Monday, July 13, 2015

Small Town Fun at the Staten Island Zoo

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are discussing zoos that your family needs to visit.

Photo by Thomas Mottola
Living in New York City, I have a group of terrific zoos practically in my back yard. Two of the most famous zoos, the Bronx Zoo and the Central Park Zoo, are less than an hour away. While they are both amazing zoos, the zoo I was most excited about visiting with my newborn is the Staten Island Zoo. 

Never heard of it? I'm not surprised! The Staten Island Zoo is a small zoo in the West Brighton section of Staten Island and it's a gem that often gets overlooked. 

My favorite part of the zoo is the free roaming animals that walk along the walkways and interact with the guests. 

Home to Staten Island Chuck

Staten Island Chuck (Photo by Thomas Mottola)

The Staten Island Zoo is home to Staten Island Chuck, who I think is the coolest groundhog in the United States, even though he keeps giving us long winters. (We'll blame those on Punxsutawney Phil) Staten Island Chuck famously bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was dropped by Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Poor Chuck!

Ryan's first trip to the Staten Island Zoo (Photo: Thomas Mottola)

Staten Island Zoo Exhibits

While there are many areas to explore, the main exhibits include:
1) Aquarium
2) Africa Wing
3) Tropical Forest Wing
4) Reptile Wing
5) Birds of Prey Exhibit 


I personally love the Birds of Prey exhibit, especially the Bald Eagles. Another new exhibit, the Amur Leopard Habitat is particularly stunning. The exhibit brings you up close and personal with these beautiful, powerful creatures.

As a parent of a baby, I personally love the playgrounds on Staten Island Zoo property. These fun, interactive areas are perfect for toddlers and young children. 

The new Conservation Carousel is a hit among young children as well. For a small donation of $2, you can ride on beautiful, hand-carved animals (25 in total) representing many endangered and vulnerable species.

The petting zoo, the Kids Korral, is what keeps us coming back for more. My son Ryan loves to look at the animals, but when we visited with our friends (slightly older) baby he was amazed. There's a wide variety of large and small animals to feed and interact with.

What You Need to Know

  • Admission is $8.00 for adults (ages 15 and older), $6.00 for seniors, $5.00 for kids (ages 3-14) and free for babies under 3
  • Admission is free on Wednesdays after 2pm
  • Parking is free
  • There's a cafeteria on site, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch and eat at picnic tables
What's the point? The Staten Island Zoo is a charming, affordable zoo and fun for kids of all ages, but especially for those younger kids who will love every minute of it! 

For more information zoos to visit with your family, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure : Zoos


Post a Comment