At Arlo Hotels, we always recommend our guests visit Central Park, whether they have four hours to spare or are in town for four days. It’s an integral part of the city. There are many places to explore in the park’s 834 acres, and few are as exciting for families as the Central Park Zoo

Originally started as a menagerie of various animals in the mid-1860s, the zoo formally opened in 1934. It features 6.5 acres of grounds, with a range of exhibits and learning centers. It’s located in the southeast corner of Central Park and includes walking trails among the exhibits. After a massive renovation in the late 1980s, the zoo reopened with great acclaim. The zoo is a part of the Wildlife Conservation Society and attracts more than one million visitors a year. 

Visitors can explore the three main areas known as the tropic, temperate and polar exhibits that are housed in beautiful brick buildings covered by wines. There’s also a central sea lion pool in the zoo’s center that attracts many guests, especially during feeding time. The tropic building replicates a rain forest and includes species including toucans, lemurs, flying foxes, and an array of birds, including mousebirds, starlings, and the gorgeous scarlet ibis. 

For younger kids, visit the Children’s Zoo located north of the main part of the Central Park Zoo. It features a petting zoo with goats, pigs, alpacas, and a cow, giving visitors and locals alike an opportunity to experience a farm-like environment. Admission is included in the main zoo price, making the Children’s Zoo a fun and inexpensive part of your Central Park experience. Our Arlo Hotels staff recommends visiting the zoo when it first opens, leaving the afternoon to explore Central Park’s many attractions further.