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.

Woodlands Discovery Club for Families

Discover rocks, trees, soil, and squirrels in New York City’s greatest outdoor classroom – Central Park! Woodlands Discovery Club for Families is the perfect adventure for families looking to get out of the house and explore a woodland without ever leaving the city. In each weekly two-hour session, families will learn together and connect with nature through hands-on science activities, using tools from your very own Discovery Kits! Activities are correlated to state and national learning standards. Registration opening soon!

This five-week program takes place Saturday mornings in the North Woods. There are two upcoming sessions, currently open to families with children in grades 1-4:
Session 1: April 18th- May 16th
Session 2: May 30th- June 27th

Discovery Walks

Bring your family for a guided Discovery Walk in the Park and take part in hands-on exploration led by Central Park Conservancy educators and Discovery Guides. Families only, maximum of three children per parent or guardian; no groups. Ages 5+. Families interested in participating in a Discovery Walk can visit our calendar for upcoming dates

Discovery Walk for Families: Ramble - Sunday, March 22 - 10:00 am
Discovery Walk for Families: Harlem Meer and North Woods, Sunday, April 5 - 10:00 am
Discovery Walk for Families: 59th Street Pound and Hallet Sanctuary, Sunday April 9 - 10:00 am

Discovery Kits

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center and 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 and Exploration Guides

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center and 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.

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 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. Best for ages 6 – 10.

Download: The North Woods, the Harlem Meer, the Ramble, Turtle Pond (PDF)

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