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Tickets and Discounts for the Central Park Zoo

Updated: June 9, 2023

This post is about visiting the Central Park Zoo, including how to get here, the animals you will see, hours, ticket prices, and available discounts.


There are two types of tickets: "Total Experience" and General Admission.

Be sure to read about the available discounts before paying the full price. Unfortunately, Central Park Zoo does not offer a free admission day.

TIP: General admission tickets are included for free with the purchase of the All-Inclusive Sightseeing Pass and up to 50% off with the purchase of the Pick'em Sightseeing Pass, both of which are tourist discount passes.

General Admission Tickets

  • The Main Zoo
  • Tisch Children’s Zoo
    • $19.95 for Adults / $14.95 for Children (3-12) & free (2 & under) / $16.95 for seniors (65+)
    • Extra $7 for entry to the 4-D Theater (ages 3 and up)
    • Purchase online or at the ticket gate.

Total Experience Tickets

Note: this type of tickets is not available as of March 2023.

  • The Main Zoo
  • Tisch Children’s Zoo
  • entry to the 4-D Theater
    • $20 for Adults / $15 for Children (3-12) & free (2 & under) / $17 for seniors (65+)
    • Purchase online or at the ticket gate.

Limited Admission Ticket

  • The Main Zoo
  • Tisch Children’s Zoo
  • Doesn't include admission to 4-D Theater
    • $13.95 for Adults (12+) / $8.95 for Children (3-12) / $ 10.95 for seniors (65+)
    • Purchase online or at the ticket gate.


  • April to October: Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm. Weekends & Holidays: 10 am-5:30 pm
  • November-March: Daily 10:00 am - 4:30 pm (16:30)


There are many different ways to save money on tickets to the Central Park Zoo.

In addition to covering all the current deals they offer on admission, we will also provide details about whether or not common discounts are available.

1. Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

General admission tickets are included for free with the purchase of the All-Inclusive Sightseeing Pass and up to 50% off with the purchase of the Pick'em Sightseeing Pass, both of which are tourist discount passes.

These discount passes work by bundling together several popular tourist attractions, including:

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Empire State Buildings, Top of the Rock, or One World Observatory
  • Madame Tussauds
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry  
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Read our post comparing all the different options available to you or watch the video above.

2. Promo Code

The Zoo's website usually offers a promo code for 10% off the Total Experience ticket. It is posted at the top of the website so keep your eyes open for those.

3. AAA Discount

AAA members save 20% on tickets. You must purchase your tickets through the AAA website. See here for information.

4. Discount Sites

Check Groupon or Living Social which occasionally run specials on zoo tickets (Affiliates Disclosure).

5. Student Discount

Student discounts are available when purchased by a group of 10 or more students.

6. Military Discount

The Central Park Zoo offers complimentary limited admission tickets for all active duty US military and veterans.

Members of the military and veterans are also eligible for 50% off tickets for up to 3 guests.

You must reserve your tickets ahead of time. Use code MILITARYCITY if you are active personnel or VETERANCITY if you are a veteran. Valid ID must be presented on entry.

7. Children's Discount

Tickets for children are $5 less than they are for adults, so visitors with kids are already saving money on admission for their families just with regular ticket prices.

8. Senior Discount

If you're over the age of 65, you will be eligible for the senior discount of $3 off an adult ticket.

This is an easy and often forgotten opportunity to save a few bucks on admission.

9. Membership Discounts

If you live in the area and you're planning to visit the Central Park Zoo multiple times each year, you might want to consider getting a membership.

The lowest price membership is $75 for 1 adult, and it includes admission to the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo.

You'll also get 20% off tickets for additional guests and 40% off the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights event.

There is also a family option for as low as $170 per year.

This membership includes admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children at all four zoos, as well as a 20% discount for other guests and 40$ off holiday events.

Learn more about Central Park Zoo memberships.

10. Cool Culture Card

If you're a parent in the NYC area with an early learner enrolled in one of the city's early childhood centers or DEO schools, you might be eligible for a Cool Culture Card.

This card will give you access to 5 complimentary limited-admission tickets. Simply use code COOLC when reserving admission in advance to get this discount.

11. Teacher Discount

There are not currently any discounts for educators, but this could always change in the future. We recommend reaching out to Central Park Zoo ahead of time to ask if they are offering discounts for teachers when you plan to visit.

12. Free days

The zoo currently do not offer any free days admission.

Other Discounts

If you are planning to go to the Bronx Zoo, see our post Discounts for the Bronx Zoo.

Check out more information on Discounts for other NYC attractions.

* Combine a visit to the Central Park Zoo with one of our pay-what-you-like Central Park walking tours! *

For more information about tickets and the zoo in general, see their website.


The Central Park Zoo is located near the southeast corner of Central Park. The entrance is at 64th Street & 5th Avenue.

Use this Google Maps link to get exact directions from your starting point to the zoo.

Central Park Zoo Map

By subway:

  • N, R, or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue/59th Street station and walk north four blocks to 64th Street
  • 6 train to the 68th Street/Hunter College station, walk west 3 blocks to Fifth Avenue, then take a left and walk four blocks south

By bus:  M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M66, Q32. These buses stop on 5th Ave, between 59th and 65th Streets.

TIP: If you are new to the NYC subway, then the following 2 posts may be of value to you.

If you are considering purchasing a hop-on-hop-off bus pass, then keep in mind that all buses stop at the zoo.

Podcast Episode: Listen to tour guides Lori and Katherine discuss Central Park on an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast.

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcasts on Apple, Google, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Seeing all the parts of the zoo with a Total Experience ticket will take an hour or two, so take the time to enjoy the rest of Central Park.

You might enjoy joining one of our pay-what-you-like Central Park Tours or audio tours of Central Park. Be sure to see our post

Main Zoo

When you enter the zoo the first thing you see is the Sea Lions, which are an entertaining bunch.

See the feeding schedule to have even more fun.

After the sea lions, you can either head to the Penguins and Seabirds or the Tropic Zone.

This map of the zoo can help you navigate your way.

The Tropic Zone is impressive, allowing you to enter the habitat with an array of tropical birds that can fly inches away from you and land within arm’s reach.

Further into the zoo, you will find the Temperate Territory, where you can find snow monkeys, red pandas, snow leopards, and much more.

The 4-D Theater

This is an immersive experience featuring a 3-D film with a variety of built-in sensory effects.

It's perfect for children ages 6 and up, but maybe a bit too much excitement for children under age 4.

Tisch Children’s Zoo 

Included in the price of the Total Experience ticket, this children's zoo is just north of the main zoo.

Children can pet and feed animals safely, such as goats, rabbits, birds, and others.

Food at the Dancing Crane Cafe

You can enter the cafe from both inside and outside of the zoo, and if you get a stamp on your hand on your way in, you can re-enter the zoo with ease.

The Cafe has the general sense of chaos you expect from a cafeteria-style restaurant filled with children - but they get the job done.

They have hot dogs, pizza, fried chicken, fries, and a spot to get a coffee or cappuccino.

Delacorte Clock

On the way out of the zoo, make sure you check out the Delacorte Clock.

The clock was donated by George Delacorte and features statues of animals that move in a circle as nursery rhymes play. The clock chimes and rotates every half-hour.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: June 9th, 2023
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