FAQs

Updates

The Wildlife Conservation Society is temporarily closing the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and NY Aquarium, effective March16, 2020. Our five parks will be closed and education and public programs will be cancelled or postponed.

This action is being taken as city and state leaders have called on businesses to voluntarily close to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and following declarations of states of emergency in the United States, New York State and New York City.

We are committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers, guests and community. During this period when the parks are closed, essential animal care and operations staff will continue to provide care for our animals without disruption. For the past weeks, we have developed plans to ensure our animals will be well cared for in the event of a disruption to regular operations due to COVID-19.

We understand that this closure has interrupted plans for WCS Members and visitors. For that reason, if you have previously purchased tickets for a zoo visit we will honor/accept them on any future date in 2020. WCS Members will automatically have their Membership extended by a month or more depending on the length of the closures. If you have specific concerns, please reach out to Member Services at membership@wcs.org or customer care team at guestrelations@wcs.org.

What if I have admission tickets that are expiring?

If you previously purchased tickets for a zoo visit, we will honor/accept them on any future date in 2020. But for any specific concerns or unique circumstances, please reach out to our customer care team at onlinetickets@wcs.org.


Does the zoo close during the winter? Is it open on holidays?

The Central Park Zoo is open 365 days a year, and the animals are on exhibit all year-round. Spring and summer are naturally high-attendance seasons, but we encourage guests to visit during fall and winter as well. When the weather cools off, many animals are more active and you'll encounter fewer crowds.


Are the zoo's hours different in the summer vs. winter?

They are. In the colder months, from early November to early April, the zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the warmer months, we're open longer, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays).


What's the easiest way to get to the zoo?

The Central Park Zoo is located near numerous subway and bus stops. You can take the N/R/W or 6 trains, or the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M66, or Q32 buses.


Does the Zoo have parking?

While there is no parking at the Central Park Zoo, there are many near-by parking garages. We have partnered with SpotHero, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow you to search and reserve parking before your trip or on the go. View real-time availability and pricing at many convenient locations within easy walking distance of Central Park Zoo. Simply update the calendar to fit your schedule to view parking. Once booked, your spot is 100% guaranteed at the selected location. Need assistance? Please give SpotHero a call at (800) 232-6415.


What should we do for lunch?

The Zoo's Dancing Crane Café features a wide variety of high-quality meals, snacks, beverages, and desserts that include carefully prepared, fresh, and healthy choices. For a lunch brought from home, benches outside of the zoo or in the park make ideal picnic spots.


Is there a gift shop for souvenirs?

Visit the Zootique to shop for unique and wild items, including plush animals and children's books, as well as toys, games, and more. Visiting school groups must be chaperoned while in the shop. A gift cart is stationed outside during the warmer, busier months.


Can I rent a wheelchair?

A limited number of free wheelchairs are available on a first come, first served basis at the ticket window.


Can I bring my own stroller? Are there any stroller restrictions?

Yes, you can bring your own stroller. Some buildings and exhibits request that you stow your stroller in a designated area before entering. Please be sure to take all your valuables with you.

We do not have strollers for rent available on site.


Do you have lockers available for rent?

No.


Is entrance to the Tisch Children's Zoo included with an admissions ticket?

Yes, admission fees include entrance to the Main Zoo and Children's Zoo.


Is there a way to buy tickets in advance?

Yes, you can buy your tickets online. Follow the directions to purchase and print out your tickets, which will contain a barcode that can be scanned at the entrance gate. You can also show your tickets on your smartphone to be scanned at the entrance gate. Online tickets expire 1 year from date of purchase.


Do i have to specify the date i am visiting when purchasing tickets online?

No.


Do I get in free if I'm a member of another zoo?

WCS does not honor reciprocal memberships from other zoos. However, by becoming a WCS member, you can enjoy free admission to all four of our New York Zoos and the Aquarium. Find out more about the benefits of membership!


What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept cash and all major credit cards at the booth. No personal checks.


Does the zoo offer military discounts?

Yes! Military discounts are available 7 days a week, year-round at the Central Park Zoo. These discounts are only available on-site at any Admission booth. NOT AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE PURCHASE.

Active Duty U.S. Armed Forces Personnel Discount: Present a valid military ID and receive FREE Total Experience or General Admission ticket, and 50% discount for up to 3 family members included on the same admissions transaction. NOT AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE PURCHASE.

Military Veteran Discount: Present a valid military ID and receive a 50% discount for you and up to 3 guests on Total Experience or General Admission ticket. NOT AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE PURCHASE.


Are there discounted admission fees for students, camp groups, or other groups?

For all student and group sales pricing, please visit Field Trips, for other group discounts, please visit Group Sales or call 1-800-433-4149.


Does my school or group need to make a reservation to visit the Central Park Zoo?

In order to receive Group Rates, reservations must be booked and paid for in advance, otherwise, regular rates will apply. For group sales pricing, please visit Field Trips or call (800) 433-4149.


Do I have to make reservations for programs?

All public events are free with zoo admission. However, advance registration is required for all of our Education Programs.


Do I need to purchase special tickets for an event weekend?

No, there are no additional costs or special tickets required.


Can I host a birthday party for my child at the zoo?

Birthday party programs are available at the Bronx, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos and New York Aquarium only. Parties can take place year-round, rain or shine. Visit our Birthday Parties page to learn more.


I am a member of the media and would like to arrange a zoo visit or take some photographs. Who should I contact?

Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without express permission of WCS Public Relations. Contact the PR department by emailing mpulsinelli@wcs.org or calling (718) 220-5182.


Will the Zoo accept an animal I cannot care for?

Every year, the Central Park Zoo receives many inquiries from people who would like to donate wild animals or exotic pets; however, the zoo is not able to accept them. If you have an animal in need of a new home, please contact local and regional rescue organizations that specialize in caring for unwanted pets, such as the ASPCA. Plans for a pet should always include care for its entire lifespan. Remember that exotic animals almost never make good pets.


Does the Zoo offer behind-the-scenes tours?

The Central Park Zoo does not offer behind-the-scenes tours but we do offer guided tours. Visitors can also hear directly from zookeepers about the animals in their care during daily enrichment and feeding demonstrations. Education programs for children and adults also provide "insider information" about our animals and how we care for them.


When are the feed machines open to feed the farm animals in the Tisch Children’s Zoo?

The feed machines are open from 10am-2pm daily. There is a fee to purchase feed from the feed machines.


How do I get a WCS Membership with my IDNYC municipal ID card?

Once you have received your IDNYC card, you may bring that card to the Bronx Zoo to apply for an individual WCS IDNYC Membership. Sign up for this free membership is only available at the Bronx Zoo.

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