Day Trip Idea for Spring Break – The Bronx Zoo
Spring break will be here soon and lots of trips have been planned. However, not everyone goes away for vacation. Not to worry though, there are lots of fun places to go for day trips and one of them is a place I have been going to since I was a kid.
The Bronx Zoo is not a far drive at all. For us, it's about an hour drive, so that gives the kids enough time to nap in the car before we get there. For the amount of things available to see at the zoo, it's definitely worth the drive.
There is so much to see there, that I'm not going to cover everything. This post would be really long if I listed everything they explain. You can visit the Bronx Zoo's website for a full list of experiences and more information. Here's a map, so you can see how big of a zoo it is.
Here are some of our favorite experiences at the Bronx Zoo:
The Children's Zoo
Our most recent trip was this past Sunday, and for every trip, we try to go to the Children's Zoo. Our kids love the petting zoo part where they can feed some of the animals. There is more to the Children's Zoo than the petting zoo, but on Sunday those areas were closed off.
It's always a different experience at the petting zoo. This time around, we had two goats that kept jumping out of their enclosure to get closer to the food. It was pretty funny, but the staff was right there to get them back in quickly.
They have goats, donkeys, sheep, and alpacas, who you can feed. Also in the petting zoo area, are pigs, chickens, and turkeys, but these animals cannot be fed by visitors.
There is also an area where the kids can have their picture taken with an animal. We have a picture of our daughter holding a chicken on her lap, and she loved that experience.
Wild Asia Monorail
We were not able to ride the monorail this time around, because it's not open for the season yet, but this is definitely a favorite of ours.
The Wild Asia Monorail brings you around the section of the zoo where you will see elephants, red pandas (my favorite!), rhinos, and more. It's a great way to take a break from all the walking, especially during the hot summer months, because it's about a 20 minute ride.
The monorail will be open from May to October. The monorail cars are open, so weather will determine whether or not it runs that day.
I love the Butterfly Garden. It's so peaceful to walk around the enclosed part with butterflies all around you. They also have a koi pond with lots of koi fish.
If you like taking pictures this is a great place for some very pretty photos. There are lots of different butterflies with beautifully colored wings. So that, mixed with the koi fish, has given me some really nice pictures.
Keep in mind that you are not allowed to touch the butterflies. They will remind you of that when you enter the butterfly enclosure.
On the way out, there are more photo opportunities on the path to the exit too. Some cutouts where kids can take their picture as a bumblebee, a butterfly, or a midge fly. These cutouts are a hit with the kids.
They are all over the zoo, just wondering on paths. I love seeing them at the zoo. They are beautiful and pretty funny too. We sat down on a bench to have some lunch and encountered two pretty brazen peacocks.
The first one (below left) decided he wanted a piece of my son's peanut butter and jelly, so he grabbed a quick bite from the sandwich. The second peacock (below right) was trying to go for a sneak attack behind the bench and get our bag of crackers. When I saw him, I grabbed the bag and then he elongated his neck and yelled at me. It was pretty funny.
Quick note, we never felt threatened by the peacocks. They just wanted the food and we found them amusing.
So when you visit the zoo, be on the lookout for these guys. Make sure the kids don't chase them though. I never understand parents that allow the kids to chase the birds. It's mean and there is no reason to do that. So, please, no chasing the birds.
The Old Buildings
The Bronx Zoo has lots of old buildings that were part of the original zoo. The details and the stonework are so impressive and bring you back in time.
One of the oldest buildings, Zoo Center, has been a part of the park since 1908. Stone elephants are found on either side of the entrance and a stone rhino is at the top of the entrance, overlooking the zoo.
Zoo Center is also home to some fun animals to see. On Sunday we saw the Komodo dragon and there were a pair of rhinos across the way. It's always cool to see the Komodo dragon.
There is also a hugely impressive fountain at the zoo. It's right down the stairs from the sea lions (another favorite) and you can't miss it. The fountain is on an island surrounded by parking spaces. It's beautiful and we love walking by it while we are visiting the zoo.
That is really just the tip of the iceberg of things to do in the zoo. There are also plenty of food options while you are there. There are some quick service locations, some carts, and the sit down area at the Dancing Crane Cafe. The zoo also has a shuttle that runs around the park with a few different pickup and drop off points.
For my family, being members of the zoo is definitely worth it. After 2 1/2 trips the membership has paid for itself. Admission for the 4-D theater, the Children's Zoo, the Bug Carousel, the Wild Asia Monorail, the Zoo Shuttle, Congo Gorilla Forest, Jungle World, and parking are all included with the membership, which makes it worth it for us. You can find more membership details on the Bronx Zoo's website.
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