During the colder months, the zoo offers amazing animal experiences outdoors and inside. This guide will help you make the most of your winter’s day at the zoo.
For some Bronx Zoo animals, winter is where it’s at - and the chilly months are prime-time viewing season for catching cold-weather critters at their most active, and for getting some fresh air outdoors with your family. The Bronx Zoo’s Siberian tigers, sea lions, snow leopards, and Magellanic penguins are among the animals who consider winter weather just fine for a romp – or splash – in the outdoors. These species have all adapted to live in climates that can be considerably colder than that of New York, and a snowy morning in the Bronx suits them just fine. You’re also welcome to warm up with some hot chocolate or enjoy the tropical environments of JungleWorld* and Madagascar!
Tigers are rugged cats that can survive in many different environments, from snowy mountains to tropical mangrove swamps, as long as there is sufficient prey available and they are protected from poachers. Tiger Mountain is full of things for our big cats to explore, and they take the cold weather in stride. Get nose-to-nose with our stars in stripes and discover how we protect tigers through our work here at the zoo and in the wild.
DYK? Tigers are the largest of the big cats, and in the wild can eat up to 88 pounds in one sitting.
Leopards “Snow” Best
Head to the Himalayan Highlands for an encounter with the snow leopards. These majestic felines are specially equipped for snowy mountain habitats, using their long, bushy tails to help balance when climbing and to keep warm while napping – and their padded foot soles insulate their paws, much like snow boots.
DYK? These beautiful cats don’t roar – but you may hear them make other sounds including “chuffing,” a friendly greeting.
The Himalayan Highlands are also home to our red pandas. Red pandas are accustomed to cooler weather; in the wild they can live at elevations of up to 15,000 feet. Like the snow leopard, the red panda has a large bushy tail that provides extra protection against the cold, and their retractable cat-like claws make them great climbers.
DYK? Despite its name, this animal is not actually related to the giant panda.
The Bronx Zoo’s California sea lions are active and playful year-round in historic Astor Court. If you arrive at 3pm, you can watch as the sea lions are fed and receive their daily enrichment session with the zookeepers.
DYK? Although their numbers were devastated by hunting in the 19th century, California sea lions have recovered due to modern protection laws, quadrupling in population to an estimated 300,000.
There’s More Outdoors
Other outdoor exhibits you can visit in the wintertime include American Bison, Big Bears, Birds of Prey, the Sea Bird Aviary, Nature Trek, and more. And 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 ride.
DYK?You can watch penguin feedings daily year-round at 3:30pm in the Sea Bird Aviary.
Come in from the Cold: JungleWorld* and Madagascar!
Ready to warm up? The steaming rainforests of JungleWorld are home to swinging gibbons, capering otters, vibrant fire-bellied toads, and distinctive pig-nosed Fly River turtles. Over in Astor Court, Madagascar! is your passport to one of the most exciting and exotic wild corners of the planet, where you’ll spend quality time with lemurs, Nile crocodiles, and fossas, among others.
There’s More Indoors
Other fully-heated exhibits open year-round include World of Birds, World of Reptiles, Aquatic Bird House, Carter Giraffe Building, and Mouse House.
Be sure to use the Interactive Map on your smartphone to view real-time info and GPS point-to-point directions: bronxzoo.com/today
*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
Check out our interactive map!
Maximize your next trip to the zoo. Check out bronxzoo.com/today on your smartphone to view real-time info and our interactive map.
Need some direction? Access real-time info and our interactive map.