One of the many things I love about being a mom while living in NYC is exploring all the cool and interesting attractions, museums, and events through my daughter’s eyes. With the never-ending list of things to do, one of my daughter (and my) favorite things to do is to visit the city’s many zoos. Here is a list of what NYC has to offer.
Prospect Park Zoo
The quaint Prospect Park Zoo isn’t quite the Central Park Zoo and certainly not as enormous as the Bronx Zoo, but it manages to retain its own unique charm — bringing in families, 365 days a year. Exciting for kids of all ages, the 12-acre zoo includes five exhibits (The Discovery Trail, Animal Lifestyles, Animals in our Own, Barn and Garden, and the Sea Lion Court) where children and their parents can have a full day feeding barn animals like sheep, goats, Aggie the cow or the alpacas or exploring the Discovery Trail – an open space – where they can feed the ducks and other sea creatures (turtles and frogs) and then continue along to see kangaroos and wallabies –jumping freely and protected by a lose string barrier. There are also red pandas, otters, prairie dogs and deer that lead to a carefully concealed aviary that holds the numerous birds like peacocks and cockatoos. The zoo also includes 125 animals ranging from monkeys, frogs, bats, owls and the sea lions that have a scheduled feeding at 11:30am, 2:00pm, and 4:00pm where parents and their children can watch as they jump, swim and clap for their food. Although a smaller zoo in size, there is certainly much to see and do at the Prospect Park Zoo. Tickets are $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children (Ages 3–12) and $6.00 for seniors (65+). Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225. Phone: (718) 399-7339
The Bronx Zoo
When you think of zoos in NY, the massive Bronx Zoo is usually what comes to mind. The 265-acre zoo is the ultimate place to view almost every animal in the world – ranging from lions to polar bears to the smallest spiders. The zoo features both indoor and outdoor attractions such as the outdoor African Plains where kids can view lions, giraffes, storks, and zebras as they roam freely and indoor attractions like the Monkey House where you can check out tiny squirrel monkeys, tamarins, white-faced sakis and marmosets or the World of Birds – featuring birds from Africa. Other exciting exhibits at the zoo include the Butterfly Garden, the World of Reptiles and Tiger Mountain. There is also a fun carousel ride called the Bug Carousel where kids can ride on bug of their choice such as a praying mantis, grasshopper, or ladybug (rides are $3.00). This zoo is also open year-round and tickets are $16.00 for adults, $12.00 for children (Ages 3–12) and $14.00 for seniors (65+). The Bronx Zoo is located at 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10467. Phone: (718) 220-5103
Central Park Zoo
A visit to the Central Park Zoo isn’t just an experience in seeing animals but will most-likely call for a visit to one of the most popular parks in the world. The zoo itself is open year-round where kids and their parents can explore such exhibits like the Sea Lion Pool (feedings are at 1:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm), the Polar Circle to view polar bears, penguins and puffins, the Tisch Children’s Zoo where little ones can explore a duck pond, climb, feed goats, sheep, alpacas, potbellied pigs, and other barnyard creatures and the Snow Leopard Exhibit to view majestic leopards from Central Asia. At the zoo kids can also view sloths, snow monkeys, frogs and much more. Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for children (Ages 3–12) and $9.00 for seniors (65+). The Central Park Zoo is located at 64St. & Fifth Ave. (In the park), New York, NY 10021. Phone: (212) 861-6030.
Staten Island Zoo
There is plenty to do at the Staten Island Zoo including free events to educational programs to exploring the many animals at the zoo. Some exhibits include the Reptile Wing, the Tropical Forest, a Horse Barn, a Children’s Center and an Aquarium. Some recent events at the zoo include an interactive approach to learning about animals such as a discussion about dinosaurs to “What Makes a Good Pet?” and fun events like a bowl-a-thon. Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for children (Ages 3–12) and $9.00 for seniors (65+). The Staten Island Zoo is located at 614 Broadway, Staten Island, NY 10310. Phone: (718) 442-3174.