Skip to Content

Family Fun Unleashed: Your Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Zoos for Memorable Kids’ Outings

As a mom of three lively boys, I love finding activities that take advantage of their endless energy and curiosity while giving us all a chance to do something fun and easy together. Over the years, our family adventures have taken us to many places, but one of our all-time favorites has to be spending the day at the zoo. We’re truly fortunate in New Jersey to have so many wonderful New Jersey zoos. There’s something magical about watching your children’s faces light up as they watch animals in their habitats, ask a million questions of zoo keepers, and learn about the animals through hands on activities and engaging exhibits.

While there are great zoos near New Jersey and across the bridges, New Jersey offers a variety of wonderful zoos, each with its unique charm and collection of animals. Whether it’s marveling at the giraffes at the Cape May Zoo, giggling during animal feedings at Space Farm Zoo, or being grateful for the rescued animals at the Popcorn Park Zoo, there’s no shortage of ways to create a thrilling day among the animals. Plus, the educational programs provided by these zoos offer a way to enrich each visit, making it not just fun, but also a learning experience.

I’m thrilled to share a guide to the best zoos in New Jersey, written for parents, grandparents, and caregivers like us who are looking for a memorable day out with the kids. You’ll find detailed descriptions, hours, admission prices, and more, to help you plan your next family adventure. So pack your snacks, grab your sun hats, and get ready to create some wonderful memories with your little ones at these delightful zoos!

Did you search New Jersey zoos near me?

If so we’re so happy you have found Jersey Family Fun. Our things to do in New Jersey series and our Places to Visit in New Jersey series continues with an updated look at New Jersey zoos. In New Jersey, we are fortunate to have zoos in North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. On a sunny day, one of our favorite things to do is pick a zoo in New Jersey and plan a visit.

cousins on first trip to Cape May Zoo
My oldest son on his first field trip. He was 3 weeks old, now he’s 19. :) @Jersey Family Fun

Did you know that in New Jersey we even have zoos that offer free admission? Below we’ve listed New Jersey Zoos by region and county. For each NJ zoo, we have provided with you basic details: address, exhibit details, admission fee, and when and if they offer free admission. If zoo information is available online, you can link to it by clicking on its name. We have visited many of these local zoos ourselves, with our family. You’ll find our New Jersey zoo reviews linked up and listed below with each zoo.

New Jersey Zoos photo credit Jersey Family Fun

New Jersey Zoos

North Jersey Zoos

Bergen County Zoo

The Bergen County Zoo is small but friendly! See birds, cows, snakes, lizards, and more. The zoo offers a series of educational programs and public events as well. Their educational programs are intended for the use of schools, scouts, etc., and take place in their Education and Discovery Center. In the past, they have public events including a summer concert series, an Art in the Park show and contest, and a teen art festival! visit their webpage to learn more about the events and learning opportunities offered at Bergen County Zoo.

  • This North Jersey zoo is located at 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus.
  • Adult admission is $8 (non-resident), and children over 3 (non-resident) is $5. Reduced admission is available for Bergen County residents. Bergen County Zoo admission is free from November – April.
  • The zoo is open every day, 10 AM – 4:30 PM from April to November. Starting in November the zoo closes at 3:30 PM.
  • For more information visit their website.
Bergen County Zoo train
All aboard for the Bergen County Zoo!

Turtle Back Zoo in Essex County

In recent years the Turtle Back Zoo has changed … for the better! With a new African Adventure area, a Treetop Adventure course, the Touch Tank, and the train everyone loves, a day at Turtle Back Zoo will be one your family won’t forget. While the Turtle Back Zoo has added to the excitement with the changes they made, please note that some of the attractions are closed for poor weather or closed in the winter. Be sure to check their website to see what attractions are available before heading out!

  • This North Jersey zoo is located at 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange.
  • Turtle Back Zoo admission is $20 for adults. Children ages 2-12 and seniors are $17. Children under age 2 are free.
  • The zoo is open daily from 10 AM – 4:00 PM.
  • Read more about this North Jersey zoo in our review of Turtle Back Zoo!
  • For more information visit their website.
Turtle Back Zoo prairie dog exhibit photo credit jersey family fun

Space Farm Zoo in Sussex County

Come for the animal feedings or the parrot show, and stay all day at this iconic zoo that’s been a North Jersey staple since 1927. 500 animals await you at Space Farm Zoo and Museum! The zoo has activities all season long to keep visitors coming back again and again! For 2024 children can participate in being zookeepers for a day and can get free admission when they bring a teddy bear friend to visit the zoo on Teddy Bear Day! During the summer visitors can enjoy watching daily animal feedings at 12:45 PM (weather dependent) and can purchase crackers to feed some of the animals themselves!

  • This North Jersey zoo is located at 218 County Road 519, Sussex.
  • Admission to Space Farm Zoo is $24 for adults, children 3 – 12 are $20, and seniors are $23.
  • The zoo is open seasonally (usually March – November) 10 AM – 5 PM.
  • For more information visit their website.

Central New Jersey Zoos

Popcorn Park Zoo in Ocean County

Popcorn Park Zoo is not like other New Jersey zoos – all their animals are rescued. From peacocks to tigers, the Popcorn Park Zoo provides a service to the animals it houses, and the guests who learn about its mission by seeing these special animals regain their lives. In the past visitors to Popcorn Park Zoo were able to purchase popcorn and peanuts to feed to the zoo animals. As of 2024, this has been suspended due to health concerns of the animals. Check their website for updates regarding future changes!

  • This Central Jersey Zoo is located at 1 Humane Way, Forked River.
  • Adult admission is $10, seniors and children under 12 are $5.
  • The zoo is open 11 AM – 5 PM, 7 days a week. On holidays they are open from 11 AM – 2 PM.
  • Read more about this South Jersey zoo in our review of Popcorn Park Zoo.
  • For more information visit their website.
Popcorn Park Zoo, peacocks

South Jersey Zoos

Both Southern New Jersey zoos offer free admission.

Cape May County Park & Zoo

Who doesn’t love FREE, and admission and the Cape May County Park & Zoo is just that – FREE! What a great low-cost outing for your family with more than 30 animals, a train, a carousel, and a reptile house. Cape May Zoo provides animals with large open spaces. The giraffes, zebras, buffalo, and others have room to roam free. It’s the best place to see giraffes and bald eagles in New Jersey.

Bonus! There are awesome renovated playgrounds out front for every age level. Read about the Cape May County Zoo Playground.

  • This South Jersey Zoo is located at 707 U.S. 9, Cape May Court House, New Jersey.
  • Admission to Cape May County Park & Zoo is free.
  • The zoo is open daily 10 AM to 3:30 PM in the winter and 10 AM – 4:30 PM during the summer.
  • For more information visit their website.
Big Zebra at cape may zoo photo credit Jersey family fun
A zebra grazing at the Cape May County Zoo.

Cohanzick Zoo in Cumberland County

Check out New Jersey’s FIRST zoo! There are over 100 animals in 15 acres and lots of fun to be had. Pack a lunch and enjoy a day out among the black bear, emu, donkey, and more. In addition to visiting their animal residents, check out some of the public events that the Cohanzick Zoo puts on during the year! For 2024 they will be hosting Kids Fest, Education Workshops, a “Run for the Animals” 5K, and more!

  • This South Jersey Zoo is located at 45 Mayor Aitken Drive, Bridgeton.
  • Admission to Cohanzick Zoo is free.
  • The zoo is open 9 AM – 4 PM fall through winter and 9 AM – 5 PM spring and summer.
  • Read more about this zoo in Southern New Jersey in our review of the Cohanzick Zoo or our articles about the Cohanzick Zoo.
  • For more information visit their website.
Cohanzick Zoo Selfie
Cohanzick Zoo Selfie

Other Places to View Animals in New Jersey

If you love animals as much as we do, you’ll want to check out these additional places to see them, listed below and in our guide to Where to See Animals for Free.

Pennsylvania Zoos near New Jersey

Image of child with the Philadelphia Zoo sculpture

New York Zoos near New Jersey

Where is your favorite place to see animals?

Click over here to read all of our blog posts about New Jersey & other local zoos. For more family-friendly activities in New Jersey visit these blog posts:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!