Zoos in New Jersey

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There is no better way for your little animal lovers to experience wildlife fun and education than by visiting a zoo as a family. Lucky for us, New Jersey is home to many extraordinary zoos of all sizes and variety. Whether you are looking for a quick, free stop, or if you are ready to purchase season passes to meet hundreds of global species all year round – we’ve got you covered with this guide of Zoos in New Jersey.

Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

Get ready for your family experience the world’s rarest (and cutest!) animals at New Jersey’s fantastic zoos.

Space Farms Zoo & Museum

With your very own eyes, discover over 100 native North American species in this record-breaking zoo founded in 1927 by Ralph and Elizabeth Space. With over 500 live animals including monkeys, leopards, jaguars, coyotes, and buffalo, your family can spend the entire day engaged in wildlife fun while exploring the grounds, feeding animals in special “animal access” areas, and snagging priceless photo opps. The museum component of Space Farms is comprised of eleven buildings that feature over 50 antique cars and motorcycles, vintage dolls, fluorescent minerals, miniature circuses, and much more. When it’s time for lunch, take a break at The Extreme Pizza restaurant on site at Space Farms to refuel for more zoo adventures.
218 Wantage Avenue or 218 CR519, Wantage, NJ 07461
For more information, please call (973) 875-5800 or visit http://www.spacefarms.com/

Van Saun County Park

Also known as the Bergen County Zoological Park, your family will leave with a heightened appreciation for he world’s wild places. In addition to exploring “New World” animal exhibits of North and South America, this zoo operates train rides, carousel rides, pony rides, and free live animal shows in the zoo amphitheater. Your family can say they came face to face with rare species, including Andean Condors, American Alligators, South American Pampas, and many more. If your little ones are animal lovers first and foremost, consider the Bergen County Zoo for your child’s next birthday party. This accredited animal sanctuary is dedicated to fostering relationships between the public and our animal neighbors, in order to keep everybody educated and safe.
216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652
For more information, please call (201) 262-3771 or visit http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=852

Turtle Back Zoo

Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo is one of New Jersey’s most well-known and loved facilities to expose your children to wildlife from around the world. Get aquatic with Turtle Back’s newest exhibits, the sea lion pool and the stingray touch tank open to children of all ages. You can’t help but smile when visiting the Penguin Coast exhibit that resembles the South African coastline. An extensive calendar of zoo events includes Family Fun Nights, night-time tours of the zoo, camps, and early childhood programs. South Mountain Recreation presents unique and exciting opportunities for your family to get wild on the Treetop Adventure Course, have a little friendly competition at Mini Golf Safari, cool down at the South Mountain Ice Arena, or set sail with Essex County Paddle Boating. Turtle Back Zoo offers so many fun activities, that no two visits will be alike.
560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052
For more information, please call (973) 731-5800 or visit http://turtlebackzoo.com/

Johnson Park Zoo

If it’s a quiet, quaint, (and free!) zoo that you are looking for, Johnson Park Zoo in Middlesex County is perfect for your family. This accessible park and zoo is an easy way to have a day of fun with your little ones. Located along the Raritan River, your kids will be able to come face to face with goats, llamas, pigs, and horses while mom enjoys the lovely scenery. Supplement your animal visits with playtime on the playground area and a family picnic around the grill stations in the park. Whether you are looking to say “hi” to the animals, enjoy a family bike ride along the river, or make a spontaneous playground trip, Johnson Park Zoo is the answer.
River Road between Hillcrest Drive and Ross Hall Boulevard, Piscataway, NJ
For more information, please call (732) 745-3900 or visit http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/ParksRecreation/Pages/PR/Johnson-Park.aspx

Six Flags Safari Off Road Adventure

For the extreme animal-loving family who wants an interactive, up close and personal wildlife experience with over 1,200 animals from over six continents, climb aboard the safari rover vehicle at Six Flags Great Adventure. Your skilled, educated tour guide will take you on an off-road adventure into the world of the fictional family, the Wilds, as you see elephants, rhinos, tigers, lions, and much more. Experience the once in a lifetime opportunities of feeding giraffes as they visit your vehicle with gentle curiosity, flying over the safari on the zipline, and snapping amazing close-up photos of adorable bear families. The Safari Off Road Adventure is included with general theme park admission, and is highly recommended for all New Jersey animal lovers, thrill-seekers, and adventurers.
1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson, NJ 08527
For more information, please call (732) 928-2000 or visit https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/attractions/safari-road-adventure

Popcorn Park Refuge & Zoo

Popcorn Park is one of three shelters that comprise the Associated Humane Societies, the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey. A visit to this sanctuary will allow your family to visit with a variety of animals who have been taken into the facility that were once abandoned, injured, abused, or ill, and thanks to the incredible rehabilitation programs, are ready for friendly hello’s with your children. Popcorn Park Refuge & Zoo is dedicated to the education of children across New Jersey, and offers programs with schools, scouts, and individuals to teach your little ones ways we can help our animal neighbors. This zoo continues to do good for New Jersey’s wildlife, farm animals, and pets on a daily basis, and your cuties will have a blast visiting these special creatures.
1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731
For more information, please call (609) 693-1900 or visit http://www.ahscares.org/

Cape May County Park & Zoo

85 acres of wildlife exhibits make this South Jersey zoo a staple for animal lovers. No other zoo offers free, year-round access to over 550 animals spanning 250 species, right in our back yard. Your family will see all of their favorite animals, including cheetahs, red pandas, camels, snow leopards, lemurs, zebras, bears, and a variety of monkeys. Keep the trip engaging and exciting for your little ones by visiting the zoo website prior to your visit, and printing out age appropriate scavenger hunts that can be completed during your time at the park. Take your visit to new heights by participating in the zipline, ropes course, and rock climbing wall. The zoo is one of Cape May and New Jersey’s treasures, and is the perfect free day trip for families.
707 North Route 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08204
For more information, please call (609) 465-5271 or visit https://www.cmczoo.com

Cohanzick Zoo

New Jersey’s oldest zoo is the perfect place to bring your family – and it is completely free! Explore the habitats of Cohanzick’s wild animals at your leisure, or enjoy one of their zoo events. “Keeper Chats” are a great way for your kids to learn about our animal friends from professional zookeepers; see the skill it takes to care for a big black bear up close and personal. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch as a family in one of the lovely picnic areas in between exhibits. Cool off after a day on your feet by heading over to Splash Park and playing in the many sprayground water features.
45 Mayor Aitken Drive, Bridgeton, NJ 08302
For more information, please call (856) 453-1658 or visit http://cohanzickzoo.org/

Lakota Wolf Preserve

Though not your most traditional zoo, Lakota Wolf Preserve is a treasured destination for animal lovers of all ages to experience the beauty and grace of these endangered creatures. Lakota (of the Lakota Native Americans, meaning “friend” or “alliance”) is the largest wolf preserve in the Northeastern United States. In addition to the beautiful wolves, this preserve also is home to foxes and bobcats. Educational Wolf Watch Tours are lead by the facility’s two owners, and gives families the opportunity to learn about the wolves’ pack structure, eating habits, human interaction, and more fun facts in a safe and interactive environment. Professional and hobbyist photographers alike will enjoy taking advantage of the rare opportunity to photograph these special animals. This exceptional wildlife experience is recommended for New Jersey families who are looking for a memorable way to appreciate our animal friends.
Located on the grounds of Camp Taylor Campground, 89 Mt Pleasant Road, Columbia, NJ 07832
For more information, please call (908) 496-9244 or visit http://www.lakotawolf.com

Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

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About Author

Chelsea is a freelance writer and photographer based in the kid-friendly community of Asbury Park, and she loves sharing tips and news about this cultural beach town with NJMOM readers. When she's not discovering new bike trails, playing in her handbell choir, or reading on the beach, Chelsea works as a Children's Library Associate at a public library. You can catch her out in Asbury Park watching her husband play drums with talented local artists - be sure to come say hello!


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