Bergen County Zoo
Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Ave. (Rt. 4E to Forest Ave.), Paramus, 201-262-3771. 10-4:30 year-round. Zoo is open until 8pm Thurs. during July and Aug. Train, carousel and pony rides open April-Oct., weather permitting. Zoo admission charged May-Oct.: Adults $8, ages 3-14 $5, srs. $2, under 3 free, half price for County residents. Exhibits include North American Wetlands Aviary, spider monkeys, farmyard. Train ride around zoo, pony rides, carousel, toddler and older children playgrounds, sprayground and picnic areas. In-zoo programs for infants to adults (visit Friends of Bergen County Zoo for seasonal schedule); outreach programs; group and scout programs; homeschool programs; zoo camp, jr. zookeeper, and zoo camp for children with special needs are offered in summer. Deadline for summer zoo camp applications is March 1.
Annual Sheep Shearing.
Live animal shows, daily in the outdoor amphitheater.
Holiday with the Animals, complimentary train rides, refreshments, visit with Santa.
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: 7-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. Download scavenger hunt under "Discover–Fun for Kids" from web link online. Adult and kids programs; birthday parties; zoo camp.
Popcorn Park Zoo
Humane Way at Lacey Road (Garden State Parkway exit 74), Forked River, 609-693-1900. Daily 11-5pm. Adults $5, ages under 12 and 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. Visit Deer Woods, wild animal compounds, monkey house, horse and pony corral and a farm. Air-popped popcorn may be purchased to feed free-roaming birds and some of the farm animals. Note the sandy terrain is not conducive to strollers or wheelchairs. Picnic area.
Space Farms Zoo & Museum
218 Rt. 519, Sussex, 973-875-5800. Closed Nov.-April. April-Oct.: Daily 9-5pm. Adults $17, srs. $15.50, ages 3-12 $13.50, under 3 free. Begun in 1927, Space Farms remains a privately owned collection of over 100 different species of North American wildlife with free roaming chickens, ducks and geese and special animal access areas where visitors are able to feed animals. An 11-building museum houses over 50,000 items of "Americana." Miniature golf; playground; picnic area; pizza restaurant; parties.
Staten Island Zoo
614 Broadway, Staten Island, NY, 718-442-3100. Daily 10-4:45. Children's Center open year round, weather permitting. Adults $8, srs. $6, ages 3-14 $5, under 3 and members free. Free on Wed. after 2pm. Small zoo encompassing one square city block offers year round entertainment as 90% of exhibits are indoors, including South American tropical forest, aquarium, African Savannah and Reptile Wing housing unusual and amazing reptiles. You can purchase food to feed the domestic farm animals in the outdoor Children's Center. Pony, cart rides, carousel, snack bar. Workshops for ages 4 and up; scout programs; traveling zoo; birthday parties; summer camp; Breakfast with the Beasts. Education schedule available each season (718-442-3174).
Donation Day, admission by donation Wed. after 2pm.
Sat & Sun
Live Animal Presentations, 1pm every Saturday and Sunday in the Events Tent.
New Aquarium, opening in 2016.
Turtle Back Zoo
Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, 973-731-5800. Dec.-Mar.: Daily 10-3:30. April-Nov.: Mon.-Sat. 10-4:30, Sun. 11-5:30. Summer Wednesdays: open until 8pm. Adults $13, children 2-12/srs. $10, under 2 free. Reduced admission off-season. Memberships available. Safari double stroller rental: $7.
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, Sea Lion and Sting Ray exhibit, an aviary, reptile center, aquarium, Essex Farm with petting zoo and pony rides, train ride, carousel, picnic area, playground and Zoo Cafe. Education programs for ages preschool to high school; Turtle Back Tots programs; volunteen program; scout and group programs; outreach; zoo camps; birthday parties; and special events throughout the year.
Year round Carousel Park, concession stands, restrooms and picnic area. Carousel $2.
Zoo Camps, weekly camps for grades K-8 during summer and school breaks. Summer registration begins in late Feb. for members first.
Turtle Back Hatchlings and Turtle Back Zoo Tots, infant, toddler and preschool programs.
McLoone's Boathouse, waterfront family dining.
Zoo Field Trips, for school and summer camp groups.
Overnight Adventures, coming in 2016.
Treetop Adventure Course, visitors traverse platforms built in the trees using rope bridges, zip lines and other challenging features. See listing under Outdoor Entertainment.
Mini-Golf Safari, 19-hole miniature golf course deisgned in the shape of the African continent.
Selected Special Events
Groundhog Day, see if Essex Ed sees his shadow. 11am.