Please refer to visit information below. For additional questions, use the web form on our Contact Us page so we can assist you directly.

COVID-19 Park Policies FAQs

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

MASKS ARE REQUIRED FOR YOUR VISIT. Consistent with NY City/State and CDC guidance, MASKS ARE REQUIRED INDOORS* FOR ALL GUESTS over the age of 2 years, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated guests over the age of 2 years are also required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings remain optional for vaccinated guests in outdoor areas.

*Arrival to the park may be outdoors, but to visit indoor locations you must have a mask. Indoor locations include Tropic Zone, Penguins & Sea Birds, 4-D Theater, Dancing Crane Café, Zootique gift shop, and all restrooms.

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

We are currently reviewing the NYC Emergency Executive Order released on 8/16, and will be adjusting our process and policies accordingly. Once confirmed, we will post details on our Accessibility webpage. Please check centralparkzoo.com/access for updates.

Am I required to be fully vaccinated to visit the zoo?

The zoo has both outdoor and indoor experiences to offer. Guests under the age of 5 not vaccinated can come to the zoo for an Outdoors-Only visit.

In accordance with the mandate recently announced by New York City, all guests age 5 and older must show proof of at least one vaccine dose in order to enter indoor exhibits. Children under the age of 5 are permitted to accompany vaccinated adults to indoor exhibits.

Effective December 27, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated - two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Can children under 5 visit indoor exhibits?

Yes. Children under the age of 5 are permitted to accompany vaccinated adult chaperones to indoor exhibits. Masks continue to be required indoors for all guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated guests over the age of 2 are also required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

What if I am not vaccinated and already purchased tickets for after December 14?

If you previously purchased tickets for a December zoo visit, we look forward to seeing you!

While the NYC Executive Order may impact access to some exhibits, there are many outdoor-only experiences at the Central Park Zoo.

Here are other options to consider if you already have reservations for December 14 to 31:

  • Give to a friend: One-day paid tickets are not guest-specific, so if you are not able to visit you can feel free to share them with a friend or family that may want to use your reservation instead. (Please note - all member reservation tickets are non-transferrable. Any promotion code that requires presentation of credentials does require an appropriate individual to use.)
  • Wait for a future visit*: Exchange your December 14 to 31 date-specific tickets for a Ticket Voucher to be redeemed for a future visit. Vouchers will be valid for 1 year from date of issue. Send an email to onlinetickets@wcs.org with subject "CPZ December" and be sure to include your ticket order number, plus the name and email of the purchaser.

For any specific concerns or unique circumstances, please reach out to our customer care team at guestrelations@wcs.org. We appreciate your understanding and support.

*This applies only to ticket reservations purchased prior to December 10, and only for visit dates of December 14-31. All information regarding the vaccination requirements was posted by December 10. By purchasing tickets for a visit after that date, guest agreed to all policies, terms and conditions, including mask and vaccination requirements. All ticket sales are final. No refunds, cancellations or rescheduling.

What do I need to show as proof of vaccination?

Proof of vaccination may include CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), NYC COVID Safe App, New York State Excelsior Pass, NYC Vaccination Record, or an official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S. Read more details at NYC.gov

Guests 18+ must also show an official form of identification with name and photo or date of birth, such as driver's license, non-driver government ID card, IDNYC, passport, or school ID card.

Proof of vaccination for vaccines administered outside the U.S: show official immunization record that includes: First name and last name; Date of birth; Vaccine product name; Date(s) administered; Site where the vaccine was administered or person who administered the vaccine

I am unable to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Can I visit?

Join us for an outdoors-only visit. While the NYC Executive Order may impact access to some exhibits, there are many outdoor experiences at the Central Park Zoo. Any additional information regarding accommodations for guests with disabilities can be found on our Accessibility webpage. Please check centralparkzoo.com/access for updates.

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 difficulty. Please first check to confirm that the purchase was completed on your credit card. If the charge is in “Pending” status, that might mean that the transaction was not completed and there is no order made.

If the charge was fully processed, and you do not receive the order email, then check your junk/spam folder. If you do not find it, you can contact us to resend your tickets. Please reach out to the Reservation Center to ask for the tickets to be resent: Phone: 800-433-4149 or email (if visit is more than 7 days away): onlinetickets@wcs.org. Be sure to include the name, email and phone number associated with your purchase.

We strongly recommend getting the tickets resent prior to your visit to ensure that your order was processed. If you do arrive on site without the ticket PDF it is a risk that you may not have an order reservation, and if we are sold out you will not be permitted entry. An order can be looked up by order number, or purchaser 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 US military and veterans are eligible to receive a complimentary Limited 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 or dependents.

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

Discount code must be entered at the time of checkout. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Not applicable towards prior purchases.

Can I use my Cool Culture Card?

Yes! Cool Culture cardholders are eligible for up to five complimentary Limited 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.

Discount code must be entered at the time of checkout. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Not applicable towards prior purchases.

Can I use a Museum Council Pass?

Yes! Museum Council Passholders are eligible for two complimentary 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.

Discount code must be entered at the time of checkout. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Not applicable towards prior purchases.


If you have a NY Sightseeing Pass, you will need to book timed tickets in advance by calling our Reservation Center at 1-800-433-4149. Your NY Sightseeing Pass must be valid on your day of visit to the zoo.

Booking your zoo tickets cannot be done on site at the zoo. A NY Sightseeing Pass will not be accepted without booked timed tickets and a valid NY Sightseeing Pass.

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 practice social distancing at the zoo?

Yes, in many areas. We continue to manage capacity for our guest experience but still expect some lines or gathering at animal viewing areas.

Will the 4-D Theater be open?

The 4-D Theater is open. In following NYC Executive Order No. 225, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of vaccination (at least 1 shot) in order to enter the 4D Theater. One 4-D admission included with the Zoo Admission ticket, or $7 per person. WCS Member discount ticket $4/person (free for Conservation level Members).

  • All seats will be assigned upon entry.
  • 4-D Theater and 3-D glasses are cleaned and sanitized prior to every show.
  • Masks required at all times. Social distancing will be maintained at all times.

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 be sure to use our Interactive Map on your mobile device for up-to-date park information on your date of visit: centralparkzoo.com/today

Will there be any changes to restrooms or water fountains?

All park restrooms will be open. Water bottle filling stations are open. 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?


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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