Central Park Pickleball: Guide To Play the Hottest Sport in NYC

Pickleball is a simple and enjoyable game that combines aspects of ping-pong, badminton, and tennis. It is a terrific way to keep active and social and can be played by players of all ages and ability levels. There is no better location to play pickleball in New York City than Central Park Pickleball. These pointers will help you enjoy this well-liked sport in the heart of the Big Apple.

Where to Play Pickleball in Central Park?

There are two main locations where you can play pickleball in pickleball central park: Wollman Rink and North Meadow Recreation Center. Both plantation central park pickleball places offer courts, equipment, and instruction for pickleball enthusiasts. Here’s a quick comparison of the features, hours, costs, and reservation options of each location.

Wollman Rink

Wollman Rink is a seasonal ice skating rink that transforms into a pickleball paradise in the summer. From May to October, you can play pickleball on one of the 12 courts available at the rink. The courts are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. The cost is $10 per person per hour, or $15 per person for unlimited play. You can also rent paddles and balls for $5 per set. You can reserve a court online or by phone, or walk in if there’s availability.

At the southeast corner of Central Park, close to the entrance at 59th Street and 6th Avenue, is where you’ll find Wollman Rink. You may reach there via bus (M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 to Central Park South), tube (N, Q, R, W to 5th Avenue/59th Street or F to 57th Street), or bike (Citi Bike stations at Central Park South and 6th Avenue or 59th Street and Broadway).

Here is a table about Central Park pickleball court Wollman Rink:

LocationWollman Rink is located on the south end of Central Park near 59th Street and Sixth Avenue
Number of courtsThere are 14 pickleball courts at Wollman Rink, all of regulation size and separated by fences.
Hours of operationThe courts are open seven days a week from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, from April 7 to October 9, 2023.
Reservation optionsYou can reserve a court online by calling 833-615-3500. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance. You can also join open play, community play, leagues, clinics or private events.
Cost of playingThe cost of playing varies depending on the time, day and option you choose. Here are some examples:
– Court reservations (up to 8 players): $80 per court per hour (Off-Peak) / $120 per court per hour (Peak)
– Open play: $20 per player per hour (Off-Peak) / $30 per player per hour (Peak)
– Community play: $5 per player per hour (Free rental paddle included!)
– Clinic: $40 per player per hour
– Paddle rentals: $6
– Court-side cabanas: $30 per hour
Peak and off-peak hoursPeak hours are from 7:00 AM-10:00 AM and from 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Monday through Thursday and all-day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Off-peak hours are from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday
AmenitiesThere are lockers, restrooms, water fountains, concession stands and seating available at Wollman Rink. There are no changing rooms. Alcohol is prohibited on the courts and in Central Park

North Meadow Recreation Center

North Meadow Recreation Center is a year-round facility that offers a variety of sports and fitness programs for all ages. One of them is pickleball, which you can play on one of the four indoor courts at the center. The courts are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The cost is free with a valid ID and a recreation center membership, which ranges from $25 to $150 per year depending on your age and residency status. You can also borrow paddles and balls for free with your membership card. You can reserve a court online or by phone, or walk in if there’s availability.

pickleball central park

North Meadow Recreation Center is located at the north end of Central Park, near the entrance at 97th Street and Central Park West. You can get there by subway (B, C to 96th Street or 6 to 96th Street), bus (M96 to Central Park West or M10 to 100th Street), or bike (Citi Bike stations at Central Park West and 97th Street or Madison Avenue and 99th Street).

Here is a table about Central Park pickleball court North Meadow Recreation Center:

LocationNorth Meadow Recreation Center is located on 97th Street between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West
Number of courtsThere are 3 to 5 pickleball courts at North Meadow Recreation Center, depending on the availability of handball courts. The courts are on asphalt and require portable nets (BYON)
Hours of operationThe courts are open year-round, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, weather permitting
Reservation optionsYou cannot reserve a court at North Meadow Recreation Center. The courts are first-come, first-served. You can join the existing community of pickleball players who congregate daily around the courts. You can also borrow sporting goods kits from the recreation center, which include paddles and balls
Cost of playingThere is no cost for playing at North Meadow Recreation Center. However, you need to bring your own net or join other players who have one
AmenitiesThere are 6 outdoor basketball courts, locker rooms, computer rooms and a multipurpose room at North Meadow Recreation Center. There are also restrooms, water fountains and a playground nearby.
Other informationYou need to wear a mask when entering or exiting the recreation center, using the restrooms, or interacting with staff or other patrons, regardless of your vaccination status. You do not need to wear a mask when playing outdoors, if you are fully vaccinated

Tips and Tricks for Playing Pickleball in Central Park

No matter how skilled you are in pickleball, there is always space for development. Here are some tips on how to improve your pickleball technique and approach to play at central park pickleball courts.

  • Learn the pickleball etiquette and regulations. Pickleball is a straightforward sport, but it has certain specific regulations that you should be aware of before playing. For instance, you must serve underhand, allow the ball to bounce before hitting it, and refrain from entering the non-volley zone (commonly referred to as the kitchen) until the ball bounces there first. Additionally, you should show civility to your opponents by shouting out your score before serving, announcing errors or out balls, and shaking hands after the match.
  • Practice your strokes and footwork. Pickleball is a quick-moving sport that calls for strong agility and hand-eye coordination. Practise your fundamental movements, including the forehand, backhand, volley, lob, dink, smash and drop shot. Additionally, you should practise lateral, reversal, and forward motion as well as rotating and lunging with your feet. With a partner, on your own, or with a ball machine, you may practise.
  • Develop your strategy and tactics. Pickleball is not only a physical game, but also a mental game. You should develop your strategy and tactics, such as choosing the right paddle and ball for your style and conditions, serving and returning effectively, positioning yourself and your partner on the court, communicating with your partner, and adapting to your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. You can learn from watching other players, reading books or articles, listening to podcasts, or taking lessons from a coach.
  • Pickleball is a social sport that can help you meet new people and have fun. You can join a pickleball club, league, or tournament in Central Park or nearby areas. You can also find other pickleball players online, such as on Facebook groups, Meetup groups, or apps like Playtime Scheduler. You can also chat with other players on the court, exchange tips and compliments, and invite them for a drink or a snack after the game.
central park pickleball

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a mask necessary to wear when playing pickleball?

If you are completely immunised, you do not need to wear a mask when participating in outdoor activities like pickleball, according to the most recent COVID-19 regulations from the City of New York. You must still wear a mask when going in and out of the building, using the bathrooms, and conversing with employees or other customers. You must always wear a mask if you are not completely immunised, with the exception of while you are actively playing on the court.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the pickleball courts? 

Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks to the pickleball courts, but please be respectful of the environment and dispose of your trash properly. There are trash cans and recycling bins available at both locations in Central Park . You can also purchase snacks and beverages from the concession stands at Wollman Rink. Alcohol is prohibited on the courts and in Central Park.

Can my kids and I play pickleball together? 

As long as they are old enough to grip a paddle and adhere to the game’s regulations, you may play pickleball with your kids. For players of all ages and ability levels, pickleball is a fun and simple sport. At Wollman Rink, you can also sign up your kids for children clinics or camps where they can learn the fundamentals of pickleball and hone their abilities under the guidance of qualified instructors.


Pickleball is a hot sport that you can play in Central Park. Whether you choose Wollman Rink or North Meadow Recreation Center, you’ll find courts, equipment, and instruction for your pickleball needs. You’ll also find tips and tricks for playing pickleball in Central Park, such as learning the rules and etiquette, practicing your strokes and footwork, developing your strategy and tactics, and having fun and making friends.

If you’re ready to try out pickleball in Central Park, don’t hesitate to book a court today. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to share your experiences with us by subscribing to our blog, following us on social media, or leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

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