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Central Park Zoo and Tisch Children's Zoo

Conveniently located and well-sized, this is a great zoo to visit in NYC

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Sea Lion at the Central Park Zoo

Sea Lion at the Central Park Zoo

Located on Manhattan's Central Park, the Central Park Zoo is a great choice for visitors with children and for animal lovers who want a taste of wildlife while visiting Central Park. The Tisch Children's Zoo offers visitors a variety of interactive activities for children, including a petting zoo, climbing activities and performances.

Visitors to the Central Park Zoo will be impressed with the breadth of animals on display, as well as the quality and cleanliness of the zoo. Nearly 1 million people come to see the diverse collection of animals each year. Animals have lived in the area around the zoo since the 1860s, but the current zoo has been open only since 1988. Visitors will find the zoo appealing because of its convenient location in Central Park, as well as its digestible size -- you can see the entire zoo in about 2 hours.

The Central Park Zoo is home to a variety of animals, including seals, sea lions, penguins, snakes, bugs, monkeys and birds. From a steamy rain forest environment to an icy Antarctic penguin habitat, the zoo offers visitors a chance to see animals of all shapes and sizes from a variety of climates.

The Tisch Children's Zoo is located a short walk from the Central Park Zoo and offers young visitors the opportunity to pet and feed animals, as well as plenty of places for safely climbing and exploring.

Good to Know About the Central Park Zoo:

  • Admission covers access to both zoos, though the entrances are separate. There is also a 4-D theater, and tickets are sold separately to see the film, which are required even for members.
  • Seeing the exhibits at the main zoo will take an hour and a half to two hours. The children's zoo will entertain little ones for 30-60 minutes.
  • Animal feedings are scheduled periodically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Check the events schedule online to see what special activities will be going on when you're at the zoo, including entertaining Wildlife Theater performances from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • If you time it right, you can enjoy watching the Delacorte Clock "perform" on the hour and half-hour throughout the day -- it's located outside of the main zoo on the way to the children's zoo.
  • Smoking is prohibited at the zoo
  • The Cafe offers a simple menu for visitors, including hot dogs, sandwiches and french fries. They do have children's meals available.
  • You may also bring your own food to the zoo to enjoy at any of the seating areas around the zoo. (Check out our list of Places To Pack A Picnic for Central Park for ideas!) We often enjoy eating our lunch while watching the sea lions.
  • The children's zoo is really suited for kids -- unless you want to feed/pet animals, there is little there for adult visitors.
  • Freebie tip: you can watch the sea lions being fed pretty well from the fence outside the zoo, so if you just want to enjoy that, you can skip paying admission.

Central Park Zoo Basics:

  • Tickets are sold outside of the main zoo entrance for both the zoo and children's zoo.
  • Central Park Zoo Location: Enter at 5th Avenue south of 65th Street near the Armory building. There are steps down and entrance is a short walk on the left (Map)
  • Tisch Children's Zoo: between 66th and 65th Streets off of Fifth Avenue
  • Nearest Subways: N/R/Q to 59th Street/5th Avenue; F to 63rd Street/Lexington
  • Phone: 212-439-6500
  • Website: www.centralparkzoo.com
  • Photos: Central Park Zoo and Tisch Children's Zoo

Admission:

Admission covers both the Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo. (4-D Theater admission is $6-7 extra)

Hours:

  • Summer: (late March - October) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays
  • Winter: (November - March) 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • The zoo is open every day, year round
  • Last admission sold 30 minutes before closing

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