Make your next Bronx Zoo visit an all-outdoors experience! This guide will help you make the most of your day as you wander down shaded tree-lined paths and visit amazing animals in world-class outdoor exhibits.
If you’ve ever visited the Bronx Zoo before, you know that it’s a big place! The zoo encompasses 265 acres of hardwood forest, to be exact, and an outdoors-only experience can easily comprise your entire visit.
Insider tip: On the weekends, hop on the shuttle! The Zoo Shuttle*, included with Bronx Zoo Admission tickets, will help maximize your day. The trolley takes visitors from Zoo Center at one end of the park to Wild Asia at the other. If you arrive at Southern Boulevard Gate, you can hop on right away for a quick trip to the Wild Asia Monorail and Nature Trek.
The Children’s Zoo* is an all-outdoors experience offering wildlife fun from May through October for kids of all ages. Elementary-aged children will particularly enjoy the activity areas and animal exhibits designed especially for our smallest guests. Come kick it with Nubian goats and hang with squirrel monkeys! Meet owls, porcupines, prairie dogs, and a giant anteater. Stop by the farmyard to meet, greet, and pet goats, sheep, alpacas, and donkeys. For groups with small children planning a 60-90 minute zoo visit, the Children’s Zoo may make your whole day.
Wild Asia Monorail
Wild Asia Monorail, open May through October, offers a ride into the heart of the Asian wilderness, where your tour guide will point out the animals along the way - including tigers, rhinos, red pandas, elephants, and more.
Insider tip: Budgeting your time? Including a short wait, you can expect the Wild Asia Monorail to take about 25-30 minutes. After Wild Asia, you can explore nearby exhibits including African Plains or Himalayan Highlands, or hop back on the shuttle to reach further areas of the park.
Lunchtime al Fresco
There are outdoor dining areas throughout the zoo, and our main restaurant, the Dancing Crane Cafe, is open year-round, serving hot and cold dishes as well as snacks and beverages. Seasonally, the outdoor dining area at Somba Village on the African Plains offers kids a chance to watch baboons, ibexes, and hyraxes while they eat.
Insider tip: Need a look at the menu in advance? You can review the menu for the Dancing Crane Cafe and the zoo’s seasonal cafes and food stands here.
Playtime! Bug Carousel and Nature Trek
On the Bug Carousel*, kids can climb aboard a long-legged praying mantis, a bright green grasshopper, or their favorite insect of choice for a very unique carousel ride. At Nature Trek*, kids ages 3 and up can navigate across bridges and balance beams, and weave between obstacles for a safe and challenging adventure.
Insider Tip: The Bug Carousel is the first and ONLY carousel featuring an all-insect lineup. Choose from 64 different types of insects that you can mount — including fireflies, beetles, grasshoppers, and ladybugs. There are also two stationary chariots: a monarch butterfly and a dung beetle.
African Plains and Himalayan Highlands
Where else but the Bronx Zoo can you cross the globe in just a few steps? Follow the African Plains loop to see savannah-dwelling species including nyala antelope, lions, gazelles, giraffes, ostriches, African wild dogs, hyenas, and zebras. Then head to the Himalayan Highlands for snow leopards, red pandas, white-naped cranes, and dholes.
Insider Tip: As a leader in snow leopard conservation, we’re proud of our long history of breeding success with this species -- more than 70 cubs have been born at the Bronx Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.
Cold Weather? No Problem!
As temperatures drop, the outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop! The Bronx Zoo is a great wintertime destination, and outdoor exhibits including Tiger Mountain, theHimalayan Highlands, Big Bears, the Sea Lion Pool, and the Sea Bird Aviary are open year round. Tigers, snow leopards, grizzly bears, sea lions, penguins, and other species at the zoo are at their most active in colder weather, and the cooler months are a great time to visit them.
Insider tip: Sea lion feeding and training sessions are held daily at 3pm. If your group is interested in more animal feeding and training, you might also want to watch a penguin feeding (3:30pm daily in the Sea Bird Aviary).
Looking for More Outdoor Exhibits?
There’s so much to see and do at the zoo - more than a whole day’s worth of wildlife fun! The highlights above should help you have a great two-to-three hour outdoors experience, but if you have more time there’s always an amazing animal around the next corner. Be sure to check out the giant Aldabra tortoises outside Zoo Center in warmer weather, the American bison to learn about the role WCS played in saving them from extinction, the flamingos at Dancing Crane Plaza, the geladas who share their Baboon Reserve with ibexes and hyrax, the waterfowl at Northern Ponds, and much more.
Be sure to use the Interactive Map on your smartphone to view real-time info and GPS point-to-point directions: bronxzoo.com/today
Sanitizing stations are located throughout the park for frequent hand washing. Unvaccinated guests over the age of 2 years are required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings remain optional for fully vaccinated guests in outdoor areas. For the latest on park safety policies and procedures, please visit bronxzoo.com/planahead
*Included within Bronx Zoo Admission, which includes park entry and unlimited Star Attractions. Limited Admission tickets are for park entry only. Some exhibits and attractions are seasonal. Availability is also subject to unforeseen conditions including weather, mechanical, safety, capacity, crowding and/or animal-related considerations
Add Outdoor Excitement
Add Treetop Adventure to your next Bronx Zoo visit! Climb, crawl, and swing through our adventure ropes course, or zipline over the Bronx River. It’s an awesome way to leave the concrete jungle behind.