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Zoos heading

See New York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore listings for information about the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo and The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Bergen County Zoo
Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Ave., Paramus, 201-262-3771
    10-4:30 daily 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. Nov.-May: free admission.
    Exhibits include North American Wetlands Aviary, spider monkeys, farmyard. Live animal shows are held daily in the outdoor amphitheater in July and Aug. 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 website 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.
          Education Programs, for all ages from 12 mos.-12 yrs., single sessions to series. Visit website link for schedule and registration.
          Bergen Zoo School, homeschooler enrichment program with sessions Sept.-May.
Selected Special Events
Feb 26-Mar 26

          Playtime at the Zoo, for toddlers and caregivers in Education Discovery Lab. 10-noon Mondays.
Feb 17
          Family Frogwatch, families with ages 9-15. 10-12. $20 per family, up to 5 people.
Annual Spring Egg Hunt.
          Party for the Planet,
visit website for announcement of this year's dates.
          Annual Sheep Shearing.
          Live animal shows, daily in the outdoor amphitheater. Free with admission.
          ZooBoo, early advance tickets required.
Winter Wonderland, for info, visit website.
          Holiday with the Animals, costumed characters, musicians, take pictures with Santa.

Cape May County Park & Zoo
707 Rt. 9 North, Cape May Court House, 609-465-5271
    Park: 7-dusk. Zoo: winter 10-3:30, summer 10:4:30. 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 playgrounds, picnic facilities, fishing ponds, walking and bike trails. Adult and kids programs; birthday parties; zoo camp; cafe and gift shop.
           Tree to Tree Aerial Obstacle Adventure Park, zip lines, nets, Tarzan swings and obstacles for ages 7 and up. Reservations required, visit Tree to Tree Cape May website, 609-388-8289.
           Crafts with Critters, a new animal and craft every Sunday. Drop-in 1-3pm. $5.

Popcorn Park Zoo
Humane Way at Lacey Road, Forked River, 609-693-1900
    Daily 11-5pm, holidays 11-2. 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. Beach terrain wheelchair available. Picnic area.

Space Farms Zoo & Museum
218 Rt. 519, Sussex, 973-875-5800
    Closed Nov.-April. April 1-Oct.: Daily 9-5pm. Adults $18, srs. $16.50, ages 3-12 $14.50, 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. The Museum houses over 50 antique cars and motorcycles and thousands of items of "Americana." 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 $10, srs. $7, ages 3-14 $6, 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. Download visitor guides for kids online under "Plan Your Visit." Pony, cart rides, carousel, snack bar. School programs; traveling zoo; scout and after school programs; birthday parties; Zoofari summer and spring camps; professional development. Education ­schedule available each season (718-442-3174).
          Free admission Tuesdays after 2pm through Feb. 13, 2018.
          Donation Day, admission by donation Wed. after 2pm.
Apr 2-5
          ZooFari Spring Break, for Pre-K-1st graders.
Jul 9- Aug 24
          ZooFari 2018 Adventure, summer camps for ages Pre-K to grades 7-9 CIT program. Registration begins March 19.

Turtle Back Zoo
Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, 973-731-5800
    Dec. 1-Mar. 31: Daily 10-3:30. April 1-Nov. 30: Daily 10-4:30. Summer Wednesdays: open until 8pm. Adults $15, children 2-12/srs. $12, 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, African Adventure and Sting Ray exhibit, an aviary, reptile center, aquarium, Essex Farm with petting zoo and pony rides, butterfly tent, 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; sleepovers; birthday parties; and special events throughout the year.
          Year-round Carousel Park, concession stands, restrooms and picnic area.
          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, monthly programs for ages 6-24 mos. with caregiver; Turtle Back Zoo Tot, for ages 2 and 3 with caregiver; Zoo Explorers, for ages 4 and 5 without caregiver.
          McLoone's Boathouse, indoor and outdoor waterfront family dining.
          Zoo Field Trips, for school and summer camp groups.
          Sleepover at the Zoo, families and groups with children ages 6 and up.
Mar 31- Nov
          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.
Jun 24
Behind the Scenes: Sea Lion Sound, meet with Keepers, learn about the daily routine of prepping food, sea lion training, and maintaining their habitat. 12pm. Register online.
Jun 22, Jul 19
Night Moves: Evening Guided Zoo Tours, a unique look at the zoo and its nocturnal animal collection. Register online.
Jun 23-24
Stand Tall with Giraffes, 1-3pm. Giraffe numbers have decreased by 40% due to threats like habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, population growth and poaching. Visit the zoo this weekend to learn how to Stand Tall with giraffes to make a difference in their future survival and meet the newest member of Turtle Back Zoo's herd, 2 year old male Masai giraffe, Rocket.
Jul 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Behind the Scenes: Penguins, meet with Keepers, learn about the daily routine of prepping food, sea lion training, and maintaining their habitat. 12pm. Register online.
Jul 28
Summer Date Night, an evening education event for adults, ages 21 and over. The theme is "The Birds and the Bees and SSPs" and will address the Zoo's mission of education, conservation, and stewardship in the context of AZA institutions and the Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding programs. The event is meant to be informative, yet tongue-in-cheek fun. Includes buffet-style dinner with one complimentary alcoholic beverage, education program, behind the scenes tours, and dessert. 6-10pm. $60-110.