These two beauties evoke a playful, carefree spirit that’s often associated with childhood innocence. The Honey Bear statue can be found inside a fountain on the north side of the Central Park Zoo building while the Dancing Goat statue can be found at the south side of the building. The water in the fountain is emitted from the mouths of five small frog statues at the feet of the bear and from the mouths of five duck statues at the feet of the goat. Located by the entrance of the Central Park Zoo on 64th street facing Fifth Avenue.
6. Mother Goose—This enchanting piece features the beloved nursery rhyme character wearing large glasses, a witch’s hat, and a cape seen blowing in the wind as she sits atop a large goose with its feathers spread out. Beneath the goose are designs depicting clouds and beneath the clouds are scenes from the nursery rhymes Humpty Dumpty and Jack the Horner. Located at 71st street near the Rumsey Playground.
7. Delacorte Clock—On top of the archway that leads to the main section of the Central Park Zoo is something quite magical. A special clock donated by philanthropist George Delacorte in 1965, plays 44 melodious tunes from popular nursery rhymes that change with the seasons. The music plays every half-hour between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. as several bronze sculptures of animals circle around the clock. These animals include monkeys banging hammers against a bell; a penguin on drum; a hippo on violin; a bear and his tambourine; a concertina-playing elephant; a goat with pipes; and a kangaroo on horn.