9. Conservatory Water, Where Stuart Little Raced a Toy Boat

model boat pond central park 1

Located just north of 72nd Street on the east side of Central Park, the Conservatory Water is the only remnant of a Central Park that Never Was. A former flower garden and a large conservatory for tropical plants accompanied by a reflecting pool were part of the Park’s original plan. However, only the pool was built. When the idea for the conservatory was completely abandoned, the pond was transformed into a space for model boats, modeled on similar ponds in Parisian parks including the Luxembourg Gardens. The pond is most well known for its appearance in E. B. White’s 1945 novel Stuart Little. In the book, the Stuart Little, a mouse, participates in a boat race in the Conservatory Water (which was also featured in the film version). From April through October, visitors can rent model boats, thereby reliving their childhood fantasy.