Zoo Membership FAQs

Members of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are entitled to free admission to our four zoos for one year.

All WCS parks open at 10 a.m. Closing times vary by park and season – please check each park's website for current information. The Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos are open 365 days a year. The Bronx Zoo is closed on New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Please note: General admission is free all day on Wednesday at the Bronx Zoo, and it is often very crowded. For your enjoyment, you may wish to plan your visit for another day. If you have added the New York Aquarium to your Membership, it is open 365 days a year. To add the New York Aquarium to an existing Membership, please call 718-220-5112 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

How can I become a Member of the Wildlife Conservation Society?

Join online. Join online at any Membership level and immediately print out a temporary Membership card to gain admission to all four zoos, and start enjoying all the benefits included with your Membership. Simply bring your temporary Membership card (printed, or easily displayed on a smartphone) and a valid photo ID. You must present your Membership card at the parking gate or you will be charged the parking fee, even if it's included in your Membership. We're sorry, but we cannot make exceptions. If you wish to become an IDNYC Member, click here for more information.

Join by phone. Call our Membership Office at (718) 220-5112 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. You will receive your temporary membership card within 24 hours. If you wish to visit one of our parks BEFORE your permanent Membership card arrives, bring your temporary card (printed, or easily displayed on a smartphone) and a valid photo ID.

Join on-site today. Join at the admissions booth at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, or Central Park Zoo. Cash and major credit cards are accepted. Please note that the parking fee for your initial visit is not refundable – to save time and avoid the parking fee on your first visit join online and add on Bronx Zoo parking to your membership.

All sales are final. Membership are not refundable or exchangeable, and are not for resale.

What benefits are included with my WCS Membership?

Click here to view all Membership levels and benefits. NOTE: Discounts and benefits are subject to change.

Is the Dinosaur Safari ride included in my membership?

Individual - Family Zoos PLUS/Legacy levels can purchase discounted tickets ($4 per person) for the Dinosaur Safari ride. Conservation levels and above receive free access to the Dinosaur Safari ride.

Is Holiday Lights included in my membership?

WCS Members who have a Zoos, Zoos PLUS or Legacy level get FREE access to Holiday Lights on preview days (Nov 21-24). Exclusive Member discount (40% off) is available for all other dates. Holiday Lights is free for Conservation Supporter level and above. IMPORTANT! Free or discounted Member entry is only for the quantity of people covered on the membership. Each additional guests must have a regular Holiday Lights ticket. Please make sure you have your membership card and photo ID upon entry.

If I purchase a Membership that includes more than one adult, do I have to name the other adult(s)?

You may choose to name the other adult(s) on your Membership, or you may choose to list a second adult as "guest" so you may bring a different person with you on each visit. A guest must always be accompanied by a named adult on the card. Please note, if you list "guest" on your membership, the guest can be an adult or a child. Name adults must be 18 & over.

Can Memberships be shared?

Memberships may not be shared by more than one household. All adults named on the card and their children up to age 18 must reside in the same household. Memberships are not transferable and are only valid for the individuals named on the card. Any additional visitor not covered by your Membership will be charged the current admission fee.

Does WCS give senior discounts?

Senior Memberships (65+) are available at a 20% discount. This offer cannot be combined with other discounts. All named Members on a senior Membership must be 65 or older. Photo ID required upon entrance.

What are the rules for visiting a WCS Wildlife Park?

Park entry is on a first-come, first-served basis for Members and all park guests. Please keep your group together when presenting your Membership card to admissions staff. Your children and/or guest(s) covered by your Membership will not be admitted unless they are accompanied by an adult named on the card. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Additional guests will be charged the current admission fee.

I forgot to bring my membership card; can i still visit the park?

Yes, we can only look-up your membership at the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo and the NY Aquarium admissions booth. Once your account is validated, we will honor a one-time courtesy lookup/replacement, and any additional replacements for forgotten/lost/stolen cards will be done for a $5.00 fee. Due to the technology of our membership processing, this replacement will INVALIDATE your prior cards. PLEASE NOTE: lookups cannot be done at parking - if your membership level is one that includes parking benefits we cannot honor that without a valid card presented upon arrival. Parking fees are non-refundable.

Can my children use my Membership card without me?

No. Your children and guests must be accompanied by an adult named on your Membership card. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Can my child caregiver bring my children to the parks?

Yes. For easiest admission, your child caregiver should be named on the Membership card and must present the card and a photo ID in order to use the Membership in your absence. If your child caregiver is not named on the Membership card, he/she will need to present your valid Membership card with "Child Caregiver" printed on the card, AND a photo ID, AND a letter from you verifying employment. A caregiver must be accompanied by the Member's children and may NOT bring additional guests. "Child Caregiver" may not be substituted for another guest. We are unable to make changes to Membership cards at our on-site locations. "Child Caregiver" can only be included on Membership cards at the Family Plus level and higher.

What are the rules for parking at the Bronx Zoo?

Parking is not included at all membership levels. PLEASE check you specific membership type for benefit information. BZ Parking is included with LEGACY Dual Premium and LEGACY Family Premium, as well as Conservation levels. BZ Parking can be added for an additional fee to Zoos or Zoos PLUS memberships. If you forget your Membership card, or present an expired card, you will be charged for parking. Parking fees cannot be refunded or applied to a Membership purchase.

LEGACY Dual Premium and LEGACY Family Premium Conservation Supporter parking benefits: Bronx Zoo - free all day; Does not include Preferred Parking at the Bronx Zoo's Fountain Circle
NY Aquarium - 0-3 hours: free; 3-4 hours: $10; 4+ hours: $20.
NOTE: Member parking benefits DO NOT apply to NIGHT PARKING.

Conservation Fellow and Conservation Partner Members: Bronx Zoo – free all day; Free Preferred Parking on weekends in the Bronx Zoo's Fountain Circle. Reservations are not accepted.

Note: If you recently purchased your Membership online or by phone, you must have your temporary membership card ready to present at the parking entrance (printed, or easily displayed on a mobile device) with a valid photo ID.

FOR ALL LEVELS - Parking is subject to availability, and limited to one car per Membership per day. Members are not guaranteed parking. Parking on WCS premises is done at your own risk. WCS is not responsible for stolen or damaged property.

How do I pay for parking?


  • Scan your Membership card first. This is how the system identifies if your membership has free parking benefits, so it is mandatory to have a valid card scanned on arrival.
  • Take your parking ticket and enjoy your visit! The system will dispense a ticket after scanning your membership card. Put the ticket somewhere you won’t forget it — you’ll need it to exit. The ticket is valid for one-time use only.


  • Option A: Stop by a Parking Pay Station before getting back in your car. If you have a balance, pay with cash or credit, then present the validated ticket at the exiting arm.
  • Option B: Present your ticket at the exiting arm. If you have a balance, pay with credit only.

If you have any issues upon entry, please take a ticket and then stop at a Membership booth for assistance.

Can I get a refund for parking?

The parking fee cannot be refunded or applied to the purchase of a Membership.

What is "Preferred Parking" and do Members park there for free?

Preferred Parking in Fountain Circle offers Bronx Zoo guests the closest parking location to zoo exhibits. With these premier spots, guests can enjoy the utmost convenience and have easy access to their cars throughout the day. Preferred Parking is available to visitors on weekends only, for a $23 fee. FREE parking at this exclusive location is a new benefit for Conservation Fellows and Partners only. Other Members may park but will be charged the regular $23 parking fee for this lot. Parking is subject to availability; a limited number of Preferred Parking spots will be saved for Conservation Fellows and Partners, but reservations are not accepted. The lot will close when capacity is reached.

What are the rides & attractions at the parks?

Bronx Zoo: Nature Trek, Congo Gorilla Forest, Wild Asia Monorail, Children's Zoo, Butterfly Garden, JungleWorld, Zoo Shuttle, and Bug Carousel, all free to Members at the Zoos PLUS, LEGACY Premium and Conservation levels. Admission to Camel Ride is not included with Membership and must be purchased separately.

Conservation Supporter/Fellow/Partner Members have free access to the Central Park Zoo 4-D Theater. All other Membership levels receive a discount on tickets to the following special attractions:

Central Park Zoo: 4-D Theater ($4 Members/$7 non-Members).

Attraction entry is on a first-come, first-served basis for Members and all park guests. Please keep your group together when presenting your Membership card to the admissions staff.

** Some rides and attractions are seasonal and open weather-permitting. Availability is also subject to capacity, mechanical, and/or animal-related issues. Please check signs at park entry for daily listing of available activities, as all schedules are subject to change. Access to rides and exhibits is subject to change without notice.

When does my membership start?

Your WCS Membership starts immediately from the date of purchase and is valid for one (1) year.

When will I receive my Membership card?

If you've joined or renewed by phone, mail, or the internet you will receive your permanent Membership materials in the mail. You can use your temporary card until you receive your materials in the mail.

If you wish to visit one of our parks BEFORE your Membership card arrives, PLEASE BRING YOUR TEMPORARY MEMBERSHIP CARD AND A VALID PHOTO ID WITH YOU TO THE PARK.

If you purchased your Membership at a Bronx Zoo Admissions booth, you will receive a temporary Membership card which will need to be redeemed on the day of your visit at Zoo Center in order to receive your permanent materials. Please note, your membership begins on the day of purchase.

FOR PARKING BENEFITS: Please present the temporary Membership card and your photo ID at the parking booth. Without this proof of Membership you will be required to pay for parking at the Bronx Zoo. Parking fees are non-refundable.

FOR ENTRY AND ATTRACTION BENEFITS: Please present your temporary/permanent Membership card and your photo ID to gain entry into our attractions. Click here to visit our benefits page to see if your membership includes attractions.

If you haven't received your Membership package within four weeks of joining, please call (718) 220-5112 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily or e-mail us at membership@wcs.org.

How many cards will I receive in the mail?

Members will receive 2 cards in the mail with the exception of Individual members who will receive 1. We are unable to issue additional cards. Cards that are re-issued will deactivate previously issued cards.

How can I replace a lost/stolen Membership card?

There is a $5.00 fee to replace lost, stolen, or damaged Membership cards. To order your replacement cards, please call (718) 220-5112 from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Can I make changes to the names on my card?

If necessary, the names on a Membership can be changed. A change can only be done by calling Member Services at 718-220-5112 (open daily, 9 AM to 5 PM EST), and can ONLY BE MADE BY THE PRIMARY CARD HOLDER. A minimum of 24 hours is required before any revision will be valid for zoo visit. Please note, Members are limited to no more than 3 revisions in a year. Please note, the name of the primary member (adult 1) cannot be changed.

If I decide to join during my visit can I apply the cost of my admission tickets towards a Membership?

Yes, you have 30 days from the date of your ticket purchase to apply your tickets towards a membership. Please bring your ticket receipt to a Membership booth or Admissions booth at the Bronx Zoo or the Central Park Zoo before 4 p.m. and we'll be happy to credit the price of admission tickets applicable to the Membership level you choose. Parking fees are not refundable and cannot be applied to the purchase of a Membership. Please note, we can only deduct tickets for one (1) visit. You can also apply your tickets towards a membership by emailing a copy of your tickets along with your contact information to membership@wcs.org.

Why must I show an ID at the gate?

As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on Membership dues and attendance fees for support. To prevent the misuse of your Membership card, we ask that you show a photo ID. We appreciate your understanding.

How can I learn about WCS events and news?

News about WCS programs and activities, as well as information about Members-only events, is provided in Members' E-news, sent monthly via e-mail.

I've already renewed my WCS Membership, but I continue to receive renewal notices. Should I be concerned?

If you have recently renewed your WCS Membership, please disregard any further renewal notices. Although we work to process renewals as quickly as possible, it is possible that your payment and our notice crossed in the mail.

How can I redeem a Member T-shirt coupon?

Member T-shirt coupons are redeemable at the Membership booth or admission booth at the Southern Boulevard and Bronx River entrances to the Bronx Zoo, and the admission booth at the Central Park Zoo.

Can Members purchase additional Member wildlife T-shirts?

Yes. Members can purchase extra T-shirts at a Membership booth or an admission booth at the Bronx Zoo, or at the admission booths at the Central Park Zoo. Additional T-shirts cost $10 and are only sold to current Members. Available sizes are Adult XL, Adult M, and Youth M.

How do I change my address?

If you have changed your address or do not wish to be on our mailing list, please e-mail us at membership@wcs.org or call Membership Services at (718) 220-5112 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

What is the return check policy?

A charge of $25 will apply to any check that is returned by the bank or depository institution on which the check is drawn.

Does WCS exchange mailing lists with other organizations?

WCS makes our mailing list available to organizations we believe might be of interest to our Members. If you do not wish your name to be shared with other mailers, please e-mail your request to membership@wcs.org or call Membership Services at (718) 220-5112 from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we will remove your name and address.

Does WCS have a reciprocal Membership agreement with any other zoos or aquariums?

WCS does not have reciprocal agreements with other zoos or aquariums.

How do I get a WCS Membership with my IDNYC municipal ID card?

Once you have received your IDNYC card, you may bring that card to the Bronx Zoo to apply for an individual WCS IDNYC Membership. Enrollment is only available on site at the Bronx Zoo. Find out more about WCS IDNYC Membership.

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