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Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo: Our most recommended tours and activities

New York: Central Park Secrets and Highlights Walking Tour

1. New York: Central Park Secrets and Highlights Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided walking tour through Central Park with a licensed guide to learn about the park's rich history. Visit some of the prettiest spots for terrific photo opportunities. Meet your guide in front of The Shops At Columbus Circle. Set off to explore the southern part of Central Park. Begin the tour in the southwestern section before winding your way northeast. End near the Imagine mosaic memorial and the Dakota (the former home of music legend John Lennon and other celebrities). During the 2-mile walking tour, learn how to navigate the 843-acre urban wonderland nestled amid a concrete jungle of Manhattan skyscrapers. Take advantage of this photographer's paradise as you pass some of the park's 30 spectacular ornamental bridges and arches. Spot the park's inhabitants, including songbirds, ducks, geese, egrets, herons, hawks, owls, raccoons, and chipmunks. Admire a grove of majestic, endangered American elm trees. Take in the architecturally impressive Bethesda Terrace Arcade and beautiful Bethesda Fountain. See the much-photographed Bow Bridge. Learn about the statues and tributes that line the Mall. Enjoy the talents of some of the many performers as you stroll through the park.

New York City: Central Park Highlights Walking Tour

2. New York City: Central Park Highlights Walking Tour

Meet your guide for a walking tour through Central Park at Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza. Discover all the highlights of New York City's Central Park at a leisurely pace and see why it's called "one of the greatest works of art in America."   The tour takes place all year round. Each season brings in a different experience and discoveries at this wonderland. Visit both the famous sites and the hidden gems with an expert tour guide, hear the fascinating history of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's urban masterpiece, and visit the spots for perfect photos, all in a leisurely tour. The tour may include historic landmarks and sites such as Grand Army Plaza, The Pond, Gapstow Bridge, the Central Park Zoo, Delacorte Clock, The Dairy, Literary Walk, The Mall, the Bandshell, the landmarked Bethesda Terrace, the lake and Boathouse, the Ramble, Bow Bridge, Cherry Hill, and Strawberry Fields.   The tour will end in the beautiful Upper West Side neighborhood, hoping that you enjoyed a relaxing journey at this tranquil oasis nestled in the bustling metropolis.

New York Central Park: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

3. New York Central Park: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

Enjoy a visit to New York’s iconic Central Park on a self-guided walking tour. Explore the lower part of the area at your own pace with the magic of an audio guide. We’ve curated the best of the best into one walk, so you can make the most of this enormous park in 90 minutes. You will receive the download instructions after booking. Download the app and start the tour with your mobile phone as your guide. Travel back through time with tales of love, loss, laughter, and tragedy at every turn. You will have the opportunity to know John Lennon’s murder story and pay your respects at the Imagine Mosaic in Strawberry Fields. Feel like you are there on the sled getting frostbite as Balto saves Nome, Alaska, and then learn why Balto is the wrong dog. Decode the symbols of Bethesda Terrace and get a chance to weep at the heartbreaking love story of the Bethesda Angel. During the tour, you will also know how Shakespeare gave the deadly riots and invasive species story to the people. Relive the episode of Great Zoo Escape of 1874 and hunt down the park’s hidden witch. See famous filming locations of many TV shows and movies and learn which stars live in which buildings along the park. You will meet some of the 39 eccentric widows of the Plaza Hotel and also discover why the Pulitzer Fountain is a giant washing machine. You will hear engaging stories about the Central Park was, in the words of its legendary creators. Walkthrough the park and see how Central Park’s design inspired the US Interstate highway system.

New York City: Central Park Self-Guided Walking Tour

4. New York City: Central Park Self-Guided Walking Tour

Discover the sights and history of Central Park on a self-guided walking tour via an app on your phone. Enjoy some moments of peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Begin your audio and GPS tour and make your first stop at the famous Central Park Zoo, home to everything from monkeys to pythons to penguins. You’ll also get a chance to see the whimsical Delacourte Clock. Then, continue on to the statue of Balto, and find out why a dog from Alaska has a statue in New York. After that, it’s on to the beautiful tree-lined Mall and Literary Walk. Hear the stories — and the controversies — behind all of the statues of famous literary and historical figures that line the walk. Arrive at the Naumburg Bandshell, where famous speakers, from Martin Luther King to Fidel Castro, have given speeches over the years. Then, step onto Bethesda Terrace, a wonder of Italianate architecture offering stupendous views of the park. It’s also been the filming site for plenty of major hits through the years, from Home Alone 2 to The Avengers. After, follow the route to the Hans Christian Andersen monument honoring the author of children’s classics like “The Little Mermaid.” The tour through the fantastical side of the park continues at the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, burnished to a shine from years of kids clambering all over it. Art lovers will adore the next stop: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there, pay a visit to the Jacky Kennedy Reservoir at the park’s heart. Stroll around this picturesque pool and learn to identify iconic buildings in New York’s skyline. Then, stop by the Great Lawn, which has featured superstars like Elton John and Bon Jovi and continues to be a major gathering place for folks looking to enjoy a little natural serenity. Later, see an actual castle and a Shakespearean garden before moving on to the Strawberry Fields memorial commemorating music legend John Lennon. And you can’t come to Central Park without visiting the famous Carousel, so you’ll stop there and hear about its history. Finally, exit the park at Columbus Circle, a major hub of the city not too far from where your tour began. The tour concludes here.

New York City: Combination Self-Guided Walking Tours

5. New York City: Combination Self-Guided Walking Tours

See everything New York City has to offer at your own pace with a bundled pack of 6 self-guided walking tours. See the Central Park Zoo, stroll through Times Square, and explore the Grand Central Terminal with your Action Tour Guide app. Your tour of Central Park begins at the corner of 5th and 59th and takes you through the best spots in this historic park. Stop at the Central Park Zoo and meander along the famous, tree-lined mall. Visit the famous statues which dot the park, honoring everyone from Shakespeare to Balto. Snap photos at Bethesda Terrace, a beautiful piece of architecture, then head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Begin your Midtown tour at the busy Columbus Circle. Head to the iconic NYC landmarks of Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square. Stroll down Fifth Avenue and window shop in the high-end stores. As you tour, learn about the city's history and the wealthy families who built many of its famous buildings. Finish your Midtown walking tour with a visit to New York’s most iconic skyscraper: the Empire State Building. Start the Grand Central Terminal tour outside and marvel at the stunning architecture. Head inside and tour the terminal, from its opulent upper levels to the speakeasy-style Oyster Bar below. As you walk through the vast Main Concourse and admire the constellation ceiling, hear the Station's fascinating history, including the multimillion-dollar rivalry between the Vanderbilts and the Astors. Your tour of Wall Street begins near Fraunces Tavern, a historic building from the revolutionary period. See the Charging Bull statue and the New York Stock Exchange while learning about the financial district’s seedy underbelly. Hear about Ponzi schemes, famous embezzlers, and thieves who faked their own deaths. Finish your tour with a somber visit to the 9/11 Memorial and see the towering One World Trade Center up close. Start your Battery Park walking tour in the park itself and enjoy the stunning view of the Statue of Liberty. As you stroll, learn the history of this iconic American symbol, including how it got here in the first place. Continue through the park and see its other famous monuments, including the SeaGlass Carousel. Discover Brooklyn on a self-guided tour starting in the center of the DUMBO neighborhood. Stroll through the borough, see New York’s hippest spots, and learn their history. Walk past the homes of famous authors Truman Capote and Norman Mailer and the hotel where a famous Godfather scene was filmed. Stop by a pair of pizza joints with a long-lived rivalry and enjoy beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

Other Sightseeing Options in Central Park Zoo

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What people are saying about Central Park Zoo

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 400 reviews

Central Park is HUGE! Impossible to see it all. So I tried this audio walking tour and was super glad. It's a great introduction, so if you only have one chance to see the park this is perfect. Hits the big highlights, like the zoo, the mall, Bethesda fountain, Strawberry Fields, plus the Dakota, where Lennon was shot. Some walking tours I've tried are just blah-blah-blah facts but this was cool, with sound effects and actors. Like a movie in your head. Gave me turn-by-turn directions using GPS. All sorts of cool details and stories I never would have known otherwise, like why some of the statues have these weirdly high foreheads. Some of the stories were funny, some touching. I would do anothr one like this

This was a fantastic tour of Central Park. I thought I could explore the park on my own... I am so glad I decided otherwise. Rich history, historical photos, and an eye for all the details and secrets were part of this experience. Also: good pace and energy for the tour. Recommended.

Jeremy was a great tour guide. Very knowledgeable and made it interesting. We moved quickly and saw a lot.