Rules & 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:
- Park rules: Report an issue to the Parks Enforcement Patrol by visiting 311 Online or dialing 311; outside of NYC, call 212.NEW.YORK
- Law enforcement: Contact the NYPD Central Park Precinct at 212.570.4820
- Wildlife issues (birds, fish, raccoons, turtles, etc.): Contact the Urban Park Rangers at 212.360.2774
- Other issues: Report to 311 Online or dial 311; outside of NYC, call 212.NEW.YORK
- Emergency: 911
Alcohol is not permitted in Central Park.
- Cycling is not permitted on pedestrian paths except the marked shared paths at 96th Street and West 106th-108th Streets
- Cycling is not permitted on landscapes
- Travel only counterclockwise on the Drives that circle the Park
- Pedestrians have the right of way at all times
- At crosswalks, slow down, yield to pedestrians, and then proceed cautiously
- Obey all traffic laws, such as traffic signals, stop signs, and the 20 mph speed limit
- Travel at a slower speed in response to crowds, emergency, or weather conditions
- Obey all ONE WAY signs and arrows
- Children under age 14 must wear a helmet. It is recommended that every cyclist wear a helmet
Dogs are allowed in most sections of Central Park whenever it is open to the public. Dogs must be on-leash 9:00 am – 9:00 pm. Off-leash hours are 6:00 am – 9:00 am and 9:00 pm – 1:00 am. Learn more >
Dogs must be leashed at all times in the following locations:
- Arthur Ross Pinetum
- the Bridle Path
- Cedar Hill
- Children’s Glade (Great Hill area)
- Conservatory Garden
- East Green
- East Meadow Oval
- Kerbs Boathouse Plaza
- the North Woods and the Ravine
- the Ramble
- Shakespeare Garden
- Strawberry Fields
- Turtle Pond Lawn
- Other areas where signs requiring dogs to be leashed are posted
All of Central Park’s drives are permanently closed to public vehicular traffic.
The four Central Park transverse roads that run crosstown at 66th, 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets are open to motor vehicles.
Drones are not permitted in Central Park.
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.
Grilling & BBQs
Barbecuing is allowed only on these days, but not the entire holiday weekend:
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Labor Day (first Monday in September)
- 4th of July (whatever day of the week it falls on)
Barbecuing is not permitted in the following areas: athletic fields, playgrounds, woodlands (North Woods, Ramble, Hallett), 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.
Smoking is not permitted in Central Park. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes. Learn more >
We’ve gathered information to answer your frequently asked questions about Central Park and the Conservancy. Learn More >