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Family Activity: 5 Tips for the Bronx Zoo

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

In a bustling urban landscape, where skyscrapers reach for the clouds and the streets pulse with energy, lies a haven of wildlife and wonderment – The Bronx Zoo. Nestled within the heart of New York City, this sprawling oasis offers families a chance to escape the concrete jungle and immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. If you're seeking an unforgettable adventure that blends education, excitement, and quality family time, look no further.

Welcome to our latest 5 Tips blog post, where we're delving into the ultimate family activity: a day at The Bronx Zoo. From the moment you step through the gates, you'll be transported to a realm where exotic creatures roam, lush habitats thrive, and learning takes on a whole new dimension. It's one of the things that I love about the Bronx Zoo. You can step inside the Bronx Zoo and you never would know that you're in the heart of the Bronx. I hope these 5 tips enhance your trip to the Bronx Zoo.

The Bronx Zoo south entrance
The Bronx Zoo south entrance

Join us as we uncover five invaluable tips to maximize your family's enjoyment during your visit to The Bronx Zoo. From insider insights on must-see exhibits to advice on navigating the vast grounds with ease, we're here to pave the way for a day filled with laughter, exploration, and heartwarming memories. Whether you're mesmerized by the grace of the big cats, charmed by the playful antics of primates, or captivated by the majesty of the aviary, we've got you covered.

Family Activity: 5 Tips for The Bronx Zoo

Tip #1: Look for Discounted Tickets

Visiting the Bronx Zoo can be an affordable and memorable experience if you're savvy about ticket pricing. The zoo offers various discounts and deals throughout the year. Here are some ways to save:

Check for discounted tickets at your local Library: One of the best-kept secrets for budget-conscious zoo-goers is to check out your local library for discounted tickets to the Bronx Zoo. Many libraries in the New York City area offer passes or tickets to cultural institutions, including the Bronx Zoo, at significantly reduced rates or even for free. Make sure you have a library card at your local library. If you don't already have a library card, it's a simple and usually free process to sign up for one. Call the library ahead of time and ask about what discounted tickets they have. Most have a limit on how many tickets you can get but this should definitely help you save money. Your library may or may not have tickets to the Bronx Zoo but they should have other discounted activities perfect for families like aquariums, museums, farms and zoos.

Membership: If you plan to visit the Bronx Zoo multiple times per year, consider becoming a member. Membership not only grants you unlimited access for your family plus 1 additional guest to the zoo but also provides additional perks such as a 10% discount at the gift shops and restaurants. In addition to the Bronx Zoo, this membership is also good for Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. Look into becoming a Member.

Combo Tickets: If you're interested in exploring other nearby attractions, consider purchasing combo tickets that include admission to both the Bronx Zoo and other cultural institutions like the New York Aquarium or the Central Park Zoo. Sometimes it's better on your wallet especially if you plan on seeing multiple attractions. Here is an option to look at for Combo Tickets

Promotional Events: Keep an eye out for special events and promotions, especially during holidays. The Bronx Zoo often runs seasonal events that offer discounted admission or exclusive experiences. See them Here.

Tips #2: Pack Water bottles and Lunch

As you embark on your family escapade at The Bronx Zoo, it's essential to be prepared for a day of exploration and adventure. One of the smartest moves you can make is to pack ample water bottles and a delicious lunch for your crew. The zoo allows you to bring food and water bottles into the zoo. This is something I highly suggest that you take advantage of. Most parks and zoos don't allow you to bring in food- but the Bronx Zoo does!

The Zoo is full of picnic areas, making them a perfect spot to stop for lunch in-between habitat to habitat, observing wildlife in their natural splendor. The largest picnic spot is the Dancing Crane Plaza. There is also another large spot in the Asia Plaza. Here is the zoo map to help you plan out your route. There are also multiple water-filling stations throughout the park, so don't forget to pack those water bottles and sandwiches – your future selves and your wallet will thank you. I also suggest bringing wipes or something to wipe the tables down and hand sanitizer. Another tip is that you can buy an unlimited refill souvenir cup; with that cup, we were able to get cups of ice for the day! It was great - especially because it was so hot when we went, in mid-August. Packing lunch and water bottles will allow you to make the most of your day at The Bronx Zoo.

Tip #3: Spend the time and go on the Wild Asia Monorail

When visiting the iconic Bronx Zoo with your family, it's essential to make the most of your experience by exploring its diverse range of attractions. One tip that stands out for an unforgettable family adventure is to set aside time for the Wild Asia Monorail. This attraction takes you on a captivating journey through a simulated Asian wildlife habitat, allowing you to observe majestic animals in an environment closely resembling their natural habitats. The Wild Asia Monorail is not only a delightful train ride but also an educational and immersive experience that can be both entertaining and informative for visitors of all ages.

One of our favoirte exhibts was the Monorail. The 2-mile monorail offers a unique vantage point, allowing you to see Indian Rhinos, Tigar, Babirusa, and Przewalski's Horse these magnificent creatures up close while they engage in their natural behaviors. The total trip takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. This experience can be particularly enriching for children, as it provides a firsthand opportunity to learn about the animals and their conservation status. The narration during the ride offers fascinating insights into the animals' behaviors, habitats, and the challenges they face in the wild. Make sure to prioritize the Wild Asia Monorail it will be one of the highlights of our trip.

Tip #4: You can skip the Aquatic Bird House

When we went to the Bronx Zoo in August of 2023 we were not impressed with the Aquatic Bird House. It seemed most exhibits were empty and missing animals or under new construction. This may change in the next year but this was one of the exhibits that we were not impressed with - plus the smell was horrible. My children only talked about the smell and not the animals. If you take a quick walk into Sea Bird Avery you will see most of the birds in the Aquatic Bird House and save yourself time! If you are running out of time you won't miss anything impressive if you skip the Aquatic Bird House.

Tip #5: It will be hard to visit the whole zoo in one visit

Did you know that the Bronx Zoo is the largest Metropolitan zoo in the United States? The Bronx Zoo is an awe-inspiring place filled with incredible animals and captivating exhibits. Covering 265 acres of diverse habitats and featuring over 6,000 animals from around the world, it's no surprise that a day at this renowned zoo can be a bit overwhelming. The Bronx Zoo is vast and offers so much to see and do that covering it all in a single day can be quite challenging. However, with some strategic planning and prioritization, you can have a fantastic and fulfilling visit. Here's how:

Plan Ahead: Before your visit, take some time to review the zoo's map and identify the exhibits and animals you're most excited about. Create a rough itinerary, focusing on your top must-see attractions. This will help you make the most of your limited time.

Use the Bronx Zoo App: Download the official Bronx Zoo app, which provides interactive maps, exhibit information, and a GPS-enabled "Near Me" feature. The app also offers real-time updates on showtimes, feeding times, and special events.

Priority Zones: The zoo is divided into different thematic areas, such as JungleWorld, African Plains, and World of Birds. Prioritize your preferred zones and allocate more time to the ones that interest you the most.

Arrive Early: Start your day at the zoo as early as possible. It's typically less crowded in the morning, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, a day at the Bronx Zoo promises to be a memorable experience filled with incredible wildlife and educational opportunities. By applying these five tips, you can enhance your visit and make the most of your time exploring this sprawling urban oasis. Seek out discounted tickets to make your visit budget-friendly, don't forget to stay hydrated and well-fed, consider the Wild Asia Monorail for a unique perspective on the zoo's inhabitants, make informed choices about which exhibits to prioritize (such as skipping the Aquatic Bird House in favor of other enriching experiences), and remember that seeing the entire zoo in one visit might be challenging but focusing on your favorite areas will ensure a more enjoyable and fulfilling day. Embrace the wonders of the Bronx Zoo, create lasting memories, and leave with a newfound appreciation for the natural world. Enjoy your adventure!

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