Fall Foliage in Central Park and The Bubble Man

Fall has come to Central Park in NYC! And it's even better with giant bubbles from the Bubble Man, my favorite park entertainer. #fallfoliage

Fall foliage has peaked in New York City’s Central Park, and as usual, it’s magnificent. Yesterday was Jazz and Colors, my favorite Central Park event in which 30 jazz ensembles play the same set in different locations all over the park for the whole afternoon. Last year, I brought an almost two-year-old who was sort of mesmerized by the music and willing to sit in his stroller and listen for about 20 minutes, an eternity for a toddler. This year, I brought an almost three-year-old who heard the music as soon we entered, was happy to help me find it (“I think it’s this way!”) and then announced he wanted to go to the playground after only two minutes of taking in the superb free jazz. But I had something different in mind: a visit to The Bubble Man, whom we had passed on the way in holding court at the East 85th Street Entrance.

One of The Bubble Man's bubbles leaves Central Park and floats off to Fifth Avenue. #bubbles #NYC #fallfoliage

One of The Bubble Man’s bubbles leaves Central Park and floats off to Fifth Avenue.

The Bubble Man, aka Stephen Duncan, makes huge bubbles using a loop of rope weighted down by lock, and connected to two sticks. He won’t give away his secret bubble juice recipe, but he says that he uses Joy. I assume that he means the detergent Joy, and it’s just so perfect because his bubbles bring joy to kids and adults alike. While the 80s seem to be The Bubble Man’s domain (I’ve seen him outside the Met too), you can sometimes find him by Bethesda Fountain. Wherever he goes, he draws a crowd.  It’s not just his huge bubbles that draw them in, but it’s the excitement that he brings to each bubble. This is not just a job — The Bubble Man is also eagerly anticipating the next great bubble. And the kids know that you do not try to pop one of giant bubbles. Although it’s OK to do that for smaller ones, which he sometimes makes just for the kids to pop. If anything, the huge bubbles can be a little scary.

Stephen Duncan, The Central Park Bubble Man, captivates his audience. The kids know to stand back from these massive bubbles!

Stephen Duncan, The Central Park Bubble Man, captivates his audience. The kids know to stand back from these massive bubbles — when they pop they really release a lot of juice!

Aside from his love of bubbles, I knew very little about Stephen until I found this video and article Sarah Kwuwaja, which she made has as a CUNY journalism student a few months ago. Watch this to learn more about the man behind the big bubbles… And if you’re visiting NYC with kids, be sure to seek out one of the best Central Park entertainers!

Bubble Man from Sarah Khuwaja on Vimeo.

12 Responses to Fall Foliage in Central Park and The Bubble Man

  1. Kate November 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    We saw some great fall colors on the bus ride from NYC to DC last week!
    Kate recently posted..Washington DC – Visiting My Heroes !

  2. Jennifer November 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    I’ve seen this man — he’s really good!
    Jennifer recently posted..Fun Hostess Gifts from the Traveler

  3. Jennifer Miller November 12, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    You know, these are the things I really love about NYC, the little bits of art and humanity that are found in quiet corners. Central Park is great any time of year, but fall is particularly special, and bubble man… icing on the cake!
    Jennifer Miller recently posted..How was your trip?

  4. Penny Sadler November 12, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    Awe, what a nice thing to do. Love the colors and the bubbles.
    Penny Sadler recently posted..Unusual Details of Venice: A Photo Essay

  5. Lillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    November 12, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    LOVE these photos! This scene makes me so happy!
    Lillie recently posted..Pick-Pocket Proof Pants and Shirt Foil Pregnant Thief!

  6. Val-This Way To Paradise November 13, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Gorgeous!! Living in Mexico, I do miss the fall colors!
    Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted..6 Ways To Travel The World Without Leaving Your Home Town

  7. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    November 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I love this story, especially the video.
    wanderingeducators recently posted..A Student’s Perspective: Study Abroad in Europe & Asia

  8. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
    Twitter: flashpackerfam
    November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    That looks like SUCH a lot of fun Liz!!!! Beautiful Autumn colours plus fun for the kidlets. I’d like to see NYC in every season I think.

  9. Terry at Overnight New York November 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    How cool that the Bubble Man prepped at FAO Schwartz. Bubbles, jazz and Central Park are a winning combo.
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..Eventi: And They’ll Cook the Turkey

  10. The Barefoot Nomad
    Twitter: barefootnomads
    November 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    My kids would LOVE this! Well, actually, I would love to it too :) Thanks for the tip; watching the bubble man sounds like such a fun thing to do in Central Park in the fall.
    The Barefoot Nomad recently posted..20 Things You Didn’t Know About Us

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    November 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    I love his crafty recycled bubble maker!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..GEORGIA: Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events

  12. Gabi (The Nomadic Family)
    Twitter: nomadfamtravels
    November 17, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Oh,those bubbles looks so cool.Love it,gabi
    Gabi (The Nomadic Family) recently posted..Breathing-Taking & Heart-Warming- Diwali 2013 in Goa, India- Family Travel World-Schooling Delights

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