Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, created in 1993 by Central Park Conservancy, offers a wide variety of free education and community programs, seasonal exhibits, and holiday celebrations.
Perched on the northern shore of the Harlem Meer, the Dana Center is Central Park's newest building, and the first to be built specifically as a visitor center. Adjacent to the Center is a small plaza, where many community programs take place. These include the Harlem Meer Performance Festival in summer, the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla in autumn, and the annual Holiday Lighting event in winter. The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center is also the home of our catch-and-release fishing program.
Summer (June 7 - August 9): 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fall, Winter, Spring: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day)
Things to do:
- Visit our Exhibit
- Borrow a Fishing Pole - Due to the blue-green algae blooms on the Harlem Meer, our catch-and-release fishing program at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center is currently suspended. We apologize for any inconvenience
- Enjoy the annual summer Harlem Meer Performance Festival
- Borrow a free, kid-friendly Discovery Kit filled with field guides, binoculars and art supplies
- Get a free, kid-friendly Discovery Journal with activities to enhance your visit
- Borrow a variety of Lawn Games like bocce ball, horseshoes, kubb, cornhole and ring toss
- Take an Official Central Park Tour
- Volunteer to Pitch In, Pick Up
- Buy a souvenir in the Gift Shop
Groups: Reservations are required for Discovery Kits and Exhibit visits for groups of 5-30 people. Request a Group Reservation.
Are you an educator? Learn about additional volunteer and education opportunities for school groups at our Visitor Centers.