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Family Fun in New York City: Prospect Park Zoo

In October of last year, my kiddos and I put our Wildlife Conservation Society family premium membership to use by visiting the Prospect Park Zoo on one of the last beautiful autumn days of the month. Located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park in Brooklyn in New York City, Prospect Park Zoo houses nearly 630 animals representing about 101 species. The zoo occupies a total of twelve acres and sits across from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Lioness and Cubs Statue at Prospect Park Zoo Black Swan and Turtles at Prospect Park Zoo

Goats at Prospect Park Zoo Miniature Zebu at Prospect Park Zoo

As I quickly discovered upon approaching Prospect Park, the only downside to the Prospect Park Zoo is the parking situation. There is no zoo parking lot, only street parking. But I was lucky enough to find an open spot just a few minutes walk down the street from the zoo. When we got to the zoo, my kids and I immediately sat down on a bench across from the sea lion pool and ate a picnic lunch while watching the sea lions swim, leap, and dive.

Cows at Prospect Park Zoo Cow at Prospect Park Zoo

Mongooses at Prospect Park Zoo Sea Lion at Prospect Park Zoo

Sea Lion Feeding at Prospect Park Zoo 1 Sea Lion Feeding at Prospect Park Zoo 2

Prospect Park Zoo is a smaller zoo, so we were able to take our time looking at the animals. My son really liked petting the sheep in the petting zoo area. Both kids liked watching the red pandas. The Discovery Trail was also a big hit with animals including black-tailed prairie dogs, porcupines, emus, dingos, and North American river otters. My daughter especially liked crawling through the underground burrows to observation posts roofed with clear, hemispherical observation ports from which she could see the prairie dogs up close and personal.

Pallas Cat at Prospect Park Zoo Mother and Young Baboons at Prospect Park Zoo

Young Baboons and Mother Baboon Nursing Baby Baboon at Prospect Park Zoo Baby Family at Prospect Park Zoo

Mother Baboon Nursing Newborn Baboon at Prospect Park Zoo Water Fowl at Prospect Park Zoo

My absolute favorite part of the Prospect Park Zoo was the troop of hamadryas baboons in the Animal Lifestyles building. The exhibit allowed us to observe the troop in a large glassed-in gallery which looks out into a rocky outcrop. Two of the younger baboons were playing right up against the glass, so my kids and I could look at the amazing animals from just inches away. Most excitingly, a newborn baboon had been born that morning, so we got to watch the mother nurse and care for the six-hour-old baby. We spent a good half an hour observing the baboons, especially the mother and baby. Therefore, if you ever find yourself in Brooklyn near Prospect Park, I highly recommend paying a visit to the zoo for a few hours.

Prairie Dogs at Prospect Park Zoo Two Prairie Dogs at Prospect Park Zoo

Dingo at Prospect Park Zoo Emus at Prospect Park Zoo

Red Panda at Prospect Park Zoo Porcupine at Prospect Park Zoo

For more information, visit the Prospect Park Zoo website.

Image Credits

Lioness and Cubs Statue at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Black Swan and Turtles at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Goats at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Miniature Zebu at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Cows at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Cow at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Mongooses at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Sea Lion at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Sea Lion Feeding at Prospect Park Zoo 1 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Sea Lion Feeding at Prospect Park Zoo 2 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Pallas Cat at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Mother and Young Baboons at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Young Baboons and Mother Baboon Nursing Baby Baboon at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Baby Family at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Mother Baboon Nursing Newborn Baboon at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Water Fowl at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Prairie Dogs at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Two Prairie Dogs at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Dingo at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Emus at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Red Panda at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson
Porcupine at Prospect Park Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson

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