Much of my childhood was spent at the Staten Island Zoo, where I loved to explore the intimate park-like grounds and meet the amazing animals of the world! As an adult, I still love the zoo, as their mission of conservation seems increasingly important today.
The Staten Island Zoo is centered on a group of stately brick buildings that contain the African savanna, Tropical Rain forest, reptile room, and a small aquarium. In Africa, I love to visit the lemur family, who always seem to be celebrating the birth of an adorable new baby lemur! In the rain forest, I like to explore the spooky bat cave, where a huge family of fruit bats hangs from the ceiling and flits around in the dark. The reptile room has great interactive displays to teach youngsters all about snakes and their environments. At the end of the building, a pair of imposing alligators recline silently.
Outside, there’s lots to do and see. Kids will love the Conservation Carousel, where they can ride on beautifully painted figures of their favorite animals. Over a covered bridge, you’ll find the barnyard area which is home to alpacas, goats, ostriches, rabbits, and much more. This is also where you will find Staten Island’s resident groundhog, Chuck, who famously predicts the weather every year on Groundhog Day.
The Zoo also has fun events throughout the year like the Halloween Spooktacular, Beastly Breakfast with Santa, and educational talks hosted by the zookeepers. Check the website for full details!