5 Boro Zoos: A Guide to Zoos in NYC

There are few places that have a universal appeal quite like zoos do. While walking through any zoo, you will find young and old admiring all of the animals together. Luckily Queens is just a stone’s throw from five local zoos and an aquarium. Here is the Queens Mamas guide to NYC zoos.

Queens Zoo

The Queens Zoo has 11 acres and over 75 different species of animals for you to enjoy, including a petting zoo and a huge domed bird exhibit, where you can walk through the birds’ natural habitat. Located in Flushing Meadows Park, across from the carousel, you’ll forget you’re in Queens while walking around this zoo. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free.

53-51 111th Street, Corona

Open 10am-4:30pm (After April 1st, hours are extended to 5pm on weekdays, 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.)

Prospect Park Zoo

Hop over to our neighboring borough of Brooklyn to discover their zoo in Prospect Park. Boasting 12 acres and an impressive 125 species of animals, including a petting zoo, this zoo is a must see. After you peruse the exhibits, you can head across the street to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, or you can walk through Prospect Park. Admission to Prospect Park Zoo is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free.

450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Open 10am-4:30pm (After April 1st, hours are extended to 5pm on weekdays, 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.)

Central Park Zoo

Walking around this zoo is almost surreal as you see the skyscrapers rising above the trees in the park. There are over 150 different species of animals, including polar bear and penguin exhibits, as well as a petting zoo. Located just down the trail from Wollman’s Rink, after visiting the zoo you can walk down and get some skating in. Admission to Central Park Zoo is $12 for adults and $7 for kids ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free.

64th Street & 5th Avenue, NYC

Open 10am-4:30pm (After April 1st, hours are extended to 5pm on weekdays, 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.)

Staten Island Zoo

Home of Staten Island Chuck the Groundhog, the Staten Island Zoo is smaller than the others at 8 acres, but still has plenty for you to see, including 39 different types of rattlesnakes. Admission to the Staten Island Zoo is $8 for adults and $5 for children 3-14. Kids under 3 are free. On Wednesdays from 2pm-4:45pm, admission to the zoo is free for everyone.

614 Broadway, Staten Island

Open 10am-4:45pm

The Bronx Zoo

The world’s largest urban zoo, the Bronx Zoo is home to an astounding 600 different species of animals, and even has a monorail where you can see the animals while hovering just above their habitats. Definitely plan on spending most of the day here, especially if you plan to stop at each exhibit. Admission to the Bronx Zoo is $16 for adults and $12 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free. Wednesdays are considered “suggested donation” days where you can pay what you wish for admission.

Fordham Road & Bronx River Parkway

Open 10am-4:30pm (After April 1st, hours are extended to 5pm on weekdays, 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.)

New York Aquarium

Right next to the Coney Island Boardwalk lies the 14 acre New York Aquarium, which has over 300 species of marine animals, including a Touch Pool, where, you guessed it, you can touch certain animals. Admission to the New York Aquarium is $13 for adults and $9 for kids ages 3-12. Kids under 3 are free. On Fridays after 3pm, admission is pay what you like in the form of a donation.

If you plan on visiting all of the zoos and the aquarium, with the exception of the Staten Island Zoo, which is not run by the Wildlife Conservation Society as the rest are, or if you plan on visiting them more than once, you may want to consider a yearly membership pass. The membership pass gives you free admission to any Wildlife Conservation Society Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Families can choose from a basic membership at $129 per year or a premium membership, which includes 4 free parking passes, at $159 per year. You can purchase the membership passes at the ticket windows of the zoos and the aquarium.

Surf Avenue & West 8th Street, Brooklyn

Open 10am-4:30pm (After April 1st, hours are extended to 5pm on weekdays, 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.)

Jesseca Stenson