Washington Square Park is loved by many New School and NYU students for its locality and chill vibes. These are eight reasons why we consider it to be one of the best hangout spots in the area.

Photo by Donghee Eim
Photo by Donghee Eim

Washington Square Arch

The main attraction of the park is the 77-foot arch on the Fifth Avenue entrance. It is a perfect photo-op for locals and tourists alike. The marble arch features two statues of George Washington and is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris.


The Dog Park

On the West Fourth Street entrance to the park, you will find dogs of all sizes and breeds chasing one another and playing catch with their owners. If you are travelling with your pooch you might even find yourself chatting with other dog owners. Or perhaps you’ll end up wandering into the dog park to pet the dogs.


Prime People Watching

You are set to find people from all over the world in the park. Much like New York City itself, the park is a melting pot full of students, nannies, business people and pretty much every type of person that you can possibly think of. The people are a prominent reason as to why the park is a gathering spot for everyone near and far.


Chess Playing

The impressive yet slightly intimidating chess setup in the park is perfect for the more competitive player. Unless you are an avid chess player and know your major and minor chess pieces, I suggest you stay off the chess tables located on the southwest corner. It may look a little enticing, but you never know the type of competition you are up against. The regulars will most likely beat you and take your money. Stick to the sidelines!


The Street Performers

When in the park don’t be worried if you end up mingling with all the different sorts of performers. Musicians, dancers, gymnasts, jump ropers, pretty much anything, they’re all there. The presence of street performers is a defining feature of the park when the weather is nice out. Why not venture to the park for a free performance? Better than paying the entry fee at Webster Hall!


The Fountain

The fountain is the center of it all (literally!). It often serves as a focal point for people to gather, see, as well as be seen. Although during those hot summer days jumping into the fountain might seem oh so refreshing, you probably shouldn’t do it. I’ve never had the opportunity to test it, but I can pretty much say with certainty, it’s gross. How about just throwing a penny in the fountain and making a wish. Just uh, be careful what you wish for.


Book Reading

Reading a book at Washington Square Park can be very enjoyable. Plenty of benches can be found all around the park. Imagine yourself looking up from your favorite book, having the sun beat down on your back, listening to the birds sing, and seeing the glorious One World Trade Center standing in all its might. Try it, it will make that awfully boring three chapters of reading not that bad.


The Playground

The park features not one, not two, but three play areas for kids and those who are kids at heart (like me). Those childhood memories will come rolling back when you find yourself kicking back and forth on the swing. Maybe after a stressful day all you need is a run through the spider-web-like obstacle course. Just make it quick. It’s never fun when those parents start giving you funny looks.

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