Central Park Zoo
Birthday Party FAQs

Party Planning

When are parties offered?

Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00am-12:30pm and 2:00pm-3:30pm

When should we book our party?

We highly encourage booking 2 to 3 months in advance. Parties need to be booked at least a month in advance in order to arrange animal experiences.

Do you require a deposit?

Payment is required in full at the time of booking to secure the party date and time. To request payment plan options please contact our registrar team at cpzeducation@wcs.org or 1-800-433-4149.

Is there a private party room?

Yes, however this is a combination indoor and outdoor birthday experience. The decorated indoor party space will be utilized for the welcome activities and animal demonstrations, and the rest of the party will be out in the Zoo. Other decorations are not permitted.

Can we store belongings in the classroom while we visit the exhibits?

During the party time, belongings can be stored in our indoor space. However, once the party has concluded, all belongings must be removed. No items may be left in the party space as we will either be setting up for our next party or closing the party room.

Can we bring balloons, sports equipment or a piñata?

No. Absolutely no balloons, sports equipment, or piñatas on zoo premises due to safety concerns for our animals and guests.

Can I choose which animals come to the party?

Animals that visit our classrooms may be requested through our planning document after booking. Please note, however, our animal collection is subject to availability and there is no guarantee of a specific animal.

Do you offer birthdays for adults?

No, our birthday parties are designed for children ages 3-12. For a private family experience, please contact our registrar team who can provide you with those options.

Do you allow food/cake?

You are welcome to bring your own refreshments and party food. All food must be self-serve only; our staff cannot assist in serving. We highly recommend easily served items such as cupcakes, juice boxes, pizza, and pre-packaged snacks (Please Note: catering and flames are not allowed, and alcohol is strictly PROHIBITED).

What does the general party timeline look like?

90 Minute Party
0:00 – 0:15 Check in, Welcome Activities, and Introduction
0:15 – 0:40 Zoo Visit
0:40 – 1:00 Animal Demos
1:00 – 1:30 Food Time

2 Hour Party (Afternoon Parties Only)
0:00 – 0:15 Check in, Welcome Activities, and Introduction
0:15 – 1:10 Zoo Visit
1:10 – 1:30 Animal Demos
1:30 – 2:00 Food Time

Do you offer any add-ons?

Yes. Our Make It Roar Add-On includes an additional 30 minutes for $350. Note this is only available for the 2pm party time slot.

Can I bring in an external vendor?

No. External vendors are not currently permitted at Central Park Zoo Birthday Parties. Our staff provide a fun and exciting birthday experience, complete with decorations, for everyone to enjoy!

Party Policies

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations made more than 4 weeks in advance will receive a 100% refund (minus any administrative fees).

Cancellations made between 2 and 4 weeks in advance will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made within 2 weeks will not receive a refund. All requests to cancel birthday parties must be made in writing to cpzeducation@wcs.org.

Can I change the date of the party after I send the payment?

Should you wish to reschedule the date, please note that we require a minimum of 60 days notice to book a new date. Date changes are subject to an administrative fee. Available party dates may be limited. Requests for changes to the registration cannot be made less than 4 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the party.

Can I cancel a party due to inclement weather conditions?

Parties are held rain, snow, or shine. Please encourage guests to dress appropriately for a day at the zoo. If, due to a snow storm (3 or more inches of snow), hurricane, fire or flood 48 hours before your event, you feel you need to reschedule your party, the Central Park Zoo reserves the right to withhold your deposit. In the event that the Zoo is officially closed, we will reschedule your party for a later date with no fee incurred.

Guest Guidelines

Does the birthday party family count towards the total number?

Yes. The guest count must include all children 1+ and all adults in attendance at the party inclusive of the immediate birthday family.

What ages count toward the total number of guests?

Children ages 1 and older count toward your group total.

How many adults must be present during the party?

For children ages 1-3, one adult is required to accompany each child (1:1 ratio)
For children ages 4-12, one adult is required to accompany every 10 children (1:10 ratio)

Can I add guests for an additional fee per person if I go over the package size?

No. The maximum number of guests allowed at the party is 35.

What if I have additional guests the day of the party?

Our birthday party program capacity is 35 guests. For accompanying guests that will not be in attendance at the party but wish to walk around the Zoo while the party takes place, admission tickets can be purchased at the Zoo entrance on the day of the party or in advance on the Central Park Zoo website.


Where can our guests park?

We are located near the southeast corner of Central Park and are easily accessible by mass transit. The Central Park Zoo does not offer parking. Additional direction information may be found on the Zoo’s website at: Zoo’s Website.

What should guests do upon arrival?

Our education and admissions staff will be available to greet attendees at the Zoo entrance. Attendees will be escorted to our party space.

Can we have more time if our guests arrive late?

No. Due to a very full schedule, parties may not be extended for late arriving guests beyond the scheduled end time.

When do party guests enjoy Central Park Zoo’s exhibits and attractions?

Our birthday parties include fun time spent out in the Zoo where we will see many of the Zoo’s animals. Following your party, guests are welcome to continue enjoying the Zoo and Tisch Children’s Zoo. Please note the Zoo closes at 4:30pm November through March.

What if I still have questions?

Please contact the Central Park Zoo Education Department at cpzeducation@wcs.org..

Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

If you have any questions, please call 800-433-4149 or email cpzeducation@wcs.org

Please visit the Central Park Zoo Know Before You Go page to review park policies related to COVID-19.

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