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The Best New York Zoos in Manhattan, Bronx, and Beyond

The Best New York Zoos in Manhattan, Bronx, and Beyond

Go see some lions, tigers, bears, and more at these zoos in and around NYC.


Spend a day with your kids at a zoo in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland County, Bergen County, Orange County, and Fairfield where the whole family can visit a variety of exotic and local animals. Some locations even have animal feedings, areas just for children, and touch tanks where kids can participate. This comprehensive list of zoos in NYC and the surrounding area includes updated COVID-19 hours, safety info, and regulations.

Zoos in Manhattan

Open:
 

Central Park Zoo

wildlife conservation society's central park zoo
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

64th Street and Fifth Avenue, Central Park
212-439-6500
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Closest subway stops: NRW: 5th Avenue-59th Street station
Hours: Through March 26: daily, 10am-4:30pm; March 27-Nov. 6: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Last entry to the zoo is 30 minutes before closing.
Admission: $13.95; $10.95 seniors; $8.95 children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 2
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Mornings
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller parking? Yes
Changing tables in women’s bathroom? Yes
Changing tables in men’s bathroom? Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Guests must reserve tickets online for a specific date. Currently, only outdoor exhibits and grounds are open. All guests ages 3 and older must wear masks or face coverings. Guests are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, and follow the posted rules and signs. The Central Park Zoo will continually disinfect the park, limit capacity at the zoo, and staff members will adhere to safety guidelines.

Stop by the iconic Central Park Zoo to see its famous sea lions, visit the grizzly bears or the snow leopards, and be amazed by several types of penguins! The zoo also hosts community events such as Run for the Wild, has a Children’s Zoo perfect for little ones, and offers both virtual and in-person programming that is sure to get kids excited about animals, nature, and protecting both.

Closed:

American Museum of Natural History: The Butterfly Conservatory


Central Park West at 79th Street, Upper West Side
212-769-5100
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Closest subway stops: ABC: 81 St-Museum of Natural History • 1: 79th St station
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm
Admission: General admission: $28; $18 seniors and students; $13 children ages 2-12. General admission plus one special exhibition: $28; $22.50 seniors and students; $16.50 children ages 2-12. General admission plus all exhibitions: $33; $27 seniors and students; $20 children ages 2-12. For NY, NJ, and CT residents with an ID, you can choose how much you’d like to pay for general admission.

Zoos in the Bronx

Open:

Bronx Zoo

wildlife conservation society's bronx zoo
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx
718-367-1010
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Closest subway stops: 2 and 5: Bronx Park East station
Hours: Through March 26: daily, 10am-4:30pm; March 27-Nov. 6: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Last entry to the zoo is 45 minutes before closing.
Admission: $30.95; $28.95 seniors ages 65 and older; $22.95 children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 2.
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Mornings
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller parking? Yes
Changing tables in men’s bathroom? Yes
Changing tables in women’s bathroom? Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Guests must reserve tickets online for a specific date. All guests ages 3 and older must wear masks or face coverings. Guests are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, and follow the posted rules and signs. The Bronx Zoo will continually disinfect the park, limit capacity at the zoo, and staff members will adhere to safety guidelines.

The Bronx Zoo is the Wildlife Conservation Society’s flagship zoo. Explore more than 265 acres and meet more than 8,000 animals, including gorillas in the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, lions and tigers, giraffes, the animals of North America, and so many more. The Bug Carousel, Treetop Adventures zipline experience, and up-close-and-personal Wild Encounters are open, too, which will help you and the kids maximize your day at this famous zoo!

 

Zoos in Brooklyn

Open:

Prospect Park Zoo

wildlife conservation society's prospect park zoo
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

450 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights
718-399-7339
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Closest subway stops: BQS: Prospect Park station
Hours: Through March 26: daily, 10am-4:30pm; March 27-Nov. 6: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Last entry to the zoo is 45 minutes before closing.
Admission: $9.95; $7.95 seniors; $6.95 children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 2
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Mornings
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller parking? Yes
Changing tables in men’s bathroom? Yes
Changing tables in women’s bathroom? Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Guests must reserve tickets online for a specific date. All guests ages 3 and older must wear masks or face coverings. Guests are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, and follow the posted rules and signs. The Prospect Park Zoo will continually disinfect the park, limit capacity at the zoo, and staff members will adhere to safety guidelines.

Some of Prospect Park Zoo’s coolest animal inhabitants include sea lions, dingos, emus, and the fluffy Pallas Cat. Take a winding walk along the Discovery Trail to visit red pandas and tufted deer, or visit the zoo’s smallest species in the Hall of Animals. The zoo’s barn and garden are the perfect places for little ones to explore, too!

Zoos in Queens

Open:

Alley Pond Environmental Center

alley pond environmental center
Courtesy Anna Marinos at APEC

224-65 76th Ave, Oakland Gardens
718-229-4000
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Closest bus stop: Q88: Springfield Blvd/75 Av
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm; weekend hours fluctuate. Call ahead before heading to APEC on the weekends.
Admission: FREE; $5 suggested donation
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Anytime during the week; call ahead to see best weekend hours
Stroller/wheelchair friendly: Yes
Stroller check or parking: No, but an open space at the front of the building allows for unofficial stroller parking.
Changing tables in men’s bathroom: Yes
Changing tables in women’s bathroom: Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Masks required. Programs operating at limited capacity.

Alley Pond is dedicated to educating kids (and parents!) about animals, open spaces, and waterbodies, as well as protecting and preserving nature. Some of the Animal Ambassadors you can visit include rabbits, chinchillas, turtles, snakes, and birds. APEC hosts a variety of in-person programming for kids including the Summer SENSES science exploration program and other summer camp sessions, holiday-themed weekend programming, and the Vet Tech 101 program. And, you can always explore the center’s beautiful trails!
 

Queens Zoo

wildlife conservation society's queens zoo
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

53-51 111th St., Corona
718-271-1500
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Closest subway stops: 7: 103rd Street-Corona Plaza station
Hours: Through March 26: daily, 10am-4:30pm; March 27-Nov. 6: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Last entry to the zoo is 45 minutes before closing.
Admission: $9.95; $7.95 seniors; $6.95 children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 2
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Mornings
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller parking? Yes
Changing tables in men’s bathroom? Yes
Changing tables in women’s bathroom? Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Guests must reserve tickets online for a specific date. All guests ages 3 and older must wear masks or face coverings. Guests are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, and follow the posted rules and signs. The Queens Zoo will continually disinfect the park, limit capacity at the zoo, and staff members will adhere to safety guidelines.

Besides being home to a wide variety of wildlife—from alligators, to mountain lions, to Andean bears—that visitors can view at their leisure, the zoo also offers a walk-through aviary, an animal trail, and several very cool domestic animals such as Flemish great rabbits and Texas longhorns! There are several educational programs kids can take part in, including online wildlife school, professional development programs, and school break programs. Visit the zoo’s website to learn more.

Zoos on Staten Island

Open:

Staten Island Zoo

614 Broadway, Staten Island (The Broadway entrance is closed. Use the zoo’s Clove Road address, 705 Clove Road, in your GPS)
718-442-3100
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Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10am-4:45pm
Admission: $10; $7 seniors; $6 children ages 3-14; free for children 2 and younger.
Recommended ages: All ages
COVID-19 guidelines: Online reservations are required; visit the website to make your reservation. Masks required for visitors ages 3 and older. See website for full COVID-19 protocols.

The Staten Island Zoo has everything kids could want in a zoo, including a children’s center, horse barn, the Honey Bee Apiary, an exhibit that showcases cuddly otters, a reptile wing, and several dinosaur sculptures! The zoo is also currently offering virtual zoo visit programs every hour Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, as well as the Weekly Wildlife program every Wednesday, 12-12:45pm.

Zoos on Long Island
 

Suffolk County Farm and Education Center

suffolk county farm and education center
Courtesy Suffolk County Farm and Education Center

350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank
631-852-4600
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Hours: daily, 9am-3pm
Admission: FREE; bags of feed for the animals are $3
Recommended ages: 1-12
Best time to go: Busiest between 10am-2pm
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Not stroller-friendly; motorized scooters are available to help wheelchair users navigate the farm. Ask a staff member at the Visitors Center for help when signing in.
Family bathroom: No
Changing tables in the men’s bathroom: No
Changing tables in the women’s bathroom: Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Visitors older than 2 must wear a face mask or covering. Social distancing between families is required.



Suffolk County Farm is open every day, weather permitting. The kids can meet countless farm animals including horses, sheep, and cows, and can participate in programming such as winter wildlife clinics and winter adventures. The 2021 Veterinary Medicine Career Exploration Program, which is virtual this year, is perfect for high schoolers considering a career in veterinary medicine. Follow the farm’s Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on the animals.

Long Island Game Farm Wildlife and Children’s Zoo

489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville
631-878-6644
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Hours: Open for private VIP animal tours and private wallaby encounters by appointment only. Head to the website to make a reservation.
Admission: $250 per tour for four people; each additional person is $50; six people maximum.
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: You must make an appointment to visit.
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Changing tables in men’s room? No
Changing tables in women’s room? Yes
COVID-19 guidelines: Masks and social distancing required.

The Long Island Game Farm is home to zebras, giraffes, alpacas, donkeys, wild mustangs, African serval cats, emus, wallabies, lemurs, alligators, foxes, and more! Private tours include animal encounters plus the opportunity to pet Zephyr and Thor the zebras, meet the mini donkey family, and feed the herd of donkeys, alpacas, and more. You must check in 15 minutes prior to your tour time.

Closed:

The Animal Farm Petting Zoo

296 Wading River Road, Manorville
631-878-1785
Admission: $15.50; $13.50 children ages 2-16 and seniors

This 10-acre park allows you to pet and feed most animals. See a large selection of rare and unusual monkeys, parrots, llamas, wallabies, reptiles, and other exotic animals. Bottle-feed baby pigs and hand-feed baby goats. There are also free pony rides, a musical puppet show, playgrounds, and the Safari Tour Train ($2.50).

Brookhaven Ecological Site and Animal Preserve/Holtsville Park and Zoo

249 Buckley Road, Holtsville
631-758-9664
Admission: Parking department parking sticker and fees apply May-October

The Brookhaven Ecological Site offers walking and exercise trails, a community gardening lot, and goats to feed at the Animal Preserve. Food is provided to feed the goats for 25 cents a handful. With more than 100 animals to see, the Brookhaven Ecological Site features American bald eagles, American black bears, bobcats, buffalo, and more. Children’s educational classes are available all year-round. This spring, children ages 3-5 can participate in gardening classes on select days. Please call or visit the website for more programs and information.

Zoos in Westchester County

Open:

Muscoot Farm

51 Route 100, Katonah
914-864-7282
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Hours: daily, 10am-4pm
Admission: FREE; small fee for groups.
Recommended ages: 1-5
Best time to go: Mornings and late afternoon
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller check or parking: No
Changing tables in men’s room: No
Changing tables in women’s room: No
COVID-19 guidelines: Masks or face coverings are required when social distancing is not possible. Buildings are closed, but trails and grounds are open.

Muscoot has more than 50 animals to visit, including donkeys, cows, horses, goats, chickens, and turkeys, and several historic buildings that make it a quaint and family-friendly place to explore. There are more than six miles of trails to hike with the kids, several programs for kids in the summer and winter, and awesome maple sugaring events happening safely and soon.


The Wolf Conservation Center

wolf conservation center
Courtesy the Wolf Conservation Center

7 Buck Run, South Salem
914-763-2373
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Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Currently only accepting visitors who have registered for a program in advance. Visit the website to reserve your spot.
Admission: Varies by program
Recommended ages: Varies by program
Best time to go: You must register for a program to visit
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Yes
Stroller parking? No
Bathrooms are not open during this time.
COVID-19 guidelines:
You must register for a program in advance through the WCC’s website. Masks and social distancing required. You must sign a COVID-19 waiver form before participating in a program. Visit the website for full COVID-19 protocols.

The Wolf Conservation Center is committed to protecting, celebrating, and educating people about wolves. Ambassador Wolves Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai teach people not to fear wolves, and beyond the Ambassadors, guests can visit red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Special programming includes a summer wolf camp for kids, the Sleeping with Wolves overnight program, and several virtual opportunities to meet the wolves.

Zoos in Rockland County

Open:

Bear Mountain Trailside Museums and Zoo

Bear Mountain State Park, Palisades Interstate Parkway and Route 9W (You must enter through entrance near the pool)
845-786-2701 x265
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Hours: daily, 10:30am-4pm; last admission 30 minutes before closing
Admission: FREE, but $1 donations are appreciated. Parking is $10.
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: 11am-2pm, or when weather is nice
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Stroller-friendly, but not wheelchair-friendly. Handicap parking located near Bear Mountain Bridge, but only part of the paved hiking trail is feasible for wheelchairs.
Stroller parking/check? No
Family bathroom? No
Changing tables in men’s bathroom? No
Changing tables in women’s bathroom? No
COVID-19 guidelines: Park is limiting the capacity of the zoo to maintain social distancing. Masks and social distancing required; visit the website for full COVID-19 protocols. Trails are open. Museums and indoor spaces are closed to the public.

Bear Mountain’s self-guided nature trails are perfect for family hikes, with views of the Hudson and opportunities to spot wildlife. The zoo features animals that are all native to New York state, and many of the zoos residents are rescues who are unable to live in the wild due to injuries, disabilities, or orphaned as babies. Fun family events include an Earth Day Celebration, where the kids can make treats for the black bears, a bird festival in the summer, Boo at the Zoo, and a Beary Merry holiday celebration.

Zoos in Orange County

Open:

Hudson Highlands Nature Museum

hudson highlands nature museum
Courtesy Hudson Highlands Nature Museum

Outdoor Discovery Center: 120 Muser Drive (across from 174 Angola Road), Cornwall
845-534-5506
Wildlife Education Center: 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson
845-534-7781
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Hours: Trails: Saturday-Sunday, dawn to dusk. Grasshopper Grove: Currently closed. Wildlife Education Center: Currently closed. Outdoor Discovery Center visitor center: Saturday-Sunday, dawn to dusk. See website for a full description of hours.
Admission: Wildlife Education Center: $3; free for children 2 and younger. Outdoor Discovery Center: $3; free for children younger than 2.
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: Anytime
Stroller/wheelchair friendly? Some trails are stroller-friendly, some are not. Call before going.
Family bathroom? Restrooms are closed right now.
COVID-19 guidelines: Guests are asked to practice proper social distancing, and pack out everything (tissues, bags, wrappers, etc.) you bring in. Wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. Dogs are not allowed.

The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s mission is to help kids become responsible caretakers of the natural world through educational programming, several places to play, and miles of hiking trails. Visit the Grasshopper Grove in the spring, summer, and fall, explore the expansive grounds, or download a trail map and hike one of the two stroller-accessible trails or into Black Rock Forest. Maple sugaring events are also happening this spring—visit the website for details.

Zoos in Bergen County, NJ

Open:

Bergen County Zoo

216 Forest Ave., Paramus
201-634-3100
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Hours: daily, 10am-4:30pm, weather permitting
Admission: FREE
COVID-19 guidelines: Masks must be worn by visitors ages 2 and older at all times, zoo traffic will only go one way, capacity will be limited, and social distancing is required.

Some of the animals you can visit at the Bergen County Zoo include spider monkeys, mountain lions, and alligators—and a red wolf exhibit is being built right now! The zoo is open 364 days a year and offers train and carousel attractions for kids in the spring, summer, and fall, as well as pony rides.

Zoos in Fairfield County, CT

Open:

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport
203-394-6565 FacebookInstagram
Hours: daily, 9am-4pm; closed major holidays
Admission: $15; $10 children ages 3-11 and seniors; free for kids younger than 3
Recommended ages: All ages
Best time to go: One of the available time slots
COVID-19 guidelines: You must purchase your tickets online before visiting the zoo. The zoo holds two visiting sessions daily: 500 tickets will be available for the 9am-12pm slot and 500 will be available for the 1-4pm slot. When you arrive at the zoo, please have your ticket printed or visible on your phone. Masks and social distancing are required. See website for full COVID-19 guidelines.

Many exotic and fantastic animals call the Beardsley Zoo home. From rare Amur leopards and tigers to maned and Mexican wolves, your kids are sure to find an animal they’ll fall in love with. The zoo also offers Zoo Patrol programming for kids, plenty of virtual educational events, birthday parties, and scavenger hunts. Keep an eye out for the peacocks who roam freely around the zoo grounds!

Zoo Live Streams

Wildlife Conservation Society

The Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo are sharing animal content like videos, virtual learning, and Instagram stories visiting animals to bring the zoo to you. Visit this page to stay updated.

Utica Zoo

Uti-kaZoo: Utica Zoo Kid's Academy- Learn about alligators, crocodiles, Waylon, and more via videos and activities.

Phoenix Zoo

Digital Safari Live: Daily, 1pm; Facebook Live educational programming, virtual safaris, and behind-the-scenes animal caretaking

Brookfield Zoo

Bring the Zoo to You: Weekdays, daily 12pm ET; Facebook live. Educational insight from animal care specialists

Zoo New England

The Kids' Corner offers daily videos and fun print-outs, games, quizzes, and more

Greenville Zoo

Check in on the animals at the Greenville Zoo on Facebook Live


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