Penn Station. At this dynamic hub of New York City and all of its action, there seems to be nothing you can’t find nearby. Thankfully, this is also the case for nature, the green spaces and animals reserved their own tranquil spots here in the Big Apple. Read on for some of our favorite aquariums, parks, and places to watch aquatic life around Penn Station.
Central Park Zoo
For over a century, Central Park Zoo has been one of the premier attractions for generations of New Yorkers to see and learn about the wonders of animals, land, and sea. Here, famous faces like the chinstrap penguin, king penguin, macaroni penguin, gentoo penguin, California sea lion, grizzly bear, and snow monkey reside in a series of habitats, some of New York’s most interesting and eccentric residents. The California sea lions here have regular feeding shows, and love to show off their smarts to the crowds. The four species of penguin and the tufted puffins also have regular feeding shows, with their lovable antics above water and below for all to see.
Aside from these close-up looks, there is also a 4-D theater, where groups can experience nature programming and family films. For a family-friendly experience with some of the most iconic and important species in a fun set of activities, the Central Park Zoo is a great option.
The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary
One of New York City’s most charming green spaces isn’t far, The Pond at Central Park and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary! These two connected features are the heart of Central Park’s southeastern edge, rich in hiking paths, enchanting streams, fields of flowers, birdwatching opportunities, and the colors of fall. Visiting aquatic fowl species enjoy The Pond, while hundreds of bird species (210 to be exact!) stop by this end of Central Park during their migrations. There are also resident populations of red-eared slider turtles, snapping turtles, rabbits, ducks, and woodchucks who can also be observed. Whether you want to see the waterfalls and streams, the leaves and flowers, or wildlife in a green corner of New York City, The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a great choice.
Madison Square Park
Famously urban and vibrant Madison Square Park seems like an unlikely addition to our list, but we have a good reason. Its combination of public events, proximity to the creative arts and shopping options, and the noteworthy diversity of bird species make it a truly varied location. In fact, in the trees above the open spaces of Madison Square Park, over 112 species have been spotted passing through, including the Canada goose, rock dove, cedar waxwing, American goldfinch, grey catbird, and the chipping sparrow. For over a century, New York City’s birdwatchers have diligently logged and watched birds of all origin make their urban stop during migratory journeys right here at Madison Square Park. Aside from the abundance of birds to watch, Madison Square Park also lends itself well to the alternate hobby of people-watching, drawing people from every walk of life to share the space of Madison Square Park.
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