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Visiting the Bronx Zoo with Kids

by Barbara Rogers

Dec 16, 2022

© Littleny | Dreamstime.com


Modern zoos are about a lot more than just looking at animals; habitats are recreated realistically, so, for kids, it’s like traveling to a foreign country. New York’s Bronx Zoo adds activities for kids of all ages, making it a good choice for a day of family travel.


The country’s largest urban zoo lies less than 20 minutes by train from central Manhattan, but will seem like it’s located on the opposite side of the world to kids.


In the Madagascar exhibit, kids can watch lemurs hop among the trees and vines, while at Congo Gorilla Forest, they can stand within a few feet of their closest wild relative and watch baby gorillas play. Other animals native to the same habitat share the space, and as kids walk through a habitat of vine-draped trees and waterfalls, they will have fun trying to spot river hogs, mandrills, okapis and various colorful birds.


In the mist-shrouded Jungle World, they’ll see leopards and endangered crocodile-like gharials with long, sharp noses. Speaking of noses, kids can stand nose-to-nose with Malayan and Amur tigers — through a glass barrier, of course — at Tiger Mountain.


Visitors can watch the penguins and sea lions at feeding time and learn about their habits from zoo experts. For a special treat, book a Wild Encounter to get up close with sloths, penguins or even cheetahs and giraffes. Kids can meet the animals and their keepers and get answers to all their questions.


Bronx Zoo is not just about animal experiences; there’s plenty of opportunity for active play. On the Bug Carousel, kids can choose their favorite giant insect to ride on, while Nature Trek is a playground village suspended among the tree tops, where kids ages 3 and up can safely navigate rope bridges and balancing beams. Older kids can challenge themselves on an aerial ropes course and soar over the Bronx River on a zip line.


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