Bergen County Zoo
Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Ave. (Rt. 4E to Forest Ave.), Paramus, 201-262-3771. 10-4:30 year-round. Train, carousel and pony rides: April-Oct. Admission charged May-Oct.: Adults $8, ages 3-14 $5, srs. $2, free under 3, discounts for County residents. Exhibits include North American Wetlands Aviary, spider monkeys, farmyard. Train ride around zoo, pony rides, carousel, toddler and older children playgrounds and picnic areas. In-zoo programs for infants to adults; outreach programs; zoo camp, jr. zookeeper, & zoo camp for children with special needs offered in summer. Deadline for summer zoo camp applications in March.
Live animal shows, daily in the outdoor amphitheater.
Santa Visits the Zoo, free train ride, free refreshments and a visit from Santa. 12-3:30.
Cape May County Park & Zoo
Rt. 9 & Crest Haven Rd. (GSP exit 11), Cape May Court House, 609-465-5271. Open daily year 'round except Christmas. Park: 9-dusk. Zoo: 10-3:45 (4:45 summer). Free, donations appreciated. 200 species of animals, an amphibian and reptile house, aviary and African savannah are found within a 128-acre county park which features a playground, picnic facilities, nature and bike trails.
Popcorn Park Zoo
Humane Way at Lacey Road (Garden State Parkway exit 74), Forked River, 609-693-1900. Daily 11-5pm. Adults $5, children & seniors $4, under 3 free. The Associated Humane Societies established these 10 acres in the Pine Barrens to serve as a refuge for wildlife, exotic and farm animals that were elderly, sick, abandoned, abused or injured and could no longer survive in the wild. Deer Woods, wild animal compounds, monkey house, horse and pony corral, farm; able to feed free-roaming animals. Picnic area.
Six Flags Wild Safari
GSP exit 98, I-195 west to exit 16; or NJ Turnpike exit 7A, Jackson, 732-928-1821. Four and a half mile road winds through a 350-acre wildlife preserve, home to 1,200 animals.
Space Farms Zoo & Museum
218 Rt. 519, Sussex, 973-875-5800. April 6-Oct.: Daily 9-5pm. Closed Nov. 1-April. Adults $15, srs. $14, children 3-12 $10, under 3 free. Begun in 1927, Space Farms remains a privately owned collection of over 100 different species of North American wildlife. 11-building museum houses over 50,000 items of "Americana." Miniature golf; playground; picnic area; parties.
Staten Island Zoo
614 Broadway, Staten Island, NY, 718-442-3101. Daily 10-4:45. Children's Center open year-round, weather permitting. Adults $8, srs. $6, ages 3-14 $5, under 3 & members free. Free on Wed. 2-4:45. Small zoo encompassing one square city block offers year-round entertainment as most exhibits are indoors, including South American tropical forest, Aquarium, a Serpentarium housing amazing reptiles, and African Savannah. You can purchase food to feed the domestic farm animals in the outdoor Children's Center. Pony, cart rides, snack bar. Workshops for ages 4 & up; summer camp; Careers with Animals workshops for grades 6-9; Breakfast with the Beasts program. Education schedule available each season (718-442-3174).
Donation Day, admission by donation Wed. after 2pm.
Sat & Sun
Animal talk & touch presentations, 1pm.
Reptiles feeding time, Sun. 2:30pm.
Reptile Wing, houses 120 species of reptiles and features 2-level alligator pool, interactive exhibition space and "Fear Zone," an exhibit designed to dispel common myths about reptiles.
Selected Special Events
ZooQuest!, zoo-wide scavenger hunt, trivia & activity game. Prizes for the winners. 12-3.
Enrichment Day, keeper talks and new toys for the animals. 12-3.
Forensic Entomology, use clues to solve crimes. 12-3.
Unlock the Dirty Secrets in the Soil, 12-3.
Gyotaku, fish printing. 12-3.
Talons, master falconer. 12-3.
Animal Photography Workshop presented by John Ares, 12-3.
Navarasam: An Expressive Journey, Indian classical dance, 2pm.
Dinosaurs & Fossils, authentic relics, fossil digs and rubbings. 12-3.
Origami USA, learn the Japanese art of paper folding. 12-3.
Animal Training Demonstrations, 12-3.
Serpent Day, keeper talks and snakes on display. 12-3.
Turtle Back Zoo
Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, 973-731-5800. Winter hours: 10-3 Daily. April-Nov.: Mon.-Sat. 10-4:30, Sun. 11-5:30. Adults $11, children 2-12/srs. $8, under 2 free, memberships available. Very kid-friendly zoo includes New Jersey and North American wildlife exhibits, South Asian animal exhibits, Waters of the World exhibit with penguins, otters and alligators, Big Cat Country, an aviary, reptile center, aquarium, Essex Farm with petting zoo and pony rides, train ride, carousel, picnic area, playground and Zoo Cafe. Group programs; children's programs; parent and child programs; zoo camp; birthday parties; special events throughout the year.
Year-round Carousel Park, concession stands, restrooms and picnic area. Carousel $2.
McLoone's Boathouse, waterfront family dining.
Treetop Adventure Course, visitors traverse platforms built in the trees using rope bridges, zip lines and other challenging features. Must be at least 54 in. tall and under 250 lbs. $20, can reserve online.
Mini-Golf Safari, 19-hole miniature golf course deisgned in the shape of the African continent.
Sea Lion & Sting Ray Exhibit, is open.
Selected Special Events
Jun 28, Jul 18, Aug 20, Sep 5, 27
Night Moves, bring a flashlight to this guided tour of the zoo after dark. 8pm. $7, pre-registration required. Aug 20 for members only; Sep. 27 for groups.
Brew at the Zoo, craft brewers, vendors and live entertainment. 21 and over only. 6-9pm. For tickets, visit tbzoobrew.com.
Wed Jun 29-Aug 28
Family Fun Nights, 5-8pm Wednesdays June 29-Aug. 28. Reduced admission after 5, $5.
Red, White & Blue Day, learn about Native American animals, live music, treasure hunt. 11-4.
Live Music by Typhoon Dog, 12-3.
Explore Amazing Asia Day, 11-4.
World Rhino Day, 11-4.
Live Music by Typhoon Dog, 12-3.
World African Penguin Day, 11-4.
Spooky Zoo, games, crafts, spooky animal presentation and more. 6-9pm.
Howl-O-Ween, magic shows, not-so-scary train ride, carousel open. 6-9pm, last admission 8pm. Pre-registration only, limited admission. Zoo closes at 2:30. $5, members $3.
Nov 29-Jan 5
Holiday Lights Spectacular, 5-9pm. Free. Please bring an unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item to be donated.
Winter Workshop, make presents for the animals. 11-3.