Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

Located on the north shore of the Harlem Meer is the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, a visitor center run by the Central Park Conservancy.

The Conservancy offers free educational and community programs, exhibits, tours, and holiday celebrations at the Dana Discovery Center. While the building looks historic, the Dana Center is Central Park’s newest building. It was constructed in 1993 as part of a major restoration of the Harlem Meer.

The Dana Discovery Center offers group reservations Discovery Kits and Lawn Games. Submit a request for a group reservation.

Things you can do here

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Halloween on the Harlem Meer: Pumpkin Flotilla

    4:00 pm

    Watch the Harlem Meer get spooky! Drop off your carved pumpkin and find a spot along the edge of the Harlem Meer to watch as the jack-o’-lanterns float by in New York’s largest pumpkin flotilla.

    Tags: Best for Kids / Staff Picks

  • Daily Activities

    Picnic Guide

    Central Park is home to lawns, benches, and picnic tables across its 843 acres, providing countless great picnic spots.

    Tags: Families / Tips for Visiting / All Ages / Nature Lovers

  • Guided Tours

    The North Woods Tour

    Escape the chaos of New York City in Central Park’s North Woods, an idyllic woodland oasis showcasing cascades, streams, and thriving greenery.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Halloween on the Harlem Meer: Ghoulish Crafts and Spooky Entertainment

    4:00 pm

    Check out our Halloween crafts and grab a front-row seat at our magical family-friendly entertainment.

    Tags: Best for Kids / Staff Picks

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Halloween on the Harlem Meer

    Watch the Harlem Meer get spooky! Join us for a host of FREE family-friendly activities and an enchanting pumpkin flotilla. Costumes encouraged!

    Tags: Families / Seasonal / Best for Kids / Staff Picks / All Ages

  • Kids & Families

    25th Annual Central Park Holiday Lighting

    5:30 pm

    Celebrate the season at our 25th Annual Holiday Lighting in Central Park.

    Tags: Virtual

  • Kids & Families

    Discovery Kits

    Young explorers are invited to borrow an official Central Park Conservancy Discovery Kit or take away a complimentary Discovery Journal from our visitor centers!

  • Guided Tours

    Hidden Highlights of the North End

    Lace up your comfortable walking shoes for an energetic hike through Central Park’s north end!

    Tags: History / Highlights / Nature Lovers / Active

  • Daily Activities

    Catch-and-Release Fishing

    Borrow fishing poles for catch-and-release fishing in the Harlem Meer.
  • Arts & Entertainment

    Halloween on the Harlem Meer: Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt

    4:00 pm

    Come dressed in your Halloween costume and join us for a scavenger hunt adventure around the Harlem Meer! Walk away with more than a few ghostly treats.

    Tags: Best for Kids / Staff Picks

  • Daily Activities

    Lawn Games

    Borrow a variety of lawn games like bocce ball, horseshoes, kubb, cornhole and ring toss, for outdoor play in fair weather!

    Tags: Fitness