NEW YORK CITY ZOOS, PARKS AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
NYC has some of the most beautiful parks in all of NY State. And, to boot, the city has five zoo’s, an aquarium and multiple botanical gardens!!
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ZOOS IN NYC
Central Park Zoo, Manhattan
The Central Park Zoo features more than 150 species from around the globe including Polar Bears, Snow Monkey’s, Gentoo Penguins, Indian Peafowl’s, Poison Frog’s and Emerald Tree Boas. The exhibits include a Sea-Lion Pool, Tropic Zone: The Rainforest and a Snow Leopard Exhibit.
5th Avenue at East 64th St
Bronx Zoo, The Bronx
Comprised of 265 acres, the Bronx Zoo features twenty four mammal species including: Aardvarks, Ring Tailed Lemur’s, Indian Rhinoceros’ and Grizzly Bears. In addition, there are birds such as Monk Parakeet’s and Bald Eagle’s, reptiles such as King Cobra’s and Nile Crocodiles, fish and insects.
2300 Southern Blvd at E. 183rd St
Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn
Prospect Park Zoo is situated on 12 acres in the heart of Brooklyn and is part of Prospect Park’s Children’s Corner. You can enjoy the lush gardens and marshes and farm animals on the Discovery Trail and see 125 species from around the globe including mammals and reptiles.
450 Flatbush Avenue
The Queens Zoo is located inside Flushing Meadow Park on 11 acres. The zoo features some of the more exotic native species of the Americas. You can visit the pumas, parrots, bison and Andean bears together with the daily sea lion feedings at the pool.
53-51 111th Street
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Staten Island Zoo
There are many happenings at the zoo especially for children. The Childrens’ Center consists of a Kids’ Korral, pony rides, aquarium and follow the Zoo walk past the animal nursery. There are many interesting programs offered throughout the year.
New York Aquarium, Brooklyn
Partial Reopening scheduled for May 25, 2013 – The New York Aquarium is located on 14 acres in Coney Island just off the Boardwalk. The Aquarium has more than 300 marine species including mammals, birds, fish and reptiles and many different and exciting exhibits.
602 Surf Avenue in Coney Island
BOTANCAL GARDENS IN NYC
Central Park Conservatory Garden
Divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style,you’ll first walk through the Vanderbilt Gate (5th avenue entrance) that was made in Paris for the front of the Vanderbilt estate. There is a French style garden, an English style garden and and the entrance to the Italian inspired great lawn with hedges, fountains and two beautiful crab apple trees. Designated as a quiet zone, the gardens offer a calm and colorful setting.
East Side from 104th Street -106th Street. Enter at 5th Avenue or 106th St gate inside the park
New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx
Explore 50 diverse garden and plant collections throughout the 250 acres, including 30,000 incredible trees. There are seasonal exhibitions inside the fabulous landmark glass house that are not to be missed.
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2900 Southern Blvd
Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center, The Bronx
A 28 acre public garden and cultural center, Wave Hill is noted for its over 15 different flower and herb gardens. While there, take some time to hike the woodlands and take in the spectacular views of the Hudson River and Palisades.
675 Independence Avenue at 249th St
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, Herb Garden and the Native Flora Garden are just a few of the beautiful gardens to visit. There is also an extensive bonsai collection that is one of the finest in the world. Highlights include the aquatic house and orchid collection in the Tropical Pavilion.
1000 Washington Avenue
Queens Botanical Gardens
There are over thirty-five diverse gardens ranging from the Bee Garden to the Wedding Garden; from historic plantings to new gardens with over 100 distinct seasonal plantings. Take the time to explore the 39 acres with the Green Trail Guide.
43-50 Main Street
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, Staten Island
Snug Harbor consists of a number of gardens that represent plantings from 1977 to the present time. See the English Perennial Border plantings to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Stroll, picnic or enjoy music and jogging throughout the gardens.
1000 Richmond Terrace
PARKS IN NYC
Central Park is situated on 843 acres and is located in the center of Manhattan, between 59th and 110th St and between Central Park West and 5th Ave. There are guided tours, sports from baseball to croquet, row boating and a wonderful ice skating rink. Sights to see include the Arsenal, Belvedere Castle, many Sculptures and Memorials, the famous Central Park Zoo and Concert Bandshells
Governors Island Park
A 172 acre island and a former military base, Governors Island Park is the oldest European settlement in New York. Showcased are 2 Forts from the early 19th century. The park opens from the end of May to the end of September and offers family friendly activities such as biking, arts and picnicking facilities. Take the ferry from Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6.
Fort Tryon Park
Located in Washington Heights at one of the highest points in New York City with The Cloisters as its crowning glory, a Reconstructed monastery housing medieval art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also showcases two gardens: the Heather and the Alpine. There is a dog run and two playgrounds.
Broadway and Dyckman Street
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
New York City’s newest park, Four Freedoms is a memorial to former president FDR, and features outdoor events such as yoga, musical concerts, family programs and more to come. Closed on Tuesdays. Hours are 9am-7pm
Located on the tip of Roosevelt Island
Alley Pond Park
There are 657 acres making Alley Pond Park the second largest park in Queens. The park has an environmental center and offers extensive programs for kids and adults. There are also tennis courts, ball fields, picnic grounds and many ponds throughout the park to enjoy.
67th Avenue, Union Turnpike
Cunningham Park is situated on 358 acres making it the 4th largest park in Queens. Hiking trails, tennis courts, BBQ areas, baseball, football and soccer fields are all available.
Oakland Gardens, Union Tpke west of Francis Lewis Blvd
Flushing Meadow Corona Park
Flushing Meadow Corona Park is the largest and most varied in the borough of Queens. Many features of the park include the famed Hall of Science, Unisphere, Queens Museum of Art, theater, zoo, Citi Field, Home of the Mets and the US Open.
Grand Central Parkway, Whitestone Expressway between 111th St and College Point Blvd
538 acres of trees and fields make Forest Park the third largest park in Queens. For fun, there is the spectacular Daniel C. Mueller Carousel, an 18 hole golf course, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and concerts in the George Seuffert bandshell.
Forest Park Drive, Kew Gardens
On 798 acres, Marine Park is the largest park in Brooklyn. Many activities include a golf course, Salt Marsh Nature Center, bocce courts, cricket, baseball and football fields. Playgrounds, canoeing and kayaking are also available.
The park is located on 35 acres in Greenpoint. There are many sports available including softball, volley ball, bocce, a running track and the newly refurbished McCarren Park Pool. There is a series of concerts performed every summer and Summer Screen films are shown in the park.
Located on 585 acres is the famous Brooklyn Zoo together with the first Audubon Center in the United States. An Ice Rink and many recreational facilities such as the electric boat tours, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing and sports, a 3.5 mile trail, a carousel and a band shell are all a part the park.
95 Prospect Park West
Within the 127.5 acres there is an Olympic size swimming pool, fishing, baseball and basketball courts, BBQ areas and eleven playgrounds. In late August, the Bronx Open Tennis Tournament is held here on its 20 hard courts. The park is known for its 28 different species of trees along with a lake that has turtles, ducks and fish.
1700 Crotona Avenue
Pelham Bay Park
Situated on 2766 acres, Pelham Bay Park is the largest public park in New York City, three times the size of Central Park. On the Northeast section of the park is Orchard Beach and a thirteen mile saltwater shoreline. The Southeast section has four baseball fields, a picnic area, two golf courses, a running track and horseback riding. The historical Bartow-Pell Mansion is located there as well.
Pelham Bridge Road
Van Cortlandt Park
Van Cortlandt Park is situated on 1146.43 acres making it the fourth largest park in New York City. The park is home to the first public golf course, the oldest house in the Bronx and the boroughs largest freshwater lake. There are pony rides, bird walks and a running track club. Horseback riding, baseball, bocce, cricket, handball and basketball courts are available.
Jerome Avenue and West Gun Hill Road
Clove Lakes Park
Cloves Lakes Park offers baseball, soccer, basketball fields and the Staten Island Memorial outdoor ice skating rink. Play among the many playgrounds, park lakes and ponds. Also, a 300 year old tulip tree among the many trails is a must see.
1150 Clove Road
Greenbelt Conservatory Nature Center
The 2800 acres of Nature’s Greenbelt is the largest remaining forest preserve wonderful for hiking, wandering among the open meadows and rolling hills, bird watching and an oasis of quiet. A carousel, archery and the La Tourette Public Golf Course are also available. Workshops and educational classes are offered for all ages.
700 Rockland Avenue
Wolfes Pond Park
Wolfes Pond Park is one of Staten Island’s largest parks situated on 302.9 acres. With fourteen miles of beach, there is also a beautiful wildlife and plant preserve to enjoy. Tennis courts, hiking trails, playgrounds and BBQ areas are also available for recreation.
420 Cornelia Avenue
Header Photography Courtesy of Hans Von Rittern
Things To Do In NYC, Zoos in NYC, Parks in NYC, Botanical Garden in NYC