History of the Bronx Zoo
As mentioned above, the Bronx Zoo opened in 1899, having at the time only 843 animals. Moreover, the goal of the creators of the zoo was to protect species and to study them. And unlike most zoos, the Bronx Zoo has been able to recreate an environment close to authentic nature. These are not plastic cages and trees, on the contrary!
The separations between the different parts of the zoo (to protect some species from others) are very discreet, giving the impression of being in the middle of nature. Moreover, part of the entrance fee is donated to contribute to the protection of animal species.
Did you know that at the very beginning of the 20th century, the Bronx Zoo organized human zoos ? This is how the Congolese pygmy Ota Benga committed suicide, after being installed in a cage, in plain view of all visitors. A sad story ...
Today is the Wildlife Conservation Society which operates the Bronx Zoo, as well as the City Aquarium and Central Park Zoo.
What to see at the Bronx Zoo?
There are a multitude of attractions to do at the Bronx Zoo. Because indeed, it is not a classic zoo, with only sad and dirty little enclosures!
My favorite attractions
One of the biggest attractions of this zoo is its Wild Asia Tramway. It is simply a kind of little train on rails, circulating in the zoo. Once on board, you will be able to admire several species of animals from very close, while remaining installed on your seat. Expect to spot elephants, giraffes, lions and many more!
Then, I advise you to go for a walk to the Congo Gorilla Forest, which is of course the reconstituted forest where the gorillas are found. The latter measures more than 2,6 hectares, and you will really have the impression of being in the middle of the tropical forest.
Then, if you are traveling to New York with kids, know that the Bronx Zoo is the perfect place! First of all, each enclosure has a small explanatory panel and games for the little ones.
Then, take a look at the 4D cinema from the zoo! There you will see animated films about insects and other animals. It's cute, funny, and informative, and it's the perfect place if you're at the zoo with your kids! You will also have the opportunity to take your children to close which are dedicated to them. For example, you will find a camel ride where they can ride and walk. Then, you can attend a show and see penguins and sea lions at mealtime! Unforgettable moments for the whole family!
Finally, the zoo includes a section, the « Children’s Zoo » dedicated to them. They will be able to see small animals up close, such as wallabies or meerkats!
And if you like butterflies, know that the zoo has a garden where you can admire a multitude of varieties of butterflies ! A 100% magical and romantic moment.
Finally, of course, I recommend that you do not miss the bears and tigers ! These will impress young and old for sure!
How do you get to the Bronx Zoo?
In order to get to the Bronx Zoo, you can take metro lines 2 or 5 to the station East Treamont Avenue – West Farm Square. It takes approximately 40 to 45 minutes to travel between midtown Manhattan and the arrival subway station. And once you exit the metro, you just have to walk a few minutes to the entrance of the zoo.
If you come by car, be aware that you can park in one of the zoo's two car parks. Otherwise, and especially if there are several of you, you can take a taxi from downtown Manhattan.
Bronx Zoo Rates
Entrance to the Bronx Zoo is chargeable and may appear a bit high. However, and as I said earlier, the money paid is used for animal protection. Also, the moment you spend will be 100% unique, so it's worth it, isn't it?
Take a classic ticket or an all-inclusive ticket?
Also, in order to enter the Bronx Zoo, you will have the choice between two types of tickets. In fact, you can take a classic ticket, the « General Admission Ticket », or a full ticket, on « Total Experience Ticket ».
The first costs between $ 17 and $ 20 per adult, depending on the season, and $ 13 for children throughout the year. Then, the price of the all-inclusive ticket is included between $ 24 and $ 34 per adult, and between $ 17 and $ 24 for children, again depending on the season. Also, note that it is during the beautiful period (from May to November) that the zoo increases its prices.
Also, I strongly recommend that you opt for the "Total Experience Ticket", which will give you access to all the attractions of your choice. Because indeed, note that otherwise, some attractions require a supplement in addition to the classic ticket. This is the case, for example, of Jungle World and the Monkey Forest, the Congo Gorilla Forest. You will have to pay an additional $ 5 per attraction. And believe me, these attractions are definitely worth it, especially the one in gorilla forest ! And then, you will be doing a good deed at the same time, so don't hesitate!
Buy your tickets online
Finally, note that if you buy your tickets online, you will benefit from a 10% reduction. It is therefore rather advantageous, especially if you are a small group! So get to your computers, and save time (and money) with just a few clicks!
The Bronx Zoo is open year round, at different times. Thus, during the beautiful period (from May to the end of October), you can go there between 10 a.m. and 17 p.m. during the week, and until 17:30 p.m. on weekends. During winter (November to March), the zoo closes one hour earlier (16 p.m.) on weekdays, but remains open until 30 p.m. on weekends.
Also, I highly recommend you to go to the zoo as soon as it opens or even a little before. Indeed, it attracts very, very many visitors, and queuing can be very long when you are a family with young children! You know what I'm talking about ! So plan ahead to be able to enjoy in a good mood!
Walk around the zoo
Once in the Bronx Zoo, you will have no trouble finding your way. Indeed, many panels are installed to help you find your way. They will show you the location of the various attractions and the paths to follow. Moreover, it is very pleasant to walk in this zoo, as nature is omnipresent.
Below is a map of the zoo:
Also, you can find this detailed map of the zoo by going to their official website. Once there, you will also be able to obtain paper maps in order to circulate more easily.
Moreover, navettes are also at your disposal, to circulate between two attractions. This can be particularly useful if you are at the zoo with young and tired children! Or if it's really hot and you're just tired of walking. Otherwise, be aware that you can borrow strollers and wheelchairs once there.
And in case of little (or big) hunger, know that the Bronx Zoo has everything you need! You will find several restaurants of different styles, for all tastes. You will also have the possibility of having lunch outside, since tables and chairs are provided for this purpose.
How much time should we allow?
If you want to see everything in the zoo, then plan a good time and plan a good half day of at least 4 hours ! Indeed, it is huge, and you will undoubtedly want to do a lot of attractions.
That said, if you don't have enough time, for example if you only have 3 days to visit New York, don't panic! You will be able to select the attractions that interest you the most and focus on them. In this case, I recommend that you think about it in advance, so as not to waste time once there. So, upon arrival, ask for a map of the zoo and go straight to the attractions that interest you most.
However, in all cases, I advise you not to plan less than 2 hours, in order to still be able to benefit a minimum.
When to go to the Bronx Zoo?
As I said earlier, the Bronx Zoo is open year round. However, since most of these are outdoor attractions, it is of course more pleasant to have favorable weather. And on the other hand, very high temperatures and a dense crowd are not very pleasant either.
That's why I strongly recommend you to go there in spring, a period when the temperatures are mild, and tourists are not yet present. This is also valid for the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, around October. You can even celebrate Halloween in New York, who knows ?
So, are you ready for a wild and fun day? Plan to good shoes, because there is a good chance that you will walk a lot! Also consider a small bottle of water, even if you will find everything once there. And of course, but I bet you've already thought about it, don't forget your camera or camera to capture these magical moments with the family!