If you think about NYC, the first thing that comes to your mind might be the famous sights such as Times Square and the Empire State Building, but you definitely also shouldn’t miss out on the zoos in New York City.
New York City is home to some incredible zoos with interesting animals and great exhibits. Because of the amazing zoos in the city, going to the zoo isn’t only a great activity with kids, but it’s also fun if you’re traveling without kids. Especially when the weather is great, it’s a very fun activity, and with this guide to the best zoos in NYC, you can decide which one you want to visit.
Best Zoos in New York City
The Bronx Zoo is a zoo that you can find in the Bronx and in Bronx Park.
The zoo is one of the largest zoos in the country and also one of the most popular ones.
The zoo’s history dates back to the year 1899 and the zoo played an important role on the topic of animal conservation since its beginning.
At The Bronx Zoo, you can find a large and very diverse number of animals. In total, the zoo has about 4,000 animals of 650 species.
Moreover, the museum has a large number of exhibits with animals from all around the world.
Some of the exhibits that you can find here include “World of Birds” and “African Plains”.
The zoo is perfect for a stroll while checking out animals. Besides that, it is possible to get up-close experiences with some animals at the zoo. These are called “wild encounters”, and during them, you can get behind the scenes at the zoo.
You can learn about specific animals and about the work of the zookeepers. Also, it is possible to do other tours during which you see the animals of the zoo.
Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460
Central Park Zoo
Located centrally in the city is the Central Park Zoo. This is a zoo that you can find in Central Park, in the southeastern part of it, and the Wildlife Conservation Society manages the zoo, like many other zoos in New York City.
The Central Park Zoo is the first public zoo that was opened in New York City, and its history dates back to the year 1864. It started out as a menagerie but became a city zoo in the year 1934.
The zoo contains about 1,500 animals and about 160 different species of animals.
Moreover, the zoo has all kinds of exhibits that mimic the animals’ natural habitats. For example, there is a rainforest exhibit with reptiles, birds, and other animals.
Some other animals that one can find at the zoo include red pandas, snow leopards, and penguins.
A great activity at the zoo is seeing the animals at feeding times.
Furthermore, to the north of the main zoo, you can find Tisch Children’s Zoo, which also contains a petting zoo. At the zoo, lots of farm animals and other types of animals can be found. For example, you can find sheep, mini Nubian goats, and alpacas at the zoo.
What’s great is that the ticket for the main zoo also includes admission to Tisch Children’s Zoo.
Another feature of the zoo is the 4-D Theater. This is an immersive zoo where you can see a 3-D film and enjoy all kinds of sensory effects at the same time.
Address: East 64th Street, New York, NY 10021
Bergen County Zoo
The Bergen County Zoo is another one of the best zoos in New York City’s metropolitan area, although it is located slightly outside of the city itself. This zoo can be found in Van Saun County Park.
The Bergen County Zoo is open every day of the year and is a very affordable place to go to if you want to see animals.
Some of the species that you can see at the Bergen County Zoo include American Bison, Andean Condor, Bald Eagle, and Mountain Lions.
Furthermore, throughout the year, special events take place at the zoo. For example, the “late nights at the zoo” event takes place during summer. Furthermore, there are Halloween events at the zoo and lots of other types of events.
The Queenz Zoo is a zoo that you can find in the borough of Queens. Like Central Park Zoo, this zoo is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The zoo was opened in 1968 as the Flushing Meadow Zoom and was a zoo without cages from its beginning.
The zoo isn’t very large, so there isn’t a huge number of animals that you can find here. Queens Zoo has animals from both North America and South America, and some of the species that you can find here include the South American Andean bear and the American bison.
The Queen Zoo is also home to many amazing birds, such as scarlet macaws and bobwhite quails.
Address: 53-51 111th St, Queens, NY 11368
SeaQuest Woodbridge is a small aquarium where you can see animals from all across the world. In total, there are about 1,500 different species of animals at SeaQuest Woodbridge.
From fish to reptiles to birds to invertebrates, there is a lot to see at this place.
Besides only seeing the animals, it is possible to get animal interactions here as well.
For example, it is possible to do a feeding experience of Asian Otters, which can be very fun to do, and it is possible to feed other animals as well.
Furthermore, it is possible to do an experience during which you can interact with sloths, and you can snorkel with stingrays.
Prospect Park Zoo
Located in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, the Prospect Park Zoo is another one of the city’s top zoos to visit. The zoo was opened in 1935, but its history dates back to 1890 when it was a menagerie.
Prospect Park Zoo has about 900 animals and about 175 species of animals.
The sea lions of Prospect Park Zoo are very interesting to see and are some of the most popular animals at the zoo.
The “Hall of Animals” exhibit is an interesting place to check out as well. This is an exhibit where you can see very small species of animals, such as rare frogs, the fennec fox, and the red-crested turaco.
Each exhibit focuses on different types of animals, and each exhibit can be interesting to visit.
Address: 450 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Staten Island Zoo
The Staten Island Zoo is a zoo that is located on Staten Island in West New Brighton.
The zoo was opened in the year 1936 and was the first educational zoo in the country.
At the zoo, about 1,500 different animals can be found, and the zoo has about 350 species of animals.
Furthermore, the zoo has a variety of exhibits where you can see specific species of animals or animals that live in the same area of the world. For example, “The Sahara Exhibit” is a section of the zoo where you can see animals that live near the Sahara desert in Africa. Also, many reptiles can be found at the zoo.
Also, what’s nice about this zoo is that the admission fee is low, which makes a visit to this zoo in NYC accessible for most.
New York Aquarium
Those who want to learn about marine wildlife go to the New York Aquarium. This is the oldest aquarium in the United States that is still operating, which makes it a very special place to visit. The zoo was founded in the year 1896, but it moved to its current location in 1957.
The New York Aquarium is located in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Moreover, the aquarium is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, like Central Park Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, and several other zoos.
Some of the animals that you can find at the New York Aquarium are cownose rays, harbor seals, and sand tiger sharks. In total, there are about 250 species of marine animals at the zoo.
Also, it is possible to see animals up close. For example, you can do a “wild encounter” experience with penguins and sea lions.
Address: 602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
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New York City Zoos Tips
Do you like visiting one of the zoos in NYC in this article and do you want to go there more than a few times? Some of the zoos have a membership through which you can visit the zoo for free, which is often much more affordable if you plan on visiting the zoo a lot.
Zoos in NYC Map
Thanks for reading my guide to the best zoos in New York City! I hope I helped you find a great one to visit.