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  • Official Caretakers of Central Park

Rules & Regulations

Central Park is enjoyed by more than 42 million visitors each year. To ensure everyone can enjoy the Park safely, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has established rules and regulations (external link) for all New York City parks. Officers from the New York City Police Department and Parks Enforcement Patrol are responsible for enforcing all rules and regulations.

Alcohol in the Park
Per the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which establishes the rules and regulations for all City parks, alcohol is prohibited in Central Park.

Wildlife in the Park
Respect the wildlife in Central Park. Never feed or approach a wild, stray, or injured animal. For matters relating to wildlife in the Park, please contact the Urban Park Rangers, 212.360.2774. In an urgent situation, you may also contact the Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP), 212.427.8700, call the City of New York (dial 311), or notify a Central Park Conservancy staff member.

Filming and Photography in Central Park
Some film and photography requires a permit and coordination with the Central Park Conservancy's Operations Team. Learn more at our Film and Photography page.

Dogs are allowed in most sections of Central Park whenever it is open to the public. They are allowed off-leash when the Park is open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am when the Park closes. Dogs must be on-leash at all times from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. For detailed information, please read the rules for dogs. Learn more about Central Park's vibrant dog community and Central Park Paws.

Dogs must be leashed at all times in the following locations:

  • Arthur Ross Pinetum
  • the Bridle Path
  • Cedar Hill
  • Children's Glade (Great Hill area)
  • Conservatory Garden
  • East Green
  • East Meadow Oval
  • Kerbs Boathouse Plaza
  • the North Woods and the Ravine
  • the Ramble
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Turtle Pond Lawn
  • Other areas where signs requiring dogs to be leashed are posted
Driving in the Park

As of June 29, 2015, Central Park Drives north of 72nd Street are permanently car-free. The four Central Park transverse roads remain open to motor vehicles. Learn more at nyc.gov. The Park drives are open to vehicular traffic only during certain hours: 

West Drive (from 72nd Street south to Central Park South & 7th Avenue) High Occupancy Vehicles only
Weekdays: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Center Drive/East Drive (from the 6th Avenue entrance on Central Park South to the East 72nd Street & 5th Avenue exit)
Weekdays: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Terrace Drive (72nd Street Cross) Drive (from 72nd Street/Fifth Avenue to West Drive South)
Weekdays: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

The speed limit in Central Park is 20 mph and is strictly enforced. Motorists and cyclists should slow down when drives are congested.