See our list of fun zoos to visit with kids in NJ. NJ is home to over 10 Zoos and Zoo museums.
Space Farms Zoo & Museum 218 County Route 519, Sussex, NJ
If you've never been to Space Farms Zoo and Museum, it's certainly worth a visit! There are more than 500 animals (100 different species) including lions, tigers, kangaroos, snakes, monkeys and bear at Space Farms and the awesome educational museum is filled with more than 50,000 artifacts of early American history. Unlike a big city zoo, see each of the animals up close! Special activities include snake handling (on weekends beginning in May) and baby animal nursery feedings, a large playground, and discussion groups.
Don't forget lunch or a snack in the NEW Extreme Pizza restaurant, now located at Space Farms! The restaurant will be open daily from 10 a.m. -9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. where you can eat in or order out - and Space Farms delivers all year around!
A day at the zoo wouldn't be complete without visiting the country gift shop for souvenirs and bags of feed for the birds and animals that freely roam the grounds with you!
FunNewJersey.com votes Space Farms as one of the most unique and one of the overall best overall zoos in all of NJ.
Popcorn Park Zoo 1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ
The Popcorn Park Zoo is 7 spacious acres in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It was established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for wildlife that were sick, elderly, abandoned, abused, injured, or had been exploited by illegal ownership, which could no longer survive in a natural habitat. Over 200 of these animals and birds now call Popcorn Park their warm and loving home.
You will enjoy the hospitality of geese, tigers, mountain lions, camels, monkeys and so many more animals, all of them very happy to share their time with you! Here you will not only see exotic wild animals from far away lands, but you can also visit friendly farm animals which are so familiar to younger children, such as horses, sheep, goats, even deer who will eat popcorn right out of your hand!
Each animal here has its own unique story of being rescued from and now they are here in this happy, quiet place, waiting to charm you with their individual character, love and gratitude.
With Humane Education being a driving factor behind the zoo, even the youngest of children will develop empathy and understanding by learning that kindness to animals, and awareness of their needs, is a valuable gift we must share.
There are so many exciting ways in which you can become a part of the Popcorn Park Zoo family! There are 7 membership packages to choose from, each with their own benefits for both your family and the animals. Or, if you prefer, you may join the Wildlife Club and sponsor a particular animal, receive updates on its health and well-being, and know that your contribution has made a magnificent impact on this animal's life.
Keep updated on the zoo's events and programs and visit as often as you can! There is always something happening at the zoo, even if it's nothing more than just an ordinary, peaceful, restful and quiet day for the animals.
The zoo is open 7 days a week, 11am - 5pm, and on Holidays from 11am -2pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and children under 12, children under 3 are free! You may arrange a school or group tour at $2.50 per person. Cold drinks, ice cream, popcorn and peanuts are available. Please note that feeding of animals in the Zoo is not allowed due to the animals requiring specialized diets; however, air-popped popcorn may be purchased to feed free roaming birds and some of the farm animals.
Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City, NJ
What’s new at Liberty Science Center? Amazing experiences! Try the new Infinity Climber hanging gym. Climb 35 feet above the floor on 64 small platforms…if you dare! Other great activities include the pitch-black Touch Tunnel maze; walking along a beam 18 feet high; and being blasted by hurricane-force winds and rain the Curtain Wall simulator. Check LSC.org to see times for the new million-volt Tesla Lightning Show. Our traveling exhibits change several times a year and include shows for scientists ages 2-8 all the way to adults. In our permanent experiences, work in a lab to isolate plant DNA and learn how to protect your family from germs; enjoy mini experiments with roaming science presenters; see live action science shows; and in summer months, go wild on the outdoor Wildlife Challenge obstacle course. Children ages 2-5 will love the gallery just for them – no big kids allowed! And LSC has the nation’s largest IMAX Dome Theater with constantly-changing family-friendly films. LSC is conveniently located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City. See LSC.org or Facebook.
Cape May County Zoo 707 N. Route 9, Cape May, NJ
The Cape May County Zoo is so much more than just a place to see a cute monkey - it is an educational center where wildlife is treated with the utmost respect, where preservation and health and education are vital. As their Mission states, "Our mission is to support the animal residents of the Cape May County Zoo while at the same time raising awareness of their kind in the remaining wild" from initiatives such as the planned expansion for the rescue and rehabilitation of local marine life as well as the "Be A Friend" program where you can sponsor an animal.
Visitors to the zoo can spend hours exploring the unique worlds of nearly 550 different animals who live on the zoo's 80 acres, this wonderful facility provides an opportunity for the whole family to learn about and contribute to world wildlife preservation on a local level.
While at the zoo, you can take an old fashioned locomotive ride through the park or have a fun ride on their carousel.
There is NO ADMISSION to the zoo (though donations are greatly appreciated!), and it is open every day of the year (except Christmas day, and weather permitting). Park Hours are 10:00 am - 4:45 pm (closing at 3:45 pm during winter hours). The Zoo is easily accessible from anywhere in or out of state.
Bergen County Zoological Park Van Saun County Park, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ
The Bergen County Zoo is a little different from other bigger zoos, because it only exhibits animals which are native to North and South America. The zoo has mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, amphibians and invertebrates. This is a wonderful place for school and troop field trips because they offer so many educational programs for pre-school through high school students. And if you can't bring your school or scout troop to the zoo, don't worry they will bring the programs to you!
Children 5-15 are invited to participate in the zoo camp, a week long program which gives children the hands-on experience of up-close animal encounters as they learn about behaviors, conservation and zoo keeping.
For a very special treat, have your child's Birthday Party at the zoo! Birthday parties last an hour and a half and include live animal demonstrations, pizza, soft drinks, cupcakes, goody bags and so much more fun! Tons of special events take place at the zoo each month for children 4 and over, and most include a live animal program.
Have you ever wanted to work in a zoo? Well at this one, you can volunteer! The Education Department will train you to interact with zoo visitors, teach classes, and participate in the visiting programs at libraries and nursing homes.
Take a pony ride, a carousel ride, have a snack at the Zoo Snack Bar, and learn all you can about the wonderful animals who share our continent with us.
The Zoo is open every day of the year (weather permitting) from 10am - 4:30pm.
Cohanzick Zoo 181 East Commerce Street, Bridgeton, NJ
In 1934, the City found itself in possession of a small herd of deer which the citizens thought should be exhibited. With this, the Cohanzick Zoo - the first zoo in New Jersey - began. The zoo was named for the band of Lenape Indians who resided in Bridgeton alongside the river.
Join the Cohanzick Zoological Society and you can help the Cohanzick Zoo acquire new animals, improve and renovate exhibits, and maintain the Zoo's beautifully landscaped grounds and facilities. As a member of the CZS you are eligible for free or discounted admission to a wide variety of zoos and aquariums across the country, 10% discount at the souvenir stand, reduced admission to Zoo Camp, and invitations to "Member's Only" events at the zoo, and much more!
Education programs are available where you and your organization can have an up-close experience with a variety of the animals.
Animal Adoptions are available for a wide variety of the animals at the zoo. As an adoptive parent, you will receive a Certificate of Adoption complete with short biography and photo of your adopted animal. Adoptions are good for one year and provide you with a sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing that your contribution will help provide food, veterinary services, and enrichment toys for your special animal. Adoption donations start at $25.00 and make a great gift for any animal lover!
The zoo is open daily 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (winter), 9:00 AM to 5 PM (summer).
Lakota Wolf Preserve 89 Mt. Pleasant Road, Columbia, NJ
Even though the wolf has not abundantly inhabited New Jersey for a century, here at the Lakota Wolf Preserve, wolves can be seen in their natural surroundings, where they are protected, preserved, respected and so importantly NOT FEARED!
The preserve began when Wildlife photographer Dan Bacon allowed his professional relationship with wolves to become personal. Living in Colorado, he was unable to care for the 15 pups he's adopted, and his journey back home to New Jersey with the wolves in tow began. The Lakota Wolf Preserve is home to a small number of adults, pups, bobcats and foxes.
When you arrive at the preserve, you will first see the observation area, where you can have an informal discussion with the people who raise and care for the wolves who live there. Learn about their eating habits, social structure, why man has feared them for so long, and really educate yourself about the true facts of these magnificent animals, and the tremendous impact their lives can have on ours. You can also watch the wolves play and interact with each other from this area.
If you are a serious photographer, you can take the opportunity of a lifetime and go on a guided photography session around each of the wolf compounds where you will take unobstructed pictures of the wolves in their natural settings. Reservations for the photography sessions are required.
You can help take care of these magnificent creatures by becoming a sponsor, this will assist with the care, feeding and medical needs of the wolves.
The Wolf Watch programs are presented twice daily: Summer Hours (Daylight Savings) - 10:30 and 4:00, Fall & Winter (Standard Time) - 10:30 and 3:00. Please note that there are only two times during the day to view the wolves. The preserve is closed on Mondays. No appointment needed for Saturdays and Sundays for individuals and families. Any group must have an appointment even on weekends. Fees are minimal.
Six Flags / Safari Off Road Adventure 1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson, NJ
732-928-1821 Visit the largest safari outside of Africa. This 350-acre wildlife preserve is home to 1,200 animals, including several endangered species. The ride transports guests off-road where you will be up close to many of the animals. You will experience awesome encounters with many different types of animals. Plus, kids get to learn about conservation through hands-on experience with some of their favorite creatures.
Some of the animals that you will meet up close and personal are brown Bears, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros, lions, monkeys and kangaroos.
JOURNEYS IN LEARNING
Kids can get up close and personal with some of the world's most magnificent creatures in this educational adventure.
New Jersey's only Wildlife Safari!
Relive your childhood with your children!
Turtle Back Zoo 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ
The Turtle Back Zoo opened in 1963, and in September 2006, it was granted accreditation by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. This distinct honor places Turtle Back Zoo among the elite zoos and aquaria of the United States and means that the zoo adheres to the highest standards for zoos in the country. Read about the exciting history of the zoo, including how it received its name, its connection to the great children's story teller, Hans Christian Anderson, and the continuing master plan and mission for its future.
With tons of exhibits, including alligators, prairie dogs, wolves and penguins, there is something for everyone at this zoo. The zoo runs events every month; exciting workshops, awareness weeks, live animal presentations and so much more.
Take a photo at the zoo photo booth, and try the penny Machine to get a flattened penny stamped with the animal of your choice, plus the words "Turtle Back Zoo." A portion of the proceeds from the penny machine goes to the Zoological Society for the care and purchase of zoo animals!You can also support the zoo by participating in fund raising events to purchase equipment for the animals, or make a tax-deductible donation.
From tasty snacks to a full lunch menu, the zoo cafe has it all. Located at the zoo entrance, the fully stocked gift shop has the perfect souvenir for everyone. Make sure to bring home a memory today!
Have any kind of party you want at the zoo! Birthday party, corporate event, or family reunion! Choose from a number of indoor and outdoor facilities and choose your own menu!
A new spectacular turn of the century style Carousel Park and Picnic Area opened this year! Skilled artisans crafted, sculpted and hand-painted each figure of the Endangered Species Carousel in exquisite detail!
If you would like to plan your day at the zoo ahead of time, print out a copy of the zoo map before you go! The zoo is open Monday - Saturday 10AM to 4:30PM, Sunday 11AM to 5:30PM. Admission is $8 adults, $4 children and seniors, children under 2 free.
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is not really a Zoo, but has been included here because of its abundance of awesome wildlife habitat.
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is a network of lands and waters managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and its habitat. It represents the most comprehensive wildlife management program in the world, and it's steeped in history. Located in Morris County, the refuge was established by an act of Congress on November 3, 1960. It consists of 7,600 acres of varied habitats and over the years, the refuge has become a resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds. Fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants also call the refuge home.
Wildlife management is the main focus at this outdoor laboratory where invasive species are controlled, and which provides a primitive experience to the general public. Permanent structures and motorized vehicles are not allowed. You can leisurely hike the nearly 8 miles of trails, and quietly observe the migration, nesting and feeding habitats which are safely preserved for the animals.
People are encouraged to observe, study, photograph and walk with nature in designated public areas. The best times for observing wildlife are early in the morning and late afternoon. Look high in the trees to spot the birds, but don't forget to look low! The tiny bugs skimming the water surfaces and crawling around the leaves are an integral part of the ecosystem, too!
Visit the information center before you begin your hike to obtain a map of the trails. Here you can also pick up pamphlets and materials to learn about conservation and the wonderful programs offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Join the Friends of Great Swamp society, and dedicate yourself to promoting conservation, fostering public understanding, and engaging in activities that will support the Great Swamp.
Bring a hat, your peace of mind, and your camera for a beautiful walk in the woods!
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is open year-round from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Occasionally, the Refuge is closed due to special events or hazardous weather conditions (e.g. flooding/snow).
An awesome day trip for the entire family!
Follow the life of a fish!
Pequest Trout Hatchery 605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ
Although not a zoo, we have included The Pequest Trout Hatchery because it is a great learning resource for kids and adults alike in NJ.
The Pequest Trout Hatchery, located in scenic Warren County, is a state-of-the-art Natural Resource Education Center where you can learn about fish and wildlife in our great state.
Visitors will see how more than 600,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout are raised each year for stocking the public waters of New Jersey.
A self-guided tour allows visitors to see where the trout are actually raised. The exhibit hall contains live fish as well as a display of mounted New Jersey wildlife specimens. The entire facility is barrier-free.
Children (and even adults!) will find the interactive displays fun as well as educational. Learn about soil and birds of prey, eagle nesting sites and so much more. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the hiking trails, including the self-guided interpretive "Natural Resources Trail". Many opportunities exist for hunting, hiking, fishing and birding on the 4000-acre Pequest Wildlife Management Area.
The hatchery schedules programs all year long, including fishermen, flea markets, wildlife exhibits, a fishing pond for children, lectures, and even learning how to fish! Children will gain respect for why there are rules and regulations governing our wildlife and fishing, and how important it is to protect our waters and our land. All programs are free of charge!
In the visitor's center, you can obtain free literature, pamphlets, coloring books and more information about all of New Jersey's wildlife! Learn the facts about our black bears, deer populations, owls, badgers, turkeys, and more. Get up close and personal with a trout, learn about their entire life and how important trout are to our waters. Use the Trail Guides to learn about poison ivy, tree identification, and how to follow trails while walking in the woods.
The Trout Hatchery is open Monday through Friday 10 am - 4 pm with free admission.
Learn about fish at a really cool Hatchery in NJ!
We hope you enjoyed our...
List of Every Zoo in NJ
Zoos are a valuable educational vehicle for children and families in New Jersey to spend some quality family time while learning about wildlife. Our goal is to compile information about each and every zoo to ensure that we have the most up to date information for NJ residents and tourists alike. Taking your children to enjoy some of the finest zoos in New Jersey is a great family fun day idea. Please take the time and explore our extensive list of fun zoos to visit in NJ. Marvel at the cutest zoo animals New Jersey has to offer at a series of fine venues throughout each county.