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We are lucky to have several wonderful zoos in New England. No matter where you are in the region, chances are that there is a great zoo relatively close by.
In New England, we are fortunate that nothing is really all that far away.
Sure, New Englanders don’t particularly like to drive and anything over 45 minutes is a road trip that requires snacks and a change of clothes (ha!), but any of these zoos are within a reasonable drive from wherever you are in New England.
Zoos in Connecticut
Conveniently located off the Merritt Parkway in Bridgeport, you will find tigers, elephants, prairie dogs, peacocks wandering around, otters, farm animals, a carousel, and more.
Buttonwood Zoo is a small zoo, but it is a fun and inexpensive way to spend the afternoon. For just $25, a family of four will enjoy visiting more than 50 different animal species. You can also ride the zoo train and carousel or host a birthday party.
Lupa Zoo is a 20-acre zoo a mission of conservation and education. You won't find all of the "big ticket" animals here like lions, elephants, or tigers, but if you're looking for something different to do in Western Mass, it's worth a visit. They also have a playground and a train for the kids.
Southwick's Zoo is the most expensive zoo on this list but it is well worth the price of admission. It may be located in the middle of nowhere, but it is much larger than you may think.
Plan to spend the day there if it's your first trip and don't forget to bring your wallet and some cash if you would like to ride the carousel, have a camel ride, ride the zipline, visit the escape room, and much more.
These attractions don't even include the many animals they have on exhibit, including the deer forest. You can also have a birthday party or event at the zoo.
While it may not sound like a zoo, Charmingfare Farm does have some exotic species in addition to farm animals. In addition to alpacas, donkeys, geese, llamas, miniature horses, miniature goats, and other farm animals, you can also see a wolf, coyote, black bears, red fox, and more.
Some zoos in New England have a set of discounts for seniors, lower-income families, and others. Some also have discounts available for active-duty military and/or veterans, teachers, or town residents. Be sure to look at the zoo’s website to see if there are discounts you can take advantage of.
If you don’t fall into any of these categories, a trip to the zoo for your family can be expensive. Another way to possibly save on zoo admission is to check with your local library. Many libraries have discounted passes but you often need to request the pass so reserve yours in advance.
Also, if you are a member of another museum, zoo, or aquarium, see if they both participate in the reciprocal admission discount. This can potentially save you 50% to 100% off admission.