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Cliff Calderwood is a travel writer living in rural Massachusetts. He writes extensively about New England where he has lived for the last 31 years with his family and dogs, and a bunch of animals in the woods that have a lot more right to live there than he does - but he watches out for them.

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It’s All Happening Guide to New England Zoos

new england zoo lion ImageIn this special guide to New England Zoos we’ll take a look at what the top ones offer in the region.

In this guide I’ve only included the ones advertised as zoos and not the many parks and attractions that also house animal exhibits – just too many.

New England is blessed with an excellent collection of zoos and they remain a favorite family pastime. Who doesn’t like to see a magnificent lion or tiger or elephant up close – relatively speaking.

Zoos have made a comeback after years of being seen as places of just exhibits and caged animals. Today’s zoos contribute by carrying out important research and helping with animal protection and extinction. The best of them educate and help us learn about our fragile earth and our impact on other species.

All of us at Complete New England hope you enjoy this guide and make a visit to and support your local zoo in the coming weeks.

Beardsley Zoo – Bridgeport, Connecticut:

new england zoo tiger ImageDisplays over 300 animals from 100 different species mostly from North and South America including many endangered species like the Amur tiger, Ocelot, and Red Wolf.  Recent additions to the zoo include three Bald Eagles. The zoo offers ongoing lecture and special programs.

Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, admissions prices for 12 and over is $11.00, seniors and children $9 and under 3 or Connecticut Zoological Society Member enter for free. No additional cost for parking.

Their website displays a list of all animals with some information about each. http://www.beardsleyzoo.org/

York’s Wild Kingdom – York Beach, Maine:

The largest Zoo and Amusement Park located in Maine. Displays animals from around the world and a variety of attractions like a petting zoo, picnic grounds, and mini golf. York’s has the only White Bengal Tiger in Maine, and other major attraction includes Butterfly Kingdom. The zoo is seasonal only.

Price varies depending on whether you pay for the Zoo only or Zoo and Ride package. $19.75 per person for Zoo and ride or $14.75 for Zoo only. For Children 4-10 it is $14.75 for Zoo and ride or $9.00 for Zoo only. 3 years of age and under, $4.75 for both or $1.00 for zoo only. Rides only are $10 universal. Coupons available to print from the website. Hours open are 10-6 for the majority of the summer. http://www.yorkzoo.com/

Southwick’s Zoo – Mendon, Massachusetts:

new england zoo chimps ImageOver the years Southwick’s Zoo has grown in statue and size and is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of all animals.

The zoo has over 100 different species of 500 individual animals many on the endangered species list. Southwick began as Southwick’s Wild Animal Farm which displayed solely birds, eventually becoming a family business housing many other families of animals.

The zoo features a rare White Bengal Tiger.

Some unique exhibits are the 35 acre Deer Forest, where deer can be fed by hand, and the Mowgli Exhibit.

Open 10-5. Adult cost is $18.75; Children 3-12 and age 62+ cost $12.75, children 2 and under enter free. Special ticket prices available on the website along with directions. http://www.southwickszoo.com/

Zoo New England – Boston, Massachusetts:

Zoo New England is composed of two zoos, the Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, both close to Boston. Franklin Zoo now has an “Aussie Aviary” that allows visitors to see Budgerigars up close and in flight. Animals from around the world can also be seen in exhibits covering tropical rainforests, the Australian outback and the African savannah.

Special exhibits at Stone Zoo include; Canadian north woods animals at Yukon Creek, Treasures of the Sierra Madre with jaguars, cougars and coyotes, Himalayan Highlands, showcasing snow leopards and Markhor goats. There are special events at both zoos at various times of the year, and so check their official website listed below.

The zoos are open year round from 10-5 weekdays and 10-6 weekends.  At Stone Zoo prices is $11.00 for Adults, $9.00 for 62+, $7.00 for children ages 2-12, and Children and Members enter free. At Franklin Park Adults pay $14.00, $11.00 for 62+, $8.00 ages 2-12, Children under 2 and members enter free. Special prices are available for groups and Military members. http://www.zoonewengland.org/

Buttonwood Park Zoo – New Bedford, Massachusetts:

Buttonwood Park Zoo is the 12th oldest Zoo in the United States, operating since 1894. It is currently owned by the City of New Bedford. In August 2000 the Zoo reopened the $10.5 million “Berkshires to the Sea” renovation. The theme re-creates a 200 mile journey of wildlife and habitat from the Berkshire Mountains to Buzzards Bay.  The zoo has 250 animals of 200 species in 30 exhibits from around the world.

Open year round from 10:00am to 5:00pm except major holidays with tickets prices at Adults: $6, seniors and Teens: $4.50, Child 3-12: $3.00, and under 3: free. Parking is also free. http://bpzoo.org/

Capron Park Zoo – Attleboro, Massachusetts:

Nearly 60 species of exotic animals from around the globe in an expanding zoo in the heart of the Attleboro community. The zoo holds various special events throughout the summer time, such as the Zoo Moon, an evening spent in the zoo with various local businesses attending giving it a market-like atmosphere, and Zoocademy where you get to learn what it takes to be a zookeeper.

Open year-round, 10-5. Adults (age 13+) $7.00, seniors $4.75, Children 3-12 $5.50, Under 3 free, Military, $2.75.http://www.capronparkzoo.com/

The Zoo at Forest Park – Springfield, Massachusetts:

The Zoo at Forest Park is nestled in the 735 acres of woodland at Forest Park and features a number of species of animals from North America and around the world. The zoo offers guided tours, a summer and winter camp called Zoo camp, and Zoo On The Go, where animals are brought to schools, hospitals, camps, and other locations providing information on the animals and their habits. There is also a tour held on a train that journeys around the park.

The Zoo at Forest Park is open March – October, 10-5 during the summer months. $6.00 entry fee for adults, $4.00 for seniors and children ages 5-12, $2.00 for children up to 4, Under 1 is free. http://www.forestparkzoo.org/

Roger Williams Park Zoo – Providence, Rhode Island:

new england zoo elephant ImageRoger Williams Park Zoo has become a major attraction for visitors to Providence and as one of the oldest zoos in America, founded in 1872; it has delighted visitors for over a century.

The zoo houses nearly 1000 animals from 156 different species in many exhibits including: Fabric of Africa where you can go on safari, watch Bison graze in the North America exhibit, visit the rainforest in Tropical America, discover the unique animals of Australasia, and follow the Marco Polo Trail as it journeys from Europe to China and showcases animals you’ll meet along the way.

Roger Williams was the first zoo in New England to receive accreditation from the American Zoological Association. Open 9-4 year round. Entry fee is $12 for an adult, $6 for children ages 3-12, $8 for seniors, and children under free or zoo members free. http://www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org/

I hope you enjoyed this guide through our New England Zoos and hope you agree though each one is unique they share the common objectives of protecting the animals on our planet, and increasing our knowledge of how vitally important the protection of their habitats is for the well-being of Earth.

Discover other themes for destinations and attractions for your New England Vacations here.

Another New England post by one of our writers is being prepared right now so be sure to visit again or just subscribe to our RSS Feed here and get notified automatically of events and news.

Cliff Calderwood
New England Online Magazine

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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. Gravatar

    You guys are very lucky over there to have so many great zoo’s in a relatively small area and the prices are reasonable too. In the UK we only have a handful of zoo’s- London being the biggest and you have to shell out in excess of £20 ($30USD) for an adult ticket for half a days amusement if you’re lucky!

  2. Gravatar

    Glad I used your guide to find a zoo to visit There’s not a big selection of them.

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