Opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the United States. It is home to hundreds of species of animals from different parts of the world, although a good number are native to North America.
Many of these creatures are in danger of extinction, so visiting the Bronx Zoo is a good way to get close to them and learn about the importance of caring for nature.
It is, therefore, a perfect plan to do in New York and especially if you are traveling to New York with your family to enjoy a day outdoors and escape for a few hours from the asphalt jungle of New York. I tell you how to get tickets and a lot more!
1. How do I get tickets to the Bronx Zoo? What types of tickets are available?
To go to the Bronx Zoo you will have to buy tickets online and in advance as the park requires visitors to choose a date and time to visit. This step is important because if you show up at the zoo without having previously reserved the date and time when you get your tickets online, you will most likely not be allowed to enter.
That said, there are different types of tickets to visit the Bronx Zoo:
- On the one hand, the Limited Admission ticket is the most economical but it only provides access to the park and to some specific exhibits. However, it excludes such popular exhibits as "JungleWorld", "Congo Gorilla Forest", "Butterfly Garden" or "Wild Asia Monorail".
- On the other hand, the Bronx Zoo Admission ticket costs a little more than the previous one but gives all-inclusive and unlimited access to all the attractions available on the day of the visit. This type of ticket is very worthwhile because it allows you to see the coolest attractions of the zoo, even those that have won several awards.
- Tickets for individual attractions are available from $5 per person but it is more worthwhile to buy the "Bronx Zoo Admission" ticket if you want to see them all, because it comes with unlimited access.
To know in detail the ticket prices to the Bronx Zoo, if there are reduced rates or if you can enter for free, I recommend you to read the post Bronx Zoo ticket prices... I'm sure it will be useful for you to plan the budget of the visit!
2. What about enjoying the Bronx Zoo's Holiday Lights Festival?
Every year the Bronx Zoo organizes from November 19 to January 9 the Holiday Lights Festival, a beautiful outdoor event for the whole family full of light and color where the protagonists are huge lamps in the shape of animals that are placed throughout the park.
If you are in New York on those dates you can not miss it, especially if you are traveling with your family because it is something special to see that the kids will love.
To enjoy this fun show you will need to get your Holiday Lights Festival tickets online and in advance, as you will not be able to access this event with any other zoo ticket.
If you want to know more about this endearing festival of lights that has become a tradition in New York during the Christmas season, don't miss the post This is what the Christmas lights at the Bronx Zoo in New York are like, where we talk in detail about this fun attraction.
3. Are Bronx Zoo tickets included in any tourist card?
Maybe you are thinking about buying one of the New York Sightseeing Flex Passes to make the most of your trip. With the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass (from 60€ at Hellotickets) you have included the visit to the Bronx Zoo with the "Limited Admission" ticket and you can also choose up to 12 tourist attractions to visit them at your own pace in a period of 30 days from the time you activate it.
I especially recommend you to get this tourist pass if you go to New York with your family and you plan to do activities for children, so that they can also enjoy the city in their own way and making plans more adapted to their age and tastes.
The reason is that the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass will allow you to visit places like the New York Aquarium, the Central Park Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Bronx Zoo, among others.
In addition, the pass comes with discounts at an assortment of dining, entertainment and leisure venues that will help you get the most out of the city, which never hurts!
In addition to the park, with the tourist card you will have the chance to see some very cool exhibits such as World of Birds, Sea Lion Pool or Reptile House, among many others. However, it is likely that to see certain special attractions inside the zoo you will have to pay an extra...
4. Is it advisable to go to the Bronx Zoo with children?
No doubt about it! This is one of the coolest activities you can do as a family during your stay in New York. They will have a great time seeing so many animals up close and it will be one of the memories of their childhood that they will never forget.
In fact, the Bronx Zoo has an area called The Children's Zoo where the little ones will be able to meet for the first time many wild animals up close, such as the porcupine, the sloth or the giant anteater, and best of all, feed and pet the cute little animals in the pen! It will be an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
So don't hesitate, going to the Bronx Zoo will be a unique opportunity for kids to enjoy New York in a different way, get close to nature, see a lot of beautiful animals and learn about the importance of caring for the environment, as many of the creatures they will encounter here live threatened or endangered in the wild.
5. How much time do you need to visit the Bronx Zoo?
Visits to the Bronx Zoo usually last 2 to 3 hours, but if you want to see it in its entirety, you'll need at least half a day. After all, it is the largest urban zoo in the United States!
There is a lot to see here and the good thing is that there is no time limit to stay. You can spend a long time looking at the different exhibits, sit and sunbathe on a bench and even have a small picnic inside the zoo or eat at any of its restaurants. Whatever you feel like!
6. When is the Zoo open?
The Bronx Zoo opens Monday through Sunday at 10 AM and depending on the season may close at 4:30 PM (during the cold season) or 5:30 PM (during the warm season).
The only calendar days that the zoo remains closed are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Day. Keep this in mind when you are arranging this activity, lest you find the gates locked tight!
Before going there, I suggest you take a look at the post Bronx Zoo Hours to plan your visit, I'm sure it will help you!
7. What can't you miss at the Bronx Zoo?
The main thing you can't miss at the Bronx Zoo is the animal exhibits- there are over 700 different species brought from all corners of the globe! Watching them interact and play with each other is a very exciting part of the visit.
Another sensational moment to experience at the zoo is when the keepers feed the animals such as penguins or sea lions. I recommend you to take a look at the park's website to see what activities are prepared for the day of your visit so you don't miss them, they are very interesting!
In "The Children's Zoo" the kids will be able to feed themselves and pet various animals in the barnyard such as donkeys, alpacas, sheep, goats or prairie dogs. It will be an experience they will never forget.
And to complete a fun-filled day, kids can also ride the insect carousel or play on the Nature Trek bridges and walkways.
8. Some useful tips to visit the Bronx Zoo
- Remember to book your tickets online in advance to the Bronx Zoo. All visitors must have a ticket with a specific date and time for the visit.
- Download the zoo map to your cell phone or print it out so you can easily navigate the zoo from place to place.
- When you arrive at the Bronx Zoo, check the park's website on your phone to see all the exhibits and services available on the day of your visit.
- You are not allowed to feed the zoo animals - it can be dangerous for them and for you!
- You are also not allowed to touch the zoo's plants, flowers or trees.
- Dress comfortably and appropriately for the temperature of the season you are visiting the zoo. Dress warmly in winter and protect yourself from the sun in summer.
- Wear comfortable shoes to tour the Bronx Zoo. This is the largest urban zoo in the United States and covers 107 acres - you don't want your feet to hurt at the end of your visit!
- You can bring a snack in your backpack to eat inside the zoo or have a picnic there in the picnic areas.
- There are water fountains inside the zoo but don't forget to carry your own bottle in your backpack just in case.
9. How to get to the Bronx Zoo?
The Bronx Zoo is not centrally located, so the best way to get there is by public transportation.
I recommend taking the 2 or 5 subway lines to E. 180th St. or taking the BxM11 express bus from Manhattan and getting off at the Bronx River entrance to the zoo. Here is a handy guide to using the New York subway to help you find your way underground.
Other alternatives to consider, especially if you have small children, are cabs or Uber. For a door-to-door service it is super convenient, especially if you are traveling with a stroller.
10. Where to eat at the Bronx Zoo?
A visit to the Bronx Zoo can take several hours, so you may find that at some point along the way you work up an appetite - time to take a break and grab a bite to eat to recharge your batteries!
You can pack some snacks in your backpack to have a picnic and kill your appetite. At the Bronx Zoo there are picnic areas where you can have a snack and rest for a while.
However, this zoo is also full of restaurants where you can stop for a bite to eat during your visit. If you forget the snacks, they are a good alternative so that you don't have to rush out of there before time looking for a place to eat. Especially if you are accompanied by children who can not skip their meal times.
Some of the restaurants and food stalls at the Bronx Zoo where you can stay for lunch are:
- Dancing Crane Café
- The Patio
- Pecking Order
- Asia Cafe
- Somba Village
- Zoo Bites
- Zoo Brews