The Central Park Zoo is located in the southeast corner of New York’s Central Park along Fifth Ave. Its small size makes it the perfect place to spend an hour or two while exploring the park.
As you enter the zoo, you’ll be immediately drawn towards the sea lions. Their lively barks and acrobatic flips always bring a crowd to the oval tank in the center of the zoo. Their feeding times at 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm are the best times to visit. This is when the sea lions are the most active, and you’ll also get a chance to learn about these amazing animals from their zookeepers!
Behind the sea lion tank, you’ll find the outdoor habitats for monkeys, grizzly bears, tortoises, snow leopards, and red pandas. The red pandas are simply adorable, so don’t skip them! The snow leopard is also very impressive. Due to his camouflaging fur, the snow leopard is especially difficult to spot among the rocks. There is usually a zoo docent nearby to point him out or answer any questions you may have about the animals.
There are indoor exhibits for the polar circle, where you’ll find penguins and puffins, and the tropical rain forest, where you can explore the lush ecosystem from forest floor to canopy.
The zoo also has a 4-D theater, small cafe, and gift shop. If you are visiting with small kids, you’ll want to check out the Tisch Children’s Zoo which is just north of the Central Park Zoo.