FAQs

Welcome Back!

For the health and safety of our guests and staff, we have made significant changes to our ticketing and entry process, as well as our daily operations. Please refer to visit information below. For additional questions, use the web form on our Contact Us page so we can assist you directly.

Tickets & Admission FAQs

Can I buy tickets at the zoo?

All tickets must be purchased, and Member ticket reservations, must be made online in advance. Do not come to the zoo if you do not have a timed ticket for entry. If you have difficulty completing your online reservation, please email us at onlinetickets@wcs.org. Due to high message volume, you may experience longer than usual wait times, and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.


I didn’t get an email with my tickets – what do I do?

We are sorry for the inconvenience – but please don’t worry! If you did complete your purchase, and you see the charge was completed on your credit card, you have an order. We expect the ticket reservations emails to be resent, but if you do not have it on the day of your visit you can stop at a Ticket Services window at our admissions area to look up your order when you arrive. Your order can be looked up by your order number, or name, or email, or phone number.


How do I get a timed ticket if I already have a ticket that is not for a specific date? (unused Zoo online ticket or courtesy ticket, etc.)

Use our online web form for assistance from the reservation center. If you have an unused "open" ticket – such as a zoo online ticket that is still valid or had expired during our closure - you will need to apply that to a timed ticket before arriving to the zoo. You must have your ticket order number, and the name, email and phone number associated with that order. We are experiencing a high volume of correspondence – PLEASE plan at least 2 weeks in advance of your requested visit date to allow for ticket requests to be processed.


I cannot go on the date I selected, can I reschedule for another day or get a refund?

All ticket sales are final. There are no refunds, cancellations or rescheduling. Due to capacity restrictions we must adhere to the ticketing policies which were stated prior to purchase. This includes the terms and conditions acknowledgment that all sales are final and there are no revisions for credit, refund, rescheduling, exchange or cancellation. If you purchased non-Member tickets and cannot make your scheduled time, we recommend sharing your tickets with a friend or family member to use.


It is going to rain; can I get a refund or change my ticket date?

All tickets are final sale. Due to capacity limits, we cannot provide refunds, cancellations or rain checks due to weather conditions or animal visibility. We understand weather may affect that day’s experience; however, all exhibits and experiences are always subject to unforeseen conditions and not guaranteed. Please plan ahead for the weather, and enjoy your day.


Do Members need a reservation or timed ticket to visit?

Yes! In order to manage the park capacity and allow for social distancing, all guests, including WCS Members, must have a timed ticket for entry. Reservations for your free member tickets must be made online in advance. Use the Member portal for your reservation.


Does the zoo offer military discounts?

Yes! Active military and veterans are eligible to receive a complementary General Admission ticket for themselves and 50% off tickets for up to 3 guests. Advance ticket reservation required. Please use promotional code MILITARYCITY for active personnel and VETERANCITY for Veterans during checkout. Military member must be present with valid ID on entry. Group must stay together on arrival. Not transferable to spouses.

To use these promotional codes, you must purchase your tickets here.


Can I use my Cool Culture Card?

Yes! Cool Culture cardholders are eligible for up to five complementary General Admission tickets. Advance ticket reservation required. Please use promo code COOLC during checkout. Must present valid Cool Culture card and an ID that matches the last name on that Cool Culture card on entry along with ticket(s).

To use this promotional code, you must purchase your tickets here.


Can I use a Museum Council Pass?

Yes! Museum Council Passholders are eligible for two complementary Limited Admission tickets. Advance ticket reservation required. Please use promo code MUSEUM during checkout. Must present valid Museum Council pass card on entry along with ticket(s).

To use this promotional code, you must purchase your tickets here.


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

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED for all schools or camps, and for all groups of 10 or more people. No walk-up tickets. Contact the Group Sales Department at (800) 433-4149 or wcsgroupsales@wcs.org.


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.


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'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.


Park Visit Experience FAQs

Have your hours changed?

Park hours are the same! We open every day at 10am. April – October, the zoo grounds closed at 5pm Monday through Friday, and 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.


How long can I stay in the Zoo?

You will be prompted to select an entry time window during the ticketing process. This designates when you are able to arrive at the park. Once you’re here, you are welcome to stay as long as you would like. Based on the available exhibits and amenities, we expect the average visit to be 1-1.5 hours.


Will it be possible to follow social distancing guidelines at the zoo?

Yes. And we appreciate everyone’s cooperation to make it work! In addition to limiting the number of tickets available each day, we’ve made some changes inside the park to allow staff and guests to appropriately social distance. You will see markers in queuing areas as well as signs throughout the zoo to remind you to follow these guidelines.


Do I have to wear a face mask at the zoo?

Yes. Face coverings are required for entry and required throughout your visit. Wild Smile Face Masks are available for purchase from our website when making your ticket reservation.


Can I visit without a mask?

No. We require every visitor age 3 and up to wear a mask or cloth face covering for their visit, in order to support public health and safety in our community. Masks must be worn upon entry and within the park at all times, unless a guest is seated at socially distanced picnic tables or benches in a designated Outdoor Seating Area. People without a mask or appropriate face covering could present a direct threat to the health and safety of others. In order to limit this direct threat, making masks mandatory is required for safe operation of our parks.


What if I cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition?

Current accommodations include:

  1. As identified by NY Dept. of Health, a face shield is an appropriate alternative face covering and may be worn at the park;
  2. For those guests who are unable to continuously wear their mask for the duration of their visit but who are able to wear a mask for short periods of time, the park has available visit tips for planning a route with frequent rest stops at Outdoor Seating Areas. These locations provide picnic tables or benches with appropriate social distancing where guests may remove their masks when seated. All guests must wear their masks when walking within these areas.

If you have a medical disability that prevents you from being able to wear any type of acceptable face covering, we will not be able to have you visit with us at this time. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate these unique and unprecedented safety challenges as responsibly as we can. We will continue to explore opportunities for additional accommodations that can help all guests plan a park visit as the situation continues to evolve.

For additional questions, or assistance with visit planning, please contact Guest Relations - guestrelations@wcs.org, 718-220-5103.

If you are not able to join us at the park right now, we have a number of ways to experience WCS zoo and aquarium stories, and enjoy our animals virtually:


What exhibits will be closed when I visit?

While we expect all exhibits and attractions to be open on our regular schedule, there are always unforeseen circumstances including, but not limited to, weather, capacity and animal-related issues. For a complete list of exhibits, check the map posted on the Know Before You Go page. We will not have printed map handouts, so please use centralparkzoo.com for park map.


Will there be any changes to restrooms or water fountains?

All park restrooms will be open and have expanded cleaning procedures. Water fountains are open, and beverages are available for purchase from food and snack stands.


Will there be any changes to restrooms or water fountains?

All park restrooms will be open and have expanded cleaning procedures. Water fountains are open, and beverages are available for purchase from food and snack stands.


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.


Are service dogs or therapy dogs allowed at the Zoo?

Yes, for Service Dogs; No, for therapy dogs.

We only allow working Service Animals, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, "a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for assisting a person with a disability." Service dogs are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Pets, comfort animals, emotional support or therapy animals are not permitted at the Zoo.

Upon arrival at the park, please check in with Admissions so a supervisor can review some logistical items with you and issue a Service Dog Admission pass*. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the zoo, and other park guests.

*As stipulated by the ADA, Zoo staff may request that a service dog experiencing difficulty or demonstrating problematic behaviors, such as barking or lunging, be removed from the Zoo immediately. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.


Can my child use their scooter in the zoo?

No. PLEASE leave scooters and skateboards at home! This is a significant safety problem and we need all guests to comply with our rules that prohibit scooters/skateboards/rollerblades from the park.


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.


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 popular 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.


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.


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.

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