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Bronx Zoo, Bronx

2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx , New York
Tel: 718 367 1010
view web site ›'s insider take:

The scarcity of kid-friendly spaces in New York can be trying if you've got family in tow, especially since the few that do exist are notoriously crowded. That's why the Bronx Zoo is such a welcome respite. Spread across 265 acres of leafy woodlands, the zoo's primary mission is to provide natural settings for more than 4,000 animals. The "African Plains" exhibit mimics a savanna, with predators and prey roaming in the same environment, separated by moats. (The only problem with this setup is that the animals are often a long way from the paths, and small children might have trouble spotting them.) More exciting for little ones is the children's zoo and the Congo Gorilla Forest, a 6.5-acre habitat in which visitors get up close with the primates while wandering under a thick canopy of mist-shrouded leaves. Other highlights include Tiger Mountain and the "Himalayan Highlands," where the zoo's snow leopards can be seen lounging on steep rocky hills. Afterwards, drop by the New York Botanical Garden (just across the street), a bucolic 250-acre oasis complete with river, waterfall, endless flower species, and a 50-acre swath of native forest similar to what would once have covered the city. The zoo is accessible vis the Metro-North Harlem line from Grand Central, by subway, or by the BxM11 express bus with stops along Madison Avenue north of 26th Street.

Open Mondays through Fridays 10 am to 5 pm, weekends and holidays 10 am to 5.30 pm. Wednesday admissions are on a donation basis.

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