The Central Park Conservancy offers a variety of educational programs and resources to help children explore Central Park and develop skills for learning and inquiry, all in the world's greatest outdoor classroom. These programs can be combined for an enhanced experience:
Discovery Club for Families
This spring, get up close and personal with plants, bugs, and more in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary! Discovery Club families will enjoy exclusive access to Central Park's most secluded woodland – a unique living laboratory!
Adults and children alike will take part in an immersive woodland adventure, exploring how people, plants, and wildlife thrive in an urban park. "Insider's view" activities related to park design, horticulture, and gardening culminate with an opportunity to get your hands dirty with a Park improvement project. This five-part series is perfect for families with children in grades 1-4.
Where does the program take place?
Discovery Club explores the Hallett Nature Sanctuary located in the southeast corner of Central Park.
What's in a Discovery Kit?
Discovery Kits contain all the tools needed to investigate Central Park's woodlands: binoculars, a magnifying glass, field guides, and most importantly, a field notebook to record observations.
What should we wear and bring?
Discovery Club takes place entirely outdoors. Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring water and a light snack.
What happens if there's bad weather?
Nature happens. Exploring in the rain is just as fun as in the sun, so dress to get wet and muddy. Should severe weather conditions be expected, we will hold the session indoors at the Chess & Checkers House.
Can we make up a missed session?
Discovery Club is structured to explore a new topic each week, so we are unable to allow individual families to make up a missed session.
May we bring along our dog?
While we love your four-legged family members, we ask that they stay home for this program.
Bring your family for a guided walk and discover why Central Park is a sanctuary for plants, animals, and humans alike. Learn about the architecture, landscapes, and ecosystems of the Park through hands-on exploration using Discovery Kits – rugged backpacks filled with kid-friendly binoculars, field guides, and hand lenses.
Stop by our visitor centers and borrow a Discovery Kit for an in-Park adventure!
Discovery Kit backpacks are filled with kid-friendly binoculars, field guides, a hand lens, colored pencils, and sketch paper.
- Best for ages 6 – 10.
- Groups of five or more may borrow kits by registering at least two weeks in advance. Group size limited to 30 students; please note there is a $20 refundable deposit for groups.
- Reserve kits by calling Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 212.860.1370, Belvedere Castle at 212.772.0288, or Chess & Checkers House at 212.794.4064.
Enhance your adventure with a Woodland, Aquatic, or Garden Discovery Journal!
Read More & Download
Discovery Journals include activities for kids to investigate the connections between the plants, wildlife, and people in the Park. Available for the North Woods, the Ramble, the Harlem Meer, Turtle Pond, the Pond, Shakespeare Garden, and Conservatory Garden.
- Best for ages 6 – 10.
- Discovery Journals $2 each (MEMBERS free); group discount available.
- Journals may be purchased at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Belvedere Castle, and Chess & Checkers House at 212.794.4064.
Enrich your family or school group's visit by downloading our Exploration Guide prior to visiting Central Park. These guides are designed to complement the Woodland and Aquatic Discovery Journals by providing information on the ecological features unique to each area. Guides include a map with suggested route and activities for developing kids' observation skills.
If you have a question about these or any other Central Park Conservancy Discovery Programs, please email email@example.com.
Discovery Programs are generously supported by The Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, and are additionally supported in part by the Brook Astor Fund for New York City Education in The New York Community Trust.