Review of Central Park Carriage Rides

Carriage ride in Central Park

Valentine’s Day is upon us and it’s the time of year to plan romantic activities! While we didn’t visit New York City over this particular holiday, we did visit around Christmastime and booked a romantic private carriage ride that should be on any visitor’s travel itinerary if planning a romantic getaway in the city.

Since we visited New York City in December, we were able to book the Holiday Lights Tour with Central Park Carriage Rides. It’s the Park and the City tour dressed up for the holidays.

If you’re planning a romantic getaway in New York City and looking for a fun thing to do in the city with your partner, read on to see what we thought of our ride with Central Park Carriage Rides and if it’s a good fit for your travel plans!

New York City carriage ride review

We booked an hour-long, private carriage ride that went through a bit of Central Park and then down along 5th Avenue.

It was touristy, I don’t deny that but I loved it! I’ve always wanted to do a carriage ride in New York City and we were going to do it on this trip. Our tour was from 8:30-9:30 p.m., and it was a great time to see the city all lit up, but it was a bit chilly!

I wouldn’t hesitate to book this experience again or try a carriage ride that exclusively stays in Central Park. It was fun, festive, and romantic as it was just the two of us.

Highlights of our NYC carriage ride:

  • The holiday lights: This one is kind of a given that it was the holiday lights tour but it was still really neat to see them from this vantage point and rolling down 5th Avenue. We stopped in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and enjoyed a few minutes of the Saks Fifth Avenue light show with the best seat in the house.
  • Bonus film locations tour: As we rolled through Central Park, our guide pointed out all the spots from famous movies, particularly the filming locations of one of my favorite Christmas movies: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. We passed the ice skating rink where Marv and Harry plan their heist, the bridge with the pigeon lady, and then we went past The Plaza. We knew where we had to return to the next day when we walked through the Park to get a closer view of these filming sites.
  • The tour duration: Our tour was an hour and it was the perfect amount of time to enjoy the ride and views while snuggling up with my love.

Our guide

Our guide was Emrah and our horse was a black beauty named Winter. Emrah was friendly, funny, and easy to talk to though he also simply let us be during the tour to enjoy the Christmas music and sightseeing.

Emrah made sure to text us earlier in the day with a reminder of the meeting location as well as what carriage to look for, ours happened to be a purple and white carriage. He introduced us to our horse, Winter, and gave us a cozy purple blanket to share before we started our journey through Central Park.

Booking information

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Days offered: Daily
  • Times: Tours offered all day, but the holiday lights tour is available 7 p.m. to midnight
  • Price: $325 for a private Christmas ride, typically it’s $165 per carriage but holiday rates were in effect for ours
  • Meeting point: Central Park South (W 59th St.) & 7th Avenue 
  • Tickets: Buy tickets online 

Tips for the New York City carriage ride

  • Dress for the weather: You’re in an open air carriage so you’ll definitely want to wear warm layers. We were given a blanket to cover our legs, but I’d still recommend bringing a hat or ear muffs, a scarf, and gloves or mittens to stay cozy on your ride.
  • Bring your phone or camera: Our tour guide added a quick stop to snap some pictures of us in our carriage, and of course we were able to snap some cool pics of Central Park and 5th Avenue during our ride. The website notes that a photo of the guests is taken in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which was not true for our tour. Our guide did stop in the park to get our photo but it was not in front of the tree.
  • Tip your guide: As I say on any type of blog reviewing a tour, tip your guide if you had a great time!

Have you gone on a carriage ride in New York City? Tell me about your experience below!

Our guide, Winter, and us after our ride

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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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