Dinosaur State Park

Dinosaur State Park.jpg
400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT, United States

Welcome to Dinosaur State Park

The Connecticut Valley has a long history of fossil track discoveries. Outstanding specimens uncovered in 19th century brownstone quarries found their way into museums throughout the world. A new chapter in the history of such discoveries was written in 1966 when hundreds of tracks were exposed in Rocky Hill. This remarkable site became Dinosaur State Park.

Outdoor activities include walking trails that lead past 25 life-size concrete and steel dinosaurs. See the creatures that roamed the state up to 230 years ago on the Connecticut Trail; try out Monty’s Splashpad, a state of the art interactive water play. Inside, kids can continue their discoveries in the Bone Zone, where they can dig for faux fossils, dig for crystals, pan for gold and do not leave without shopping in the 10,000 square foot retail area.

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Parents and Family Programs 

Footprint Casting At Dinosaur State Park
The casting area contains real dinosaur footprints.  It is open daily from May 1 to October 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  There is no fee to use this area but park guests must bring their own materials.  For each cast you will need:
  • 10 pounds of Plaster-of-Paris (no substitutions)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • Five gallon bucket
  • Cloth rags and paper towels
The park provides:
  • Eubrontes tracks
  • Metal rings
  • Water
Instructions:
The entire process takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

  1. Clear off the Eubrontes Track and metal ring with broom and rags. DO NOT USE WATER.
  2. Oil the track and ring with your hands.
  3. Center ring on the track and wrap rags around the outside of the ring.
  4. Measure three (3) quarts of water (3/4 of one gallon jug); Pour into the bucket.
  5. Add the ten pounds of Plaster-of-Paris to the water.
  6. Stir the plaster mixture quickly with your hands until it is smooth and has the consistency of cake batter.
  7. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared ring.
  8. When the cast is hard, carefully remove the rags and the ring. Then remove the cast from the rock.
NOTE:
We ask that you make only one cast per family or group.
We do not recommend casting during inclement weather.

Mining For Gems and Fossils

An outdoor mining sluice is available for “mining” gems and fossils. Purchase bags of mining rough from the bookshop (additional fee applies; $5.50 – $9.00 plus tax per bag). The mining sluice can accommodate approximately 6 individuals at one time, and “mining” each bag takes about 10 minutes. Bags may be shared by up to 3-4 people.

The sluice is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, May 1 through October 31, except during rainy weather.

Additional Programs

The trails are open daily for walking. Check additional information.

Meet the park’s animals: Programs with our live animals will be conducted only on weekends.

Track Talks: A staff member will answer questions about the tracks and discuss what Connecticut was like in the early Jurassic period. Call the park for the schedule.

Activities

Fossil Boxes

Coloring, Puzzles, and Books

Make a Dinosaur Tracks Bookmark

Outdoor Bingo scavenger hunt

Letter boxing and Earth cache activities

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Location Photos
Tickets and Admission

Hours of Operation

The Exhibit Center and park office are open year round except Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day from 9 am  to 4:30 pm.

The park grounds are open at 9:00 am and close at 4:30 pm daily. The nature trails are closed at 4:00 pm.

Admission and Fees

There is a daily admission fee at Dinosaur State Park.

Adults ages 13 and up are $6

Youth ages 6 – 12 are $2

Children under 6 are free.

The park accepts Visa, Master Card, and Discover Card for admission costs over $10. Admission costs less than $10 must be paid with cash or a check. Debit cards or American Express cards are not accepted.

School Group Program Fees

Fees for the programs are $3 per student ages 6 to 12, and $7 per student ages 13 and up. The minimum group fee for a guided program is $50. Programs are limited to a maximum of 60 students for grades 1 through 5, and a maximum of 90 students for grades 6 through 12. Guided programs are approximately 1½ hours in length.

For additional information, or to schedule a field trip, contact Maryanne Marchinski in the Park Office at (860) 529-5816.

Other Site Attractions:

The Arboretum of Evolution

When dinosaurs first became numerous in the late Triassic Period, nearly all of the major groups of vascular plants except the angiosperms were in existence. Conifers, cycadophytes, ginkgoes, ferns, and large arborescent horsetails dominated the landscape. By the mid-Jurassic Period, conifers had become more diverse and many of their fossils have been assigned to modern families such as Araucariaceae, Pinaceae and Taxodiaceae.

The Trackway at Dinosaur State Park

On August 23, 1966, fossil tracks were uncovered during excavation for a state building. When Edward McCarthy turned over a slab of gray sandstone with his bulldozer, he saw a large footprint with three toes. The news of the discover spread quickly as more tracks were uncovered. Within a few weeks, officials decided to preserve the site as a state park. As a result of careful excavation, the park has one of the largest on-site displays of dinosaur tracks in the entire world.

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Lutz Children Museum.jpg
247 South Main Street, Manchester, CT 06040, United States 10.08 mi

The Lutz Children’s Museum was established to foster imagination, arouse curiosity, and promote museums as resources for life long learning. We strive to provide a multi-faceted museum for children to explore culture, history, and the natural science through internal and external exhibits, programs, and experiences.

Every visit to the Lutz Children’s Museum is exciting because exhibits change frequently and special programs are offered daily. Most exhibits and activities are designed for children ages two through twelve.

The museum’s home is a former schoolhouse. Gallery halls were once classrooms, and the school auditorium is now used for classes, parties, concerts and special events. Downtown Manchester and the historical district are right down the road.

Every visit to the Lutz Children’s Museum is exciting because exhibits change frequently and special programs are offered daily. Most exhibits and activities are designed for children aged two through ten.

The museum’s home is a former schoolhouse. Gallery halls were once classrooms, and the school auditorium is now used for classes, parties, concerts and special events. Downtown Manchester and the historical district are right down the road.

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Visit Our Nature Center

These forty-five minute programs, recommended for all ages, are held at a nearby nature preserve. After the program is over, groups are welcome to stay at the Nature Center for lunch and exploration, or visit the Lutz Children’s Museum at no extra charge. The program costs $8 per child and includes one free admission coupon to the museum. Book your program in advance and chaperones will be admitted free with groups of ten or more children. Programs are planned for a maximum of twenty-five students; please call if you are interested in accommodations for larger group sizes.

The Podunks of Manchester

The Podunk Tribe walked the trails of Manchester 400 years ago. Join us at the Nature Center for an examination of the lifestyle and culture of Manchester’s native people. Explore the similarities and differences between their lives and the way we live in Manchester today!

Recommended Grades: K-5

Bird Search

Many different types of birds can be found at the Oak Grove Nature Center. We will learn who they are, what sounds they make, and where they live. Visits during good weather will include an outdoor search in addition to meeting birds from the LCM collection.
Recommended Grades: K-5

Bug Hunt

It’s time for a Bug Hunt! Get your walking shoes, magnifying glasses, and nets ready… It’s time to explore the bugs at the Oak Grove Nature Center! We will meet some living bugs from the museum’s collection, walk the trails in search of bugs, and learn some simple techniques used in bug identification.

Recommended Grades: K-5

Classes 

The Lutz Children’s Museum is a real museum designed just for children. They may only see the play and fun, but professional museum curators have planned these activities carefully. These experiences promote a love of learning and thirst for knowledge and the skills learned here will help children to be more successful in school and in life.

Museum teaching methods focus on self-discovery and exploration. Real museum artifacts or live animals are integrated into almost every program giving children the opportunity to experience the world first hand. Concerts and trips give young learners the chance to see arts and culture up close and to develop their own tastes and appreciation.

After School Programs

We are taking the museum on the road, and hope to make a stop at your school. We will work with you to design an after school enrichment program, vacation camp, or a full-day extension on early release days.

Professional museum educators will deliver fun and educational programs at your site. Longer programs include breaks for recreation and snack.

Programs are completely funded through registration fees. Schools just provide the space and distribute the information to parents! Cost is based on the length and number of sessions in a series.

Contact LCM Staff at 860.643.0949 x.10 or email order@lutzmuseum.org with any questions or to register for classes.

Register For Classes

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Birthday Parties

The Lutz Children’s Museumwas founded by a teacher, Hazel Lutz, to provide educational resources to families and schools. We remain committed to her vision of providing hands-on learning opportunities that prepare students for academic success. We are the perfect place for that weekend getaway with your children. We host a number of events and Tours throughout the museum. A visit to the Lutz Museum is sure to educational and entertaining for all.

Have a unique birthday party at the Lutz Children’s Museum. A Museum Educator will tell a story, show a live animal, and plan a special activity!!

  • Private party room
  • Museum access included the day of the party
  • Invitations for you to mail
  • Name tags for attending children
  • Chaperon’s included

For More Birthday Party Options or to book your Party today, click here

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Essex Steam Train and River Boat 1.jpg
Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT 06426, United States 24.6 mi

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s 2½-hour journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley – designated “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy.

The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches at 20 mph through the quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester. The picturesque countryside includes pristine meadows, a quaint farm, a millpond with waterfall, and trestles and bridges over rivers and creeks. A natural highlight is the undeveloped Selden Neck State Park, accessible only by boat.

Essex Steam Train offers unique access to several coves and preserves, immersing passengers in an on-board eco-excursion. The train travels near the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek – – bountiful, natural habitats for birds. Among those typically spotted are Cormorants, Ducks, Swans, Greenland Geese, Blue Heron, Egrets, and Red-winged Blackbirds. In February and March, the majestic Bald Eagle is the star of the show, when it migrates south to the Connecticut River Valley from Canada and Maine.

At Deep River Landing, passengers are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 1¼- hour cruise along the Connecticut River. The visual serenity of the river valley is on full display from Becky’s multiple decks. The deep water, coves, inlets, marshes, wildlife, and rocky shoreline are all at once, simply breathtaking! Just as impressive are the historic sights including Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge. Upon Becky’s return to Deep River Landing, the steam train welcomes passengers for the return trip back to Essex Station.

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2014 Seasonal Trains and Special Events
Eagle Flyer
President’s Day weekend (Feb 15-16)
Eagle Watch special!
Details
Essex Clipper Dinner Train
Weekend Operation
May 10 through October 26
Details
North Pole Express
A magical evening train ride to the North Pole!
Weekends and Weekdays
Nov 14 through Dec 28
Details
Your Hand on the Throttle
Learn to drive a steam locomotive!
April 4-6 and April 11-13
Oct 31-Nov 2 and November 7-9
Details
Hot Steamed Jazz Festival
Hosted at Essex Station!
June 20-22
Details
Santa Special
A weekend afternoon train ride with Santa!
Weekends from Nov 28 through Dec 23
Details
Day Out with Thomas
Two very special weekends!
April 26-27 & May 3-4
Details
Circus Train
Ride the train to the Big Top!
July 19-20 and 26-27
Details
Saybrook Special
An extended ride south to Old Saybrook
May 10-11, June 7-8, July 4-6,
Aug 2-3, Sept 6-7, Oct 4-5 – 10:00 am
Details

Birthday Parties

A party on a Little Red Caboose? What a good idea! What fun!

Kids of all ages will enjoy this unique setting for a party that will be long remembered.

The caboose can accommodate up to 18 people (16 children & 2 adults) on an eleven-mile trip behind a coal burning steam locomotive in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley.

A host will be on board to point out interesting places along the line and tell about life aboard the caboose.

Our caboose is owned by the non-profit Friends of the Valley Railroad, and a portion of the fare is donated to them.

For Birthday Party Packages and more information – Click Here

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Connecticut Tigers 1.jpg
14 Stott Avenue, Norwich, CT, United States 28.68 mi

Few events signal summer more than a classic baseball game. Plan an outing to one of Connecticut’s stadiums offering minor league baseball games and family-friendly activities sure to be a home run with big and little fans alike.

In Norwich, Dodd Stadium the turf of the Connecticut Tigers, offers family fun all season and many special promotions to engage kids and please the adults as well.

If you are looking for a fun and affordable way to bring a group together? Look no further then attending a game with the Connecticut Tigers. We offer value pricing for groups of 20 or more. The more you buy, the more you save. Bring along your family, friends, co-workers, clients, little league teams, church groups or any other groups to enjoy a night at the park.

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Family Trips

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Looking for a unique way to celebrate your child’s birthday and have memories that will last a lifetime?! Come celebrate the special day with the Connecticut Tigers and LET US DO ALL THE WORK!

For more information or to book your Birthday Party at Dodd Stadium please call (860) 887-7962.

PRE-GAME BBQ PICNIC

Gather your family and friends ALL YOU CAN EAT TIGERS BBQ in the tiers of the Picnic Pavilion. Great for every occasion from corporate functions to family celebrations to organization reunions! Here’s the pitch…

  • Discounted Ticket
  • Block seating as a group
  • Recognition on the P.A. System and Video Scoreboard
  • 1 1/2 Hours of All You Can Eat Tigers BBQ
  • Menu Includes: Hot Dogs, Burgers, BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans, Salads, Dessert and Soda

**Final payment for all reservations must be received no later than one week prior to your game date.

Adults Children
Premium Box Seat $25 $15
Reserved Box Seat $23 $13

For more information call (860) 887-7962.

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Submarine Force Museum Logo.gif
1 Crystal Lake Road, Groton, CT, United States 34.74 mi

Image from the Museum

The Submarine Force Museum, located on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, maintains the world’s finest collection of submarine artifacts. It is the only submarine museum operated by the United States Navy, and as such is the primary repository for artifacts, documents and photographs relating to U.S. Submarine Force history. The museum traces the development of the “Silent Service” from David Bushnell’s Turtle, used in the Revolutionary War, to the Ohio and Virginia class submarines.

Originally established as “The Submarine Library” by Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in 1955, the Submarine Force Library and Museum soon gained respect for its archival and research value. In April 1964, the entire collection was donated to the Navy and relocated to the Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, Connecticut. The name “Submarine Force Library and Museum” was officially adopted in 1969.

The museum’s collections include more than 33,000 artifacts, 20,000 significant documents and 30,000 photographs. With so many holdings, the displays change frequently and a return visit will be a new experience. The 6,000 volume reference and research library is a world-renowned collection relative to the history of U.S. submarines and is open to anyone looking for information on submarines or submarine history.

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Family Field Trips

Historic Ship Nautilus and the Submarine Force Museum, located adjacent to the Main Gate of Naval Submarine Base New London, is the Navy’s official submarine museum. The museum’s primary exhibit item is the Historic Ship NAUTILUS. NAUTILUS is the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine and the first ship to go to the North Pole. It is a National Historic Landmark and Connecticut’s State Ship. The submarine is open for visiting by the general public, and is suitable for children of all ages.

The Submarine Force Museum Informational Virtual Tour

The Submarine Force Museum opened in 1986, and contains the nation’s finest collection of submarine material. The exhibits interpret submarine history from Bushnell’s Turtle (used in the Revolutionary War) to today’s modern nuclear-powered vessels. The museum library serves as the repository for the records and history to the U.S. submarine force. New books, photographs, and documents are being added daily. The library is open to researchers on weekdays, except Tuesday’s in the winter only. The museum completed an project in April of 2000, which provides the museum with more exhibit space, a larger gift shop, a 71-seat theatre, a classroom and a new research library.

Historic Ship NAUTILUS Informational Virtual Tour

Aboard NAUTILUS, experience first-hand the thrill of being a submariner as you walk the decks that made Naval history: the world’s first nuclear powered vessel, first ship to go to the North Pole, and first submarine to journey “20,000 Leagues under the sea.” Explore the spaces where the crew of this amazing ship worked, ate, slept, and entertained themselves on their long voyages far beneath the ocean’s waves.

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Wickham Fruit Farm.jpg
28700 Route 25, Cutchogue, NY, United States 45.17 mi

Wickham’s Fruit Farm is located on 28700 Route 25 in Cutchogue, Long Island, about 90 miles east of New York City. Wickham’s fruit is grown on some of the oldest continually cultivated land in the country, much of the farm dating from 1661. Wickham’s Fruit Farm is an historic, bicentennial farm, beautiful to behold against the sparkling waters of Peconic Bay.

It is one of the largest farms on the North Fork, approximately 300 acres, of which 200 acres are in fruit, all of which is retailed at the farm. The emphasis is on fruit of the highest quality, and all fruit sold is guaranteed.

A very large proportion of Wickham farm land has been placed in Suffolk County’s Farmland Preservation program, which means that for generations to come, this land is “forever agriculture.” 
Wickham’s Fruit Farm is a family enterprise which has taken pride in producing and marketing the choicest of fruit. The retail market is open usually from May through December from Monday through Saturday. 

Wickham’s is closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas.
Schools and private groups who book a tour in advance can schedule a tour of the farm to pick fruit in season, enjoy the scenic beauty of a farm on the water, observe a live working beehive, and when possible, observe our old historic cider press. 

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Family Trips

 

Farm Tours on the Wickham Farm

Enjoy the rural scenery and ambience of a historic, bicentennial farm that is situated right on beautiful Peconic Bay. Participants climb aboard our old fashioned  wagons for a ride around our farm. Along the way visitors see orchards, row crops, hot-houses, barns, and real old machinery!

Bee Hive Observation

Ever wonder what occurs inside a hive? Everyone is fascinated by the world of the honeybee. You can observe a real, working beehive at our Bee Observation Station.

NOTE: Beehive observation is over by late Fall, depending on weather conditions.

 Picnic Area

Field Trip groups and visitors are welcome to use our picnic area which is nestled among some of our farm’s oldest fruit trees. Visitors enjoy lunches in a beautiful rustic setting. (Bring your own lunch & drink.) There is no charge for using picnic area in conjunction with a tour.

Pick Your own Apples (When in Season)

Enjoy the hands-on experience of picking apples off the trees, and enjoy the healthy countryside beauty of our vast orchards. Snap off your very own ripe apples! (You might  meet a box turtle along the way!)

Pick your Pumpkins (When in Season)

Tip-Toe gently in the pumpkin patch. Pick a tiny pumpkin, a medium-sized pumpkin, or a Cinderella pumpkin! And squashes, cheese pumpkins and many, many more! Wickham’s has the largest, gigantic pumpkins on the North fork!

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Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk Connecticut.jpg
10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT, United States 54.76 mi

Opened in July 1988, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to have a good time while learning about the vital natural resource just off our shore: Long Island Sound. Set in a refurbished 1860s factory at the mouth of the Norwalk River, the Aquarium building and its location reflect the region’s industrial past and human uses of Long Island Sound for recreation and commerce.

Visitors explore at their own pace, observing 34 exhibits featuring more than 1,200 marine animals of 259 species. The Long Island Sound journey begins along a freshwater river and the shallow waters of the salt marsh, then moves into deeper and deeper habitats out to the open ocean. These close encounters with animals, enhanced by friendly volunteer interpreters and informative display panels, educate visitors about the aquatic life of Long Island Sound and its watershed.

The sharks, seals, river otters, sea turtles and other animals, carefully tended in re-created natural settings, serve as ambassadors both for their species and the Sound’s natural environment. These intimate encounters are the heart of the learning experience and provide visitors – children especially – with a basis for understanding their role in the web of life.

otter-curled-photo

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Asides from the normal visit at the Aquarium and checking out the IMAX theater at Norwalk, the Maritime Aquarium offers many great programs suitable for children and families. Take a look below at all the fun and interesting things that the aquarium has to offer.

Study Cruises onto Long Island Sound

Cruise out with us aboard the research vessel Oceanic for thrilling explorations of the Sound’s marine life: with a variety of animals brought up right onto the boat (April-October) or to look for some of the seals & waterfowl that winter in the Sound (December-April).  Details …

Creature Encounter (11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays)

Meet one of our beautiful Diamondback Terrapins and learn what you can do to help protect Long Island Sound. Their lovely blue skin offers a hue rarely found in the animal world.

FREE with Aquarium admission.

Animal Embassy Programs (11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on selected days)

Stamford-based Animal Embassy will present some of their live “animal ambassadors” in guided hands-on introductions. Children (and adults!) will be able to touch and even hold select animals while learning about their appearances, behaviors, adaptations and habitats, as well as the conservation issues they face. FREE with Aquarium admission. • Sometime in October

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Shark Dives (At 1:45 p.m. on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
)

Would you jump into a tank of water filled with 6- and 7-foot sharks? Actually, it can be done – bloodlessly – because sharks aren’t really the aggressive man-eaters of popular myth. Come see for yourself when The Maritime Aquarium’s dive team spends some quality time among the sand tiger sharks, lemon shark and other creatures of the 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit. Thanks to a cool communication link, you can even talk with the divers while they’re in the exhibit with the sharks! They’ll tell you that sharks should be respected … but not feared. (You also can talk to the divers before they go in the water between 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on “dive days.”) FREE with Aquarium admission.

“Behind-the-Scenes Tours” (On the third Saturday of every month, at 8:15 a.m.)

Operating the aquarium is an complicated production that must satisfy more than 1,000 animals with varying requirements for food, water temperatures and salinities, and more. See how it’s all done when you visit our jellyfish “nursery” and the “fish kitchen,” where meals for our residents are prepared. We’ll go above the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, where you can look down on the sharks in their 110,000-gallon tank … and even toss in some fish for them to eat! And feel the tickle as you hand-feed the cow-nosed rays!

Participants must be 10 years and older. Anyone under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. “Behind-the-Scenes Tours” cost $32.50 for non-members ($22.50 for Aquarium members) and include Aquarium admission at 10 a.m. There is a maximum of 25 people per tour. Advance reservations strongly recommended. Walk-up sales are accepted.

For reservations, Purchase tickets online (click on the date you wish to come) or call The Maritime Aquarium at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206. Space is limited.

Aquarium Cruises

The Maritime Aquarium offers two study cruise programs onto Long Island Sound. These are available to the public and also to schools/summer camps as charters.

Marine Life Study Cruise:

Offered from May 5 through October

Public schedule: 1 p.m. Saturdays May 5-June 30 and then at 1 p.m. daily in July & August. Also on Saturdays in September & October.

Study marine biodiversity from the water’s surface down to the bottom for a first-hand understanding of Long Island Sound’s interdependent marine life. Students utilize such sampling techniques as a plankton tow, biodredge, mud grab and otter trawl that may bring up fish, crabs, lobsters, sea stars and more. A video microscope and touch tank onboard enhance observations. Passengers must be over 42″ tall. Capacity: 29. Cost: $20.50 per person. ($18.50 for Aquarium members)

Purchase your tickets now!

Happy Birthday!

Maritime Aquarium Birthday Parties

Spend your child’s special day at The Maritime Aquarium with a wild cast of characters including seals, sharks, otters, turtles, jellies and more! We’ll help you throw a party for your child with the excitement only the Aquarium can provide. Birthday packages for ages 4 – 12. We can also host Birthday parties for older kids and adults including IMAX movies, tours and more. Just ask us to design a party for you. In-house catering available for more lavish affairs.

What Happens At A Maritime Aquarium Birthday Party?

After your guests arrive and select an aquatic critter name tag we will lead you through the Aquarium paying special attention to animal demonstrations, feeding times and of course the celebrant’s favorite animals! Take a break for cake and refreshments before enjoying the rest of the Aquarium’s special exhibits.  The guest of honor goes home with a gift from The Maritime Aquarium that only a birthday party child can receive…showing that you “seal-a-brated” your birthday at The Maritime Aquarium.

Download the pdfBirthday Party Brochure

To schedule your child’s birthday party please call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206 or e-mail reservations@maritimeaquarium.org.

Traveling Birthday Parties

“Crabs and Critters” Come to You!

Invite some crabs and other critters from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk into your home for a birthday party your kids and guests are sure to remember. They will have a great time, get to touch the animals, and will learn something too. It is a face-to-face close encounter they will enjoy and remember.

Our 45-minute traveling birthday party program is for groups up to 25, ages 4 to 12; we leave a crab craft as a gift for each party guest.

(There is an additional fee for travel outside a 20-mile radius of the Aquarium.)

Download the pdfTraveling Birthday Party Brochure

Call Reservations: (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, to book your Traveling Birthday Party!

Goodie Bags and Party Stuff

Goodie bags and party favors are available for birthday parties. Orders can be placed by calling the gift shop at (203)852-0700, ext. 2236.

Sleepovers at the Maritime Aquarium

Imagine falling asleep as jellies float next to you and seals lounge on the rocks a few feet away! That’s what you’ll experience during your group sleepover at The Maritime Aquarium.

What Goes on at a Maritime Aquarium Sleepover?

After check-in at 6:15 pm and a light dinner, we’ll fill your groups evening with a fun and fact filled guided tour of the Aquarium, “aquatic games”, snacks, and crafts. Lights are out at 11:15 pm!

Breakfast the next morning is at 7:30 a.m., followed by a private seal show and an IMAX movie. Visit the Gift Shop at 9:30 am, and you’ll be on your way home by 10 a.m. Every child leaves with a customized program patch.

Download the pdfOvernight Brochure

To learn how you can help with fun activities such as sleepovers, email volunteers@maritimeaquarium.org.

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Chelsea Piers Connecticut.jpeg
One Blachley Road Stamford, CT 06902 60.92 mi
203.989.1000203.989.1000
203.989.1005 Special Events

Chelsea Piers Connecticut was developed and is managed by the same management team that built and currently manages the highly acclaimed Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment complex in New York City (http://www.chelseapiers.com). Like Chelsea Piers New York, it is our mission to provide an unparalleled athletic environment that is always Clean, Safe, Friendly and Fun.

Our facilities are first-rate in every way and comparable in scope to a college athletic complex. The quality of our facilities are only surpassed by the quality of our instructors and programming. We hire top-notch program directors and instructors in every sport that we offer — these professionals are not only experts in their respective sport, but are also highly gifted teachers who know how to work with athletes as young as 2 and as old as 92.

Chelsea Piers Connecticut programming highlights:

  • Learn-to-play group instruction
  • High-level instruction and training
  • Camps and Clinics
  • Youth and adult leagues
  • Private lessons
  • Chelsea Piers competitive teams
  • Meets, competitions and tournaments
  • Facility rentals to independent clubs and schools
  • Drop-in training and recreational play
  • Birthday Parties
  • Corporate and Social Events
  • Proms and Project Graduation

Membership is not required at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, however, we offer optional membership opportunities that provide a cost-effective and convenient way to take full advantage of our facility offerings. 

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Parents and Families at Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers is proud to offer exciting, affordable and fun-filled programs designed specifically for Parents and Children. With 100 acres of unparalleled sports and recreation facilities, experienced instructors, and turnkey planning services, Chelsea Piers delivers Family outings that are fun, rewarding and educational. Everyone is guaranteed to have a good time, regardless of athletic ability.

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Youth Classes

Our 400,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art sports complex provides world-class facilities, expert instruction and the most exciting sports curriculum available. Check out our programs for Little Athletes, Developmental classes in 20+ sports, elite/competitive teams and youth leagues.
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Sports Leagues

League action starts for Basketball, Box Lacrosse, Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball. Leagues feature professional referees, scorekeepers, electronic scoreboards and standings/statistics. Men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues are offered.
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Drop-In Programs

Click below for information on drop-in hours and reservation policies for the Adventure Center, the Splash Zone, batting cages, ice skating and open basketball/soccer/lacrosse.
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Membership

Become a member and save on all CPCT programming! Memberships include CPCT Club, Squash and Tennis.
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Birthday Parties & Special Events

Whether it’s a child’s birthday party or a corporate activity outing, Chelsea Piers is an ideal location for sports-themed entertainment.
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Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

Chelsea Piers Connecticut puts a new spin on fun and creative Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations.

Our activity-based parties let the kids have fun while the adults enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while watching the action from the mezzanines. Round out the night with dinner and dancing; options range from a casual buffet to a seated dinner reception.

Each celebration is customized; please view our sample celebrations to help you get started with planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah your family and friends will never forget.

SAMPLE CELEBRATIONS

School Break Camps  at Chelsea Piers

After a successful and exciting inaugural summer of sports camps, Chelsea Piers Connecticut is proud to announce several Holiday Camp offerings. Campers get to enjoy world-class athletic facilities, expert and caring instructors and the most exciting sports curriculum available. Chelsea Piers Connecticut offers athletes of all abilities, 2-17 years the opportunity to improve skills, have fun and exercise over the Holidays.

Camp programs are offered during specific Holiday weeks/weekends. Available Holiday breaks may vary by camp. Please see specific camp schedule for exact dates.

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We look forward to welcoming you and your Family to Chelsea Piers!

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Cold Spring Fish Harbor Hatchery and Aquarium.jpg
1660 New York 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, Oyster Bay, NY, United States 65.3 mi

Welcome to the Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

After 99 years as a New York State trout hatchery, we opened as a non-profit educational center dedicated to educating our visitors about the freshwater ecosystems of New York. We are proud to have the largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fishes and amphibians. Visitors can tour our two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds, feed the hungry trout, and try our “Catch & Keep” fishing.

Each year schools, scouts and other groups visit the Hatchery to learn about the freshwater ecosystems of New York State. Elementary level programs, such as Fins and Jaws, Habitats and Life Cycles, and secondary level programs, such as Pond Life and Freshwater Ecology, complement New York State learning standards and enrich the learning experiences of the students. The Hatchery’s seasonal Egg Stripping program allows students to witness the centuries-old technique of fish breeding: egg taking and fertilization.

With the continuing support from Hatchery members, government agencies, private organizations and foundations, the Hatchery has been able to expand its programming with outreach options. Working in conjunction with Trout in the Classroom, the Hatchery is able to bring Egg Stripping programs into schools.

The ability of the Hatchery to serve the community as a gathering place for special family and educational events, attests to its dedicated mission to increase awareness and appreciation for the freshwater ecosystems of New York State.

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Parents and Families at the Hatchey and Aquarium

Birthday Parties

Consider having your child’s birthday party at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium this year. Children will have an opportunity to feed the fish and witness a live animal presentation. The birthday child must be turning at least 3 years old. 

Cold Fish Hatchery and Aquarium Birthday Parties

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Exhibits 

1. Walter L. Ross II Aquarium Building
This building houses over 30 different species of freshwater fish native to New York State. The fish range from the primitive bowfin to the native Long Island brook trout. In the Turtle Alcove you will find our hatchling turtles. Can you match the young turtles with the adults outside? This building was named after Walter L. Ross II who was an avid trout fisherman and enthusiastic board member.2. Robert Koenig Memorial Pond 
Dedicated in September 2001 and generously donated by his family, the Robert Koenig Memorial Pond houses brown trout and water lilies.3. Hatch House & Rearing Pools 
Trout eggs are protected from hungry predators and sunlight in the Hatch House. The eggs, taken in early November, hatch in late December. The fish remain here for about four months or until they are moved into the rearing pools. The rearing pools are intermediate pools between the troughs in the Hatch House and the large outdoor Trout Ponds. They provide the needed space for young trout to grow. The fish in these pools will move to the larger ponds within the year.

4. Trout Ponds
Refer to the signs on each pond for the species and their month of hatching. The water that feeds these ponds is 52 degrees year round. You’ll notice the nets over the ponds – these help keep hungry predators such as herons and ospreys from eating the trout.

5. Warm Water Pond
The water in this pond comes from St. John’s Pond, located directly south of the Hatchery. This pond may freeze in winter, but can reach temperatures as warm as 80 degrees in the summer. Unlike trout, the fish in this pond can tolerate higher water temperatures. The inhabitants are varied, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, bowfin, longnose gar, channel catfish, common carp, grass carp, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, white and yellow perch, American eels, walleye, white bass, lake sturgeon, redhorse suckers, and northern pike.

6. Turtle Pond
This pond has the same water source as the Warm Water Pond. On sunny days many of the turtles will bask on the cedar logs. The various species include Blandings, painted, wood, eastern spiny softshell, snapping, redbelly, and common map turtles.

7. Round Ponds
The round ponds hold brook or rainbow trout ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 years old. The round ponds are self cleaning; the water flows in at the side and drains through the middle.

8. Tidal Raceway
Freshwater flows from our outdoor ponds and artesian wells into the Tidal Raceway, which then empties into Long Island Sound. Our “Catch & Keep” trout fishing takes place in the Tidal Raceway every Friday through Tuesday.

9. Tidal Creek Observation Platform
From this deck you can observe the tidal creek and the St. John’s Pond spillway and dam, where there was once an ice house. There are still many birds and animals which visit, make homes, and sometimes reproduce in the tidal estuary. Anadromous fish, such as alewives and white perch, move into this creek seasonally.

10. Fairchild Exhibit Building
In this building, there are aquariums displaying some of New York’s smaller, native freshwater fishes, reptiles and amphibians. The “New York Amphibia ” exhibit is the largest living collection of native amphibians in the Northeast. Junior the snapping turtle, stolen from the Hatchery in 1998, has been preserved and is on display for visitors to see and learn his story. This building is named after Julia F. Fairchild, a local resident and leader in keeping the Hatchery open after the State wanted to close it.

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Slater Mill Museum.gif
67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI, United States 67.54 mi

Located on the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Slater Mill is a museum complex dedicated to bringing the American Industrial Revolution to life.

Come and enjoy our tours, exhibits, collections of artifacts, gallery, research library, theatre, gift shop, and more. Slater Mill offers concerts, demonstrations, lectures, meeting spaces for rent, family programs, specialized tours, holiday programs and exhibits of fine crafts and artwork. Along with our on-site programs, we offer an extensive selection of curriculum-based programs for schools and entertaining presentations for social clubs and community groups.

Slater Mill tells the story of innovation, labor, artisans, women’s rights, cotton economy, immigration and assimilation, and industry. It is culturally, educationally and historically important for people of all ages and origins to be able to come, see, touch, learn and be inspired at Slater Mill.

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Jencks Education Center at Slater Mill

Established in memory of Davis Jencks, The Jencks Education Center is Slater Mill’s major initiative to link knowledge of the past with the rich opportunities of modern Pawtucket. The Center hosts a variety of arts and handcraft workshops, educational programs, after school learning opportunities, and business and group events. In conjunction with the Center , the Slater Mill Gallery across Roosevelt Avenue in the Visitor Center exhibits the work of local and national artists and craftspeople. The adjoining gift shop serves as an outlet to purchase their work.

The Jencks Education Center is located on the physically accessible second floor of Slater Mill. The Board of Trustees has made a deliberate choice to honor the historic character of the interior of Slater Mill. With the exception of a bit of paint and floor repair, the Center maintains the building’s historic authenticity. Our architect, Luke Mandle, designed fixtures and furnishings that reflect an industrial feel as opposed to a colonial reproduction style that would confuse visitors and chip away at the true integrity of the mill space.

Education Center
Our Jencks Education Center

The Innovation Room is a gorgeous space with banks of windows overlooking the Blackstone River on three sides. This room serves up to 60 people and has been outfitted with conference/work tables using recycled textile machinery as bases. It is fully wired for technology. The room serves rental needs for retreats, corporate meetings, community programs, the Mill’s own interpretation programs with school children and as a space for workshops with regional and national craftspeople.

The Confluence Room is an extremely inviting library with large, comfortable seating and warm lighting. It also serves as a breakout space for meetings held in the Innovation Room.

Conference Room
Conference Room

The Artifact Access Space use an innovative collection storage method (currently being put into use at the RISD Museum and across the country) called “visible storage” to bring our vast collection to the public. We rotate exhibitions of tools, historical documents, textiles, printing items, early hand machines, and other items so that students, historians, artists and the public can study, read, draw and explore the fantastic collection that was once hidden away in a physically inaccessible third floor archive.

In addition to the in-school curriculum opportunities that Slater Mill currently offers, the Jencks Education Center addresses the need for after school programming, offering various lessons for middle and high school students. We work with urban schools in the surrounding metro areas to provide quality hands-on after school opportunities for a new generation of youth. Our programs include woodworking and textile projects that demonstrate the applied use of science, math, art and communication in a group setting.

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Lazer Gate Massachussets Logo.jpg
288 Plymouth Avenue, Fall River, MA, United States 77.86 mi

Lazer Gate opened its doors in October of 1999. During the first year of business it has become a popular site for young and old alike. The facility is designed to host birthday parties, corporate events, and fundraisers and of course, group and individual play.

Lazer Gate is a family entertainment center providing the ultimate experience in the game of laser tag. We have the most technically advanced computer equipment in the game today. Our play arena is an interactive multi leveled, 8,500 square foot area with mazes and special effect sound and lighting to enhance play. At Lazer Gate we use Zone Equipment. It is our belief that we have the best equipment in the game today. Not only because of the ease of its use, but because it provides us with flexibility to create numerous game situations. Zone Equipment allows us to keep the game of laser tag interesting for our new and repeat customers!

Lazer Gate has an arcade with coin-operated games, including a Redemption Arcade, complete with SkeeBall, Colorama, and the ever popular Deal or No Deal! Our snack bar has grown into the Cygnus 18 Cafe, complete with hot food such as Mozarella Sticks, Chicken Tenders, French Fries and more! Check out what’s new at the Cafe!

There are FOUR party rooms located off the arcade that can be used for parties, meetings, business trainings, and group events!

Gate Golf, Lazer Gate’s out of this world black light mini golf course is 18 holes of mini golf fun for all ages.

In 2013 Lazer Gate opened the Laser Trap, a laser maze which lets players run a gauntlet of laser beams for the best score. Coming soon, 2 player mode. Race your friends for the best time.

With our laser tag ,Laser Trap,and blacklight mini golf products, we firmly believe Lazer Gate is the BEST value in entertainment for the whole family in the Southcoast! Come by and try it out, we’re sure you’ll agree!

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 Parents and Families

A birthday party at Lazer Gate means fun for the kids and no worries for Mom and Dad about setting up or cleaning up! You supply the cake and the kids, we take care of the rest. Only at Lazer Gate can you get a Laser Tag party, a Blacklight Mini Golf party, OR an EXTREME party with both laser tag AND Blacklight Mini Golf!

All Lazer Gate party packages come with party supplies: table cloth, spoons, forks, plates, napkins,etc., a private party room and a Lazer Gate Party Coach(the person who will guide you through the party), and Lazer Gate invitations (download invitation here for last minute reservations, if booked in time we will mail invitations to you otherwise, Adobe PDF Reader required)

 Laser Tag and Mini Golf Birthday party Packages 

extreme mission

$165 Package Price for the first 8 players

$19 for each additional player

2 Games of Laser Tag

1 Round of Blacklight Mini Golf

  •  2 Slices of Pizza
  • Free Refills on Soft Drinks
  • T-Shirt and Membership for birthday person
  • 2 for 1 passes for each player
  • Party Coach
  • Party Room for 1 hour 45 minutes
ultimate misson

$135 Package Price for the first 8 players

$15 for each additonal player

Choice of:

2 Games of Laser Tag

Or

1 Game of Laser Tag and 1 Round of Blacklight Mini Golf

  • 2 Slices of Pizza
  • Free Refills on Soft Drinks
  • T-Shirt and Membership for the birthday person
  • 2 for 1 passes for each player
  • Party Coach
  • Party Room for 1 hour 45 minutes

 

standard misson

$90 Package Price for the first 8 players

$10 for each additional player

Choice of:

1 Game of Laser Tag

Or

1 Round of Blacklight Mini Golf

  • 1 Slice of Pizza
  • 1 Soft Drink
  • T-Shirt for the birthday person
  • 2 for1 passes for each player
  • Party Coach
  • Party Room for 1 hour 30 minutes

Information on Other Party Add On available Click Here

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Alley Pond Enviromental Center Logo.jpg
Queens, 228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston, NY, United States 83.85 mi

The Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), a nonprofit environmental education organization, is dedicated to educating children and adults in the New York metropolitan area, protecting and preserving Alley Pond Park, open spaces and waterbodies, and advocating for sustainable environmental policies and practices.

Our nature trails traverse ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows where visitors will see shore birds, migrating flocks, and a variety of small animals. Or, visitors can attend one of APEC’s many environmentally-informed programs for children and adults. Please explore our website to learn more.

APEC is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting. The building is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for major holidays. Please check the calendar for closures. Walking trails are open from dawn to dusk, year ‘round. Parking and entrance to the building and grounds is free.

Family Trips and Programs

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Childrens Weekend Classes – Click Here

 

Preschool Weekday Programs

After School

Family and Adult Programs

Annual Events

Birthday Parties at APEC

Make your child’s birthday joyful and enriching!

APEC’s birthday parties are learning experiences which will be remembered for a lifetime. Your child and guests are given the opportunity to appreciate nature first hand. We look forward to helping you celebrate your child’s special day!

Our 2-hour parties include:

An indoor, age-appropriate discussion about nature which includes the handling of live animals
A guided nature walk on the trails (weather permitting)
A nifty craft to make and take home.

Your child is the guide. He or she chooses the craft from our wide selection prior to the party. On party day he or she gets to choose the animals that will make a special guest appearance at the party. Program lasts about 1 ½ hours, followed by about ½ hour for refreshments and birthday cake.

Please view our Birthday Party Brochure for more details.

Click here to view our current craft choices (call to confirm; subject to change).

Theme parties for Tweens

New This Year!

Designed for Ages 8 & up Fee: $275 for up to 12 children (12 children maximum)

Spa Day Birthday

Treat your guests to a spa like experience inclusive of calming nature sounds, soothing aromatherapy and mini massage lesson. Guests will have fun creating and using all natural “spa”sentials to take home. Recipes included.

LOG CABIN LAB Owl Pellets

What’s in an owl pellet? Don a lab coat and immerse yourself in the world of dissection. Using common lab equipment guests will discover the snacks and facts about owl food.

Inquire about these themes and others at ext. 205Party Information

Ages:

2 and up

Days:

Saturday and Sunday (some after school and holidays available)

Times:

10 am – 12 noon or 1 – 3 pm (4 – 6 pm depending upon availabiliy)

Fees:

$250.00 for up to 15 children

$12.00 for each additional child

Maximum of 30 children

$30.00 second instructor fee for over 20 children

Food and Decorations:

You supply all food, cake, beverages, paper goods, decorations, and goody bags. You may arrive before the party to decorate the room and set up.

Please remember that APEC does not allow balloons in the building, due to safety concerns for our animals. Please do not include balloons in your decorations or give-aways.

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Bronx Zoo New York.jpg
2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, United States 84.24 mi

From its earliest days, the Wildlife Conservation Society has been a leader in animal well being. The flagship Bronx Zoo established its first veterinary department in 1901. At the time, the department consisted only of a pathologist and a veterinarian. Today, the Wildlife Health Sciences division includes departments of clinical care, pathology, nutrition, and field veterinary programs. The Wildlife Health Center, located on Bronx Zoo grounds, serves more than 15,000 animals from the four WCS zoos in New York.

The state-of-the-art Aquatic Animal Health Center at the New York Aquarium opened in 2008 to meet the unique challenges of caring for its collection of marine animals. The high-tech hospital includes a laboratory and an operating room, several pools for patients with flippers, X-ray machines, and a kitchen for preparing meals for residents of all sizes, from a tiny seahorse to a 3,000-pound walrus.

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Exhibits & Attractions

Bug Carousel

Bug Carousel

Imagine bugs so big you can ride them! Enjoy a true flight of fancy aboard a long-legged praying mantis, a bright green grasshopper, or another of your favorite creepy-crawlies. In cool weather, sliding glass doors transform the carousel into an indoor experience.

Gorillas

Congo Gorilla Forest

Go nose-to-nose with gorillas in a 6.5-acre swath of the rainforest that will transport you to the heart of Africa. Your Congo wildlife safari will be packed with surprises as you trek beneath the canopy of leaves, through sprays of mist, and up to treetop lookouts.

JungleWorld

JungleWorld

Transport yourself to the tropics! Inside ourAsian jungle, the warm air is just right for otters, gibbons, and a tapir, among nearly 800 other critters that live in mangroves and beaches, sharing their homes just as they would in the wild.

Sifaka

Madagascar!

Leaping lemurs! Hissing cockroaches! Cave-dwelling crocs! Meet one-of-a-kind wildlife from the world’s fourth largest island. Towering baobobs and octopus trees, forested deserts, and other enchanting habitats will transport you there.

Tiger

Tiger Mountain

Go nose-to-nose with Siberian tigers on a woodland that recreates the Russian Far East. In this showcase of the Zoo’s animal enrichment program, discover how training, toys, and foraging games help the big cats stay fit and stimulated.

Outdoor Exhibits & Rides

Indoor Exhibits & Rides

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Activities

Ice Age 4D

4-D Theater Double Feature

Get ready for an adventure of mammoth proportions! Films include Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The 4-D Experience and Dora and Diego’s 4-D Adventure, both combining a high-definition 3-D film with effects such as wind, mist, scents and dramatic lighting to take you on a multi-sensory journey.

Animal Activity Trail

Animal Activity Trail

Find your inner animal on the Animal Activity Trail, presented by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, and learn to move like an animal while exploring the Bronx Zoo. Run, jump, dance and crawl as you visit wildlife with remarkable athletic abilities throughout the park.

Bug Carousel

Bug Carousel

Imagine bugs so big you can ride them! Enjoy a true flight of fancy aboard a long-legged praying mantis, a bright green grasshopper, or another of your favorite creepy-crawlies. The Bug Carouselis open year-round. In cool weather, sliding glass doors make it an indoor experience.

Camel Ride

Camel Rides

Saddle up and hop on a hump! Experience a very unique form of New York City transit when you ride a camel around Wild Asia Plaza. Ride can accommodate up to three children, or one adult.

Penguin Feeding

Penguin Feedings

During the daily feeding in the Russell B. Aitken Sea Bird Colony at 3:30 p.m., watch Magellanic penguins come out of their dens or up from the deep and bob for fish. Ask a keeper your questions about the birds.

Sea Lion Feeding

Sea Lion Feedings

At the heart of the park, bark hello to California sea lions and meet their keepers. Two daily feeding and training demonstrations for the Zoo’s noisiest residents make the sea lion pool one of our most popular attractions.

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