Whether you’re looking for things to do in New Jersey with kids or you just want to get outside and enjoy a beautiful day, the Bergen County Zoo is definitely worth a visit. While there are some great “big city” zoos that garner a lot of attention located a short drive from New Jersey, the Bergen County Zoo is a fantastic attraction to visit at a very reasonable price.
In operation since 1960 and located within Van Saun Park, the Bergen County Zoo offers a clean, family-friendly venue to view wild and domestic animals that come from all around the world as well as from right here in New Jersey. All of the animals are housed in beautifully maintained, recreated habitats that are natural to each species. Some of the many animals you’ll find here include alligators, boa constrictors, alligators, mountain lions, tamarins, spider monkeys, arctic foxes, bobcats, kangaroos, Andean condors, bald eagles, and a herd of American Bison. The zoo has an aviary which houses seven different species of birds, as well as dozens of turtles. The farmyard exhibit is very popular with children and features sheep, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, geese, donkeys and a Belgian Draft horse. The centerpiece of the farmyard is an old Dutch barn typical of what would have been found in northern New Jersey during the 1700’s.
Other things to do at the Bergen County Zoo include a train ride, pony rides, a carousel, live animal shows, and special programs such as Science 101 on Thursday evenings through the summer (each night features a different theme), bird watching walks, educational “drop-off” programs for school-aged children, programs for preschoolers and toddlers featuring stories, crafts, and songs. There are also seasonal things to do at the zoo, such as Zoo Boo (Halloween) and Party for the Planet (Earth Day).
The Bergen County Zoo is located within Van Saun Park at 216 Forest Avenue in Paramus, New Jersey. Visit the zoo’s website or call (201-262-3771) for additional information including hours, admission prices, and special programs.