While much of what makes our city great is subject to economics, real estate and leases one piece that we have not lost is our great park.

On July 21, 1853, the New York State Legislature enacted into law the setting aside of more than 750 acres of land central to Manhattan Island to create America’s first major landscaped public park; they would soon refer to it as “the Central Park.” Many socially conscious reformers understood that the creation of a great public park would improve public health and contribute greatly to the formation of a civil society. Immediately, the success of Central Park fostered the urban park movement, one of the great hallmarks of democracy of nineteenth-century America.

In many ways that has not changed. The Park is an oasis that allows us to escape away from the crazy lives that we all lead on a day to day basis. It provides us with tons of green serenity and peace. It also provides us with entertainment.

There are plenty of events that take place in the park; ranging from major concerts to The New York Philharmonic.  One of our favorites and something that we look forward to is Shakespeare in the Park.

Shakespeare in the Park is a New York City institution that has drawn more than 5 million people since it was first staged in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater in 1962. Each summer the Public Theater presents two Shakespearean shows, with free tickets distributed in the park and other locations around the City. This year, Kenny Leon will direct the rollicking comedy Much Ado About Nothing (May 21–June 23). In July, things turn darker with the political drama Coriolanus (July 16–August 11), directed by Daniel Sullivan. The Delacorte’s season wraps with a special Public Works presentation of Hercules (August 31–September 8), an adaptation of the 1997 Disney movie musical directed by Lear deBessonet.

Shakespeare in the Park is something people travel from all over to see. Take advantage of having it in your backyard. Heck use it as an excuse to get in the park. You will not be disappointed.

For more information and tickets, visit PublicTheater.org.