Here’s a bit of trivia about The Boy – he was born in The Bronx. At the time, we lived in Westchester County, about 20 minutes north of the hospital where my OB delivered babies.
He thinks it gives him a cool street cred. Which is negated every Friday when he skips off happily to Webmaster Club, toting his very own Ninja-shaped thumb drive.
But a drive south to the Bronx Zoo always elicits smiles and memories when we pass the exit for the hospital where our lives changed forever.
WHY did you go there, exactly?
We’ve been to the Bronx Zoo many times, and never knew it was the world’s largest urban zoo! Zoos, especially expansive facilities like this one, are a treat for all ages. With two kids of opposite genders, seven years apart, it’s not always easy finding an outing everyone can agree on.
Plus, the Bronx Zoo is open year-round, which makes it an ideal day trip for us in the spring and fall when other seasonal attractions are closed.
Okay, what was so cool about it?
The outdoor animal habitats are huge, which make me feel like they’re living a decent life despite the whole “captivity” thing. In fact, the Congo Gorilla Forest is the world’s largest gorilla habitat. The size also gives them plenty of distant corners in which to hide, leaving you to explain to your anxious kids why they won’t be able to see the giraffes today.
For guaranteed animal sightings, head to the indoor exhibits, where you get an up-close look at smaller creatures behind glass. Our favorite spaces to see animals include JungleWorld, the Sea Lion Pool, and the World of Birds.
Indoors and outdoors, you’ll find a nice variety of simple interactive elements at the exhibits. Lots of buttons, dials, and other touchy-feely devices for little hands to explore when the animals aren’t putting on a show. The Children’s Zoo, in particular, is a three-acre setting full of activities.
What elevates the attraction status of the Bronx Zoo are the extra rides, especially the Wild Asia Monorail and The Bug Carousel. The Girl is something of a merry-go-round expert (we’ve even been on the world’s only solar-powered carousel), and she loves this one because of the choice of insects to ride on. No namby-pamby painted horses for her.
The Wild Asia Monorail brings you to (technically, over) exhibits you can’t access on foot, to see animals like the Asian leopards and elephants. This, like the other rides, cost an additional fee, but it’s worth the “Total Experience Ticket” if your kids want to do and see more than the traditional animal exhibits.
How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):
The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos we’ve visited anywhere. However, the immensity of it – which qualifies it as a “world’s largest” – means a LOT of walking. You’re not going to cover a lot of ground if your kids no longer want to be in a stroller, but are still toddling.
And if you DO still use a stroller, it’s not always smooth sailing. You can’t bring them into the indoor exhibits, so you have to park them and get the kids in and out repeatedly. Plus, the hilly landscape means a lot of pushing uphill, and some stairways to manuever.
Hey you! Go BIG!
2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460