Rules and Regulations

To ensure everyone can enjoy Central Park safely, NYC Parks has established rules and regulations for all New York City parks. Visit the NYC Parks website for the complete list.

The New York City Police Department and Parks Enforcement Patrol are responsible for enforcing all rules and regulations. Report problems directly to these agencies:


Alcohol

Alcohol is not permitted in Central Park.


Ballfield Closures

Central Park’s ballfields are open most days during spring, summer, and fall. To allow for scheduled maintenance and rest after inclement weather, the Conservancy uses a red flag system to alert the public of closures. If you see a red flag on a ballfield, that ballfield is closed.

Each winter, Central Park’s ballfields close for the season. This allows our turf crew to provide much-needed care for the landscape, ensuring that it will be ready for the influx of visitors come spring.

In cases of inclement weather, please call our hotline to learn whether a ballfield is open:

For information about scheduled ballfield maintenance throughout Central Park, visit our Alerts.


Bicycling


Dogs

Dog owners using Central Park have both the privileges and responsibilities established by NYC Parks.


Dog Leashes Required at All Times

Dogs must be leashed at all times in the following locations:


Dogs Prohibited

Dogs are never allowed in the following locations:


Driving

The four Central Park transverse roads that run crosstown at 66th, 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets are open to motor vehicles. All other Central Park Drives are car-free.


Drones

Drones are not permitted in Central Park.


Events

Special event permits are required to reserve a specific area of the Park, or for activities with 20+ people. Apply through the NYC Parks website.

For restaurant venues in Central Park, please contact:


Grilling and BBQs

Barbecuing is allowed only on these days, but not the entire holiday weekend:

Barbecuing is not permitted in the following areas: athletic fields, playgrounds, woodlands (North Woods, the Ramble, Hallett Nature Sanctuary), landscapes that are fenced off, and Conservatory Garden.

We recommend locations above 96th Street, such as the lawn at the Harlem Meer or the Great Hill, because they’re less crowded than the southern part of the Park.

Use of propane is not allowed.


Lawn Closures

Central Park’s lawns are open most days during spring, summer, and fall. To allow for scheduled maintenance and rest after inclement weather, the Conservancy uses a red flag system to alert the public of closures. If you see a red flag on a lawn, that area is closed.

Each winter, Central Park’s lawns close for the season. This allows our turf crew to provide much-needed care for the landscape, ensuring that it will be ready for the influx of visitors come spring.

For information about scheduled turf care maintenance throughout Central Park, visit our Alerts.


Lost and Found

The Conservancy does not keep a Lost and Found. All items are turned into the Central Park Police Precinct by the 86th Street Transverse Road: 212-570-4820.


Parking

There is no parking in Central Park. Many parking garages are available nearby.


Quiet Zones

These areas are designated Quiet Zones; speakers, musical instruments, and other noise disruptions are prohibited:


Red Flags

To allow for scheduled maintenance and rest after inclement weather, the Conservancy uses a red flag system to alert the public of closures. If you see a red flag on a lawn or ballfield, that area is closed.


Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in Central Park. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes. See all smoking rules from NYC Parks.


Streetlights

Lights in the Park are managed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). You can report light outages to DOT online, or on Twitter.


Water Fountains

In the spring, plumbers from NYC Parks turn on the water to ornamental and drinking fountains, restrooms, and irrigation systems across the Park. They are turned off in the winter.


Wildlife

Respect the wildlife in Central Park. Never feed or approach a wild, stray, or injured animal. For matters relating to wildlife in the Park, please contact the Urban Park Rangers: 212-360-2774. In an urgent situation, contact the Park Enforcement Patrol: 212-427-8700, the City of New York: 311, or notify a Central Park Conservancy staff member.