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The iconic al fresco Reading Rooms and other free activities for the public has returned to Bryant Park. Introduced in Bryant Park in 2003, the Reading Room was modeled after an "Open Air Library" which began in August 1935 in response to Depression-era job losses in New York. The Reading Rooms include reading material for adults and for children of all ages. Visitors are supplied with an array of books, periodicals, and newspapers, free of charge. In the coming weeks and months, popular programming such as authors' presentations will also be returning. 

Upcoming Events at Bryant Park

About Bryant Park

42nd Street and Sixth Avenue

New York, NY


  • Standard hours: Monday-Sunday, 7am; Closing time varies by season

  • Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

    Today’s version of Bryant Park–with its gravel paths, green chairs, and jaunty le carrousel–is a recent invention. Though the space has been called Bryant Park since 1842, the park has had a checkered career. By 1979, it was the site of frequent muggings and drug deals and was avoided by knowledgeable New Yorkers. An almost ten-year effort, begun in 1980, transformed the park and its reputation.