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Discovery Programs


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 Kits

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center & Belvedere Castle
Borrow a Discovery Kit for an in-Park adventure! These rugged backpacks are filled with kid-friendly binoculars, field guides, a hand lens, and sketch paper. Best for ages 6 – 10. Free. Groups of five or more may borrow kits with minimum two-weeks advance registration, contact Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 212.860.1370 or Belvedere Castle at 212.772.0288. Group size limited to 30 students.

Discovery Journals

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center & Belvedere Castle
Enhance your adventure with a Woodland or Aquatic Discovery Journal. Discovery Journals include activities for kids to investigate the connections between plants and wildlife, and are filled with hand-drawn illustrations and a large, kid-friendly map. Available for the North Woods, the Ramble, the Harlem Meer, and Turtle Pond. Best for ages 6 – 10. Discovery Journals $2 each (MEMBERS free); group discount available.

Exploration Guides

Download: The North Woods, the Harlem Meer, the Ramble, Turtle Pond (PDF)
Enrich your family or school group's visit with a facilitator’s guide to the ecological features unique to each area. Guides include a map with suggested route and activities for developing kids' observation skills. Best for ages 6 – 10.

Discovery Walks

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (Mondays, 10:00 am)
Belvedere Castle (Fridays, 10:00am)
Encourage your students to develop skills for learning and inquiry, all in the world’s greatest outdoor classroom. Facilitators can register for Discovery Walks and receive a set of suggested activities to be used during their Park visit, as well as pre- and post-visit activities for use in the classroom. To get your visit started, Central Park Conservancy educators and Discovery Guides will lead a 30-minute introductory activity to launch the walk, after which groups are encouraged to continue investigations on their own. Best for ages 6 – 10. Free. Availability is limited. Minimum two-weeks advance registration required, contact Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 212.860.1370 or Belvedere Castle at 212.772.0288. Group size limited to 30 students. Families interested in participating in a Discovery Walk can visit our calendar for upcoming dates.

Discovery Programs are generously supported in part by the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education in The New York Community Trust.