Central Park's Hans Christian Andersen statue was erected in 1956 to commemorate the author's 150th birthday. This tribute to the Danish poet, novelist, and children's author, was made possible because of a large donation by the Danish American Women's Association.
The large, bronze statue depicts Andersen seated upon a granite bench, reading from his book The Ugly Duckling. Sculpted by Georg John Lober, this children's statue is meant to be climbed on and is a popular attraction for kids. Part of the reason for its popularity is the afternoon storytelling that takes place during the summer months at the foot of the statue. Young children are treated to readings of Andersen's well-known tales, such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl and The Ugly Duckling.
Activities at the Harlem Meer include the ever-popular catch-and-release fishing, two children's playgrounds, and the Lasker Rink, open for skating in winter and swimming in summer.