- READER REVIEWS
Staten Island Zoo
S48 to Forest Ave. and Broadway, walk 3.5 blocks south on Broadway
- On Premise Parking
$8, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-14, free for children under 3
At some of the larger city zoos, beating the crowds is more than half the battle. The Staten Island Zoo, however, is pleasantly traffic-free and only a short ferry ride away. This modest zoo, which opened in 1936, slightly pales in comparison to the Bronx Zoo in size, though it is certainly equal in its variety of animals and realistic habitats. The “African Savannah” exhibit brings visitors through a simulated world of southern and central African twilight habitats. The exhibit dutifully recreates the savannah’s diverse environment from arid plain to damp oasis, and features within arms reach such rarities as amur leopards, mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs and meerkats—sure to please fans of Timon from Disney’s The Lion King. Additionally, the Zoo boasts a sizable fish collection in the Senator John J. Marchi Aquarium, an impressive array of reptiles (including several slithering American rattlesnakes) in the soon-to-be-renovated Serpentarium and, for those who like things buggy, the zoo invertebrate and reptile collection is one of the best in the nation. Kids will enjoy the farm-style petting zoo atmosphere in The Children’s Center, including fawns and other pint-sized quadrupeds. The small outdoor paths and low, kid-friendly fences allow children to track emus and ogle peacock plumage.Birthday Parties
Children turning four or older can bring a group of up to 10 friends to the Zoo for a day of animal guests and fun crafts. Choose from party themes, including “African Savannah” and “Barnyard Friends.” Parties start at $250.
Classes and Lectures
The Zoo offers both visiting and in-school programs that are available to suit almost any biology, botany or ecology classes and are catered specifically to various grade levels. Check the official website for details.
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