During your trip you will find a lot of things to see and do in New York and without a doubt, visiting Central Park Zoo is one of them. It was the first zoo in the city and its opening took place in 1860 as a reserve for wild animals. Today it specializes in certain exclusive species such as grizzly bears, penguins, white leopards, monkeys, red pandas or sea lions.
To enter the zoo you must purchase tickets in advance. I will tell you what types of tickets are available. You also have the possibility to get the entrance to the zoo with a guided tour of New York. More complete impossible!
Secure your early bird ticket for Central Park Zoo
You will tour one of the most exclusive zoos in New York and meet unique species.
Imagine being able to see snow leopards, sea lions or red pandas in the heart of New York. Thanks to this small zoo located in the green lung of the city, it is possible. With tickets to the Central Park Zoo you can see how they feed the penguins or learn about the breeding program for endangered species. All this for a very affordable price.
The unlimited general admission includes access to the main zoo, the Tisch Children's Zoo and a visit to the 4-D theater. That is, for only about 19 euros you have access to the entire zoo. And you will see the animals up close!
Recommended if... you want to visit the Central Park Zoo in the easiest and most direct way possible and at the best price.
Take advantage of a New York City tour to also visit the Central Park Zoo.
In addition to a tour of the city's main tourist attractions, you can enjoy a wild experience at the Central Park Zoo.
With this option you will be acquiring a tour of New York that includes admission in advance to access without inconvenience, since the Central Park Zoo requires that all visitors have tickets for specific dates and times to gain access.
You'll be in the right place to enjoy a day of strolling through Central Park, appreciating the wildlife that inhabits the heart of Manhattan. Not only will you have the opportunity to discover a great variety of species, but you can also enjoy the most exclusive animal exhibits, appreciate the best shows or visit the children's zoo.
Recommended if... you want to take advantage of a tour of New York that will take you to enjoy the full experience that only the Central Park Zoo has to offer, ensuring the day and time of your visit.
How much do tickets to Central Park Zoo cost?
The best option is to buy the most complete ticket, which includes an unlimited pass, since in addition to the entrance to the main zoo, you will have access to the Tisch Children's Zoo and the 4-D Theater. This option will cost you about $19.95.
If you prefer a cheaper option, you can buy the limited tickets that do not have access to the 4-D theater and its price is about $13.95 for adults and $8.95 for children.
Take advantage of these discounts
Keep in mind that children under 2 years old can enter the zoo for free, so you won't have to buy a ticket for them.
Likewise, adults over 65 years old have a special rate and will be able to purchase their unlimited tickets for about $16.95 and the limited pass for $10.95.
Can tickets be purchased at the box office?
It is currently not possible to purchase tickets to the zoo at any box office, so there is only the option of buying them online. The zoo itself warns that no one should arrive without having the ticket with the specific timetable ready.
Save on your Central Park Zoo tickets with the city's tourist card.
In New York City you will have so many things to see and do that you can save by purchasing your New York Sightseeing pass where you will not only have admission to the Central Park Zoo, but to many more attractions to enjoy the city to the fullest.
I especially recommend you to buy this tourist pass if you plan to go to New York with your family and you have planned activities to do with the kids, because the New York Sightseeing card includes all kinds of attractions and will also allow you to visit places like the New York Aquarium, the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and meet the animals at the Bronx Zoo.
In addition, with this pass you will have access to all kinds of discounts to the best attractions in New York, iconic buildings, museums and exclusive viewpoints and will serve you to get the most out of the city at a better price.
Please note that with this pass you will have limited admission to the Central Park Zoo, with admission to the main zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo only.
How to get to Central Park Zoo
Like almost all New York attractions you can easily get there by public transportation. The Central Park Zoo is in one of the most touristy areas of Manhattan, so I recommend this option so you can get there without overspending, easy and fast.
The zoo is located near the southeast corner of Central Park, on 64th Street and Fifth Avenue. Here is how to get there from different parts of the city.
If you decide to take the subway, you will have to take the N, R or W trains to the Fifth Avenue station located at 59th Street in Manhattan. From there, you will have to walk about four blocks to the Zoo.
As a second option, you can take the Lexington Avenue train to the 68th St - Hunter College Station and from there you will have to walk about ten minutes to get to your destination.
You will find a variety of buses that will drop you off near the Central Park Zoo. The most appropriate is to take one of the buses that stop on Fifth Avenue, between 59th and 65th Streets: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M66 and Q32.
The Central Park Zoo does not have its own parking lot. But this is not an impediment for you to go in your vehicle if you want to, since there are many parking lots available in the area a few blocks away.
You can even reserve your parking spot near the zoo from this app.
Is it advisable to visit Central Park Zoo with children?
Definitely, the answer is yes. The Central Park Zoo is a great plan for kids and without a doubt one of the best activities to do with them.
It is designed as a great experience for both children and adults to learn more about the exotic species and enjoy all the activities on offer.
Kids will love the feeding and play sessions with the penguins and sea lions, they will live a unique experience in the 4-D theater and they can crawl, jump and climb in the Tisch Children's Zoo among sheep, goats and zebus.
New York is a very versatile city and has a great variety of activities to do with the little ones. Here is a guide with the best plans for touring the city with kids.
What not to miss at Central Park Zoo
Touring this zoo is a fantastic experience. You will be able to enjoy animal exhibits from the polar circle to the tropical zone and live unique experiences such as feeding the animals and the sensory world that inhabits the 4-D theater.
Not only will you have the chance to get up close and personal with various animal species, but you will also get to know their habitat, learn much more about them and even awaken your inner child at the Tisch Children's Zoo.
Among the wide variety of exhibits that the Central Park Zoo offers, you can enjoy the Arctic Circle and meet the five species of penguins that live there: the tufted penguin, the Gentoo penguin, the king penguin, the chinstrap penguin and the macaroni penguin.
Although you are in the heart of Manhattan, where skyscrapers abound, in this zoo you will find a tropical area. There you'll see a wide range of tropical birds and groups of black and white rufous lemurs, white-faced saki monkeys, white-headed marmosets and more.
At the heart of the zoo is the central garden and pool where you'll find sea lions sunbathing or swimming.
You can also take advantage of the panda and monkey exhibits in the temperate territory. You'll enjoy the exotic snow leopards and meet the panda bears, the newest addition from the Bronx Zoo.
Tisch Children's Zoo
You'll find this zoo across 65th Street from the Central Park Zoo and will have unlimited and limited admission included. There you'll be amazed by goats, pigs, zebu, ducks, sheep and waterfowl, among other animals.
In the Tisch Children's Zoo you will see bronze statues next to the pens, which were placed there to educate and entertain the little ones, who can touch them to reproduce the sound of each animal.
Feeding the animals
One of the most attractive moments occurs when the gentoo, chinstrap and king penguins come out to feed and swing in search of fish. This spectacle can be observed every day at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm.
Something similar happens with the sea lions. You can watch the training and feeding sessions of these animals every day at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
Live the incredible experience of a 3D movie with a variety of sensory effects included. Both children and adults enjoy this experience to the fullest and are surprised by the number of sensations that the 4-D theater can make them feel.
The 4-D theater is included in your unlimited general admission ticket. In case you have a limited ticket and want to access it, you can do so by paying $7 per person.
The legendary Delacorte musical clock
At one of the entrances to the Central Park Zoo you will be amazed by this incredible clock that brightens up the days in the park with its animals and sounds. Not only does it tell the time, but every half hour between 8 am and 6 pm it entertains all visitors, from the youngest to the oldest with its tunes.
The cute little animals are activated to mark the passing of the hours. The most prominent are the elephant, the bear, the penguins and the pair of monkeys that ring the bell. The musical repertoire of the clock varies according to the time of year; at Christmas time you can listen to Christmas carols.
How much time do you need to tour the entire Central Park Zoo?
If you are planning to visit the Central Park Zoo with your family and children, you will need about two hours to make the most of the experience.
Keep in mind that children will probably want to stay longer with their favorite animals, enjoy feeding times and interact with and learn from the keepers.
In this case, you will be able to explore the zoo in an hour if you keep a very good and constant pace, without major interruptions.
You should take into account when planning the time of your visit, that you can take more or less time if you make stops to take pictures or to eat something at the zoo.
What are Central Park Zoo's opening and closing hours?
You can visit this exotic zoo every day starting at 10 am. Closing times depend on the time of year; from April to October, it closes at 5 pm and from November to March at 4:30 pm. On weekends and holidays, it closes at 5:30 pm.
Before visiting the Central Park Zoo, you should note that the last admission is one hour before closing and you can enjoy the animal exhibits up to 30 minutes before closing.
Tips for visiting Central Park Zoo without missing out on anything
I'm going to tell you some things about this zoo for you to keep in mind when visiting it, so you won't miss anything and you can make the most of your experience at Central Park Zoo.
- Don't forget to book your tickets online in advance, since all visitors must have a ticket for a specific date and time.
- Keep in mind the zoo map and always keep it handy so you can find your way around the zoo and visit it from end to end without missing anything.
- Check before you go the schedules of the exhibits and feeding sessions of the animals so you don't miss the best moments of your visit.
- Check before you go what you can see that day in the 4-D Theater at the time of your visit.
- Remember that you are not allowed to feed the animals or throw things into the exhibits. And remember to always keep walking on the public trails.
- You must keep the zoo's plants and trees intact, avoiding touching, stepping on or damaging them in any way.
- It is not forbidden to bring food or snacks to eat there.
- Although there are water fountains in the zoo, I recommend you to bring a bottle of water because it never hurts.
- Wear comfortable clothes according to the temperature of the time of the year in which you will visit the zoo. Remember to protect yourself from the extreme summer temperatures and the freezing winters.
- Don't forget to wear appropriate footwear for the hours it will take you to walk around the zoo. Also, if you want to continue walking through Central Park afterwards, you don't want your feet to hurt.
I recommend that you read the Central Park Zoo rules carefully to avoid any problems during your visit.
Where to eat at Central Park Zoo
When you visit this legendary zoo I recommend that you stop for a bite to eat and recharge your batteries at the Dancing Crane Café at the Central Park Zoo.
This place is ideal for you to sit down and rest your legs a little and then you can continue with the tour.
Here you can enjoy a wide variety of snacks, meals, drinks and delicious desserts of very good quality. You can accompany your coffee with various fresh and healthy food options.
If you want to eat while you stroll through the zoo, without wasting too much time, you will find food and beverage vendors located throughout the zoo to buy a quick snack or something to drink. In case you're bringing some food from home, you'll have the benches outside the Central Park Zoo that are ideal for a picnic and a little rest.