Eat and Play Wednesday: Central Park Zoo

cp zoo eat and play
Welcome to Eat & Play Wednesday, where each week Gray Line New York will be highlighting one of our friends who offer discounts with the Eat and Play Card. Today we are taking a look at the Central Park Zoo who offers 20% off with the card.


The Central Park Zoo originally started out as a menagerie which was a form of keeping common and exotic animals in captivity. The zoo soon evolved almost spontaneously in 1859 from gifts of exotic pets and other animals given to them informally to the zoo it is today. The original animals that were on the play when the zoo first got started were a bear and some swans. In 1864, the central park zoo officially became the second publicly owned zoo in the United States as well as the first official zoo in NYC. By 1980, the zoo like central park itself was in a state of ruin as a result of neglect. At the time responsibility of its management was held responsible by The New York Zoological Society, which today is known as the Wildlife Conservation Society. The zoo was closed in the winter of 1983 for reconstruction. The zoo was scheduled to open in 1985; however due to some issues the project was delayed and reopened five years after reconstruction in 1988, thus becoming the modern zoo you see today.

Operating Info

The Central Park Zoo is open 7 days a week, Weekdays from 10 a.m. -5 p.m., and Weekends & Holidays from 10 am – 5:30 pm

With the Eat and Play card you receive 20% off the price of admission at the door.

5 Quick Facts

  • The zoo is often featured in pop culture, the most popular example being Madagascar.
  • The entire park looks natural however it is landscaped or artificial.
  •  The wild animals aren’t just in the zoo they can be found the ponds in central park are home to carps and sunfish to turtles and frogs.
  • The park sits on migratory route, so the park features nearly 300 species of birds
  • If you like birds best time to visit is the fall or spring

You can purchase your Eat and Play Card online here, or in person at our visitors’ center at 777 8th Avenue.



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