In addition to its numerous restaurants, museums, shops and urban attractions, New York City offers plenty of nature attractions – from public parks and botanic gardens to zoos and aquariums. New York City zoos and aquariums are spread in all five boroughs and they provide a fun activity for families and kids, and a cool escape from the urban jungle into the real wild.
image: Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
Just a short drive from Manhattan and you can step into the wild jungles of Asia or the African Savannah. Bronx Zoo is the biggest urban zoo in the US, and a must-see attraction for kids and everyone who loves animals. With 265 acres land and over 6,000 different animals, birds and reptiles, including elephants, snow leopards, red pandas and gorillas, who all live in recreations of their natural habitats. Don’t miss the butterfly garden and the exhibition of prehistoric creatures. Since it is impossible to see everything in one day, it is recommended to plan the visit ahead or to visit it more than once. On Wednesdays the admission is free (donation-based).
2300 Southern Blvd.
The Aquarium of New York
Located on the Coney Island boardwalk, the Aquarium of New York exhibits thousands of fish, dolphins, walruses, sea lions, penguins, piranhas and many other aquatic creatures. It is the oldest aquarium display in the US, first opened in 1896 in Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan, and was moved to its current location in 1957. During the winter, the sea lions exhibit their dancing skills, and all year round you can watch the feedings of the penguins. The Aquarium of New York was hit by Hurricane Sandy and it is still undergoing renovations so some of its exhibits and attractions might be closed. However, by 2016 it is expected to exhibit sharks in action.
Aquarium of New York
Surf Avenue & West 8th Street
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a piece of wildlife in the middle of New York City largest green lung. Located at the south-west corner of the park, not far from the world’s most expensive shops, the Central Park Zoo houses over 150 animals, including swans, bears, snow leopards, snow monkeys and red pandas. One of the zoo biggest attractions, except for its location, is the feedings of the penguins and the sea lions.
Central Park Zoo
5th Avenue and 64th Street