Almost all of the locations listed offer completely outdoor experiences and are open this winter. Prepare in advance for your visit by checking any updates regarding closed areas, operating hours, advance reservation requirements and health & safety rules.
Enjoy our list of places to see animals in or near Westchester. All of the furry friends will be delighted to see you.
2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, NY
Current Status: Open, The Bronx Zoo is open year-round, you must have a reservation for a date-specific timed ticket in advance.
The Bronx Zoo is a real treat for people of all ages. As a Westchester resident an annual membership is a great way to take advantage of this nearby, vast attraction. During the winter months the zoo is open but some exhibits and animals are closed (African Plains, Butterfly Garden, Children's Zoo, Wild Asia Monorail and the Zoo Shuttle).
Recently the zoo has been beefing up its experiential offerings. Check out their Experiences page to see what is new. Holiday Lights run through January 10th.
Central Park Zoo
64th Street & 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Current Status: Open, you must have a reservation for a date-specific timed ticket in advance. All experiences are currently closed.
While the size and number of attractions of the Central Park Zoo don't come close to what you get at the Bronx Zoo, it does not disappoint! Its size can actually be a pleasant journey when toting around a stroller or young children. All of the exhibits are open year-round for your enjoyment.
Seven Lakes Pkwy, Appalachian Trail, Bear Mountain, NY
Current Status: Open
Take a journey across the Cuomo Bridge to the Palisades Parkway and you will arrive at beautiful Bear Mountain. In the winter you can hike a very easy trail over to the Trailside Museums and Zoo. Everything is free!
As you take the self-guided nature trail you will encounter mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The animals are all native to New York State.
Head into the Herpetology House and check out the native turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders and skinks as well as many species of fish. Want to learn something new? The Nature Study Museum features specimens originally collected by the Museum of Natural History to teach people about animal identification.
While at Bear Mountain you can also go outdoor ice skating in the winter! In the summer there is a carousel, ice cream, boats available for rent and a swimming pool.
1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Status: Open, tickets are sold in two time frames and must be reserved in advance.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a proud history of over 90 years as Connecticut’s only Zoo. If you are looking for something smaller that the enormous Bronx Zoo, or just want a change of scenery, this zoo may be for you. Check out their large list of animals you can meet.
Essex County, NJ Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave. , West Orange, NJ
Status: The Zoo will be closed through January 31st. Stay tuned for reopening information.
In just over an hour you can arrive at New Jersey's Turtle Back Zoo. Filled with animals and experiences, this zoo will fill your day with fun. There are behind the scenes tours, turtles, sea lions, Masai giraffes, leopards, cougars, wolves, alligators, butterflies and more. When open, there are experiences to enjoy like mini golf, a zoo train, prehistoric playground, pony rides, an ice arena, treetop adventure course and more. The best part- admission is just $14 for adults and $12 for children.
51 Route 100, Katonah, NY
Current Status: Outdoor areas and animals open, buildings are closed.
Muscoot, a Westchester Parks property, is a free and easy day trip and is great for children of all ages. The farm area is easily walkable and features over 50 farm animals in pens and barns. There are cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigs. Muscoot also has baby animals in the Spring.
The trails, parking and pathway to the pasture overlook area are all open— and there are plenty of animals to see. You can visit 10am-4pm daily.
630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY
Current Status: Closed, awaiting opening details.
Stone Barns Center is closed for farm visits until January 6th, 2021. Stay tuned on their website for reopening information. When the farm is open you can take advantage of their picturesque grounds. Walk the grounds and see pigs, cows, goats sheep and chickens living and eating in their natural habitat.
1 Stew Leonard Drive, Yonkers, NY
Current Status: Farm area animals will not return until the spring.
Returning in the spring (closed for winter), you can visit “Stew’s Little Farm” to enjoy the outdoors, have some ice cream, and visit the animals. Located in Yonkers, there is a small farm area near the food concession where you can watch the singing cow (not a real one) and visit live chickens, baby cows, goats and sheep. Free.
99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale, NY
Current Status: Outdoor trails, playground, meadow, and outdoor animal exhibits are open, the Manor House is currently closed.
The Greenburgh Nature Center is a great way to enjoy the outdoors for a few hours. The animals are located both inside at the Manor House and outside along the grounds. Inside you can see a chinchilla, owl, frogs, turtles, snakes and more. Nature center staff will take out animals for children to touch upon request.
Outdoor animals include birds of prey and farm animals like sheep, goats and chickens. Entrance to the outdoor area is free! You can also enjoy the Nature's Discovery Playground during your visit. There are a bunch of winter programs the center is offering if you are interested in learning more.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
151 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT
Status: Heckscher Farm and Organic Garden, Nature’s Playground, hiking trails including the Orange Adventure Trail and the Wheels-In-The-Woods trail, as well as the Bendel Pond Meadow are all open. Heckscher WILD! is closed.
Head up to CT to enjoy a picnic on the Meadow, hike over 80 acres of nature trails, visit the animals at the Heckscher Farm, and check out the Stamford Museum Galleries.
The Heckscher Farm is a 10 acre New England Farm complete with barns, a maple sugar house, organic vegetable garden, open pastures, and dozens and dozens of farm animals. They also offer a bunch of youth & family programs. Masks and distancing are required.
1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining, NY
Current Status: The Visitor Center is currently closed.
When open, the Nature Center and nearby Raptor Loop Trail have birds of prey and animal displays, programs and events. Coming soon: Eaglefest.
Weinberg Nature Center
455 Mamaroneck Ave., Scarsdale, NY
Current Status: Trails are open, the museum is currently closed.
Built in 1958, the Weinberg Nature Center contains 7.7 acres of land with ponds, live animals, nature trails, a trailside museum and campsite. Trails are currently open 7 days week, sunrise to sunset. Animal sightings are possible during your hike.
The museum is currently closed but when open houses two doves, two green-faced conures, three frogs, one toad, four snakes, five geckos, one tarantula, one skink, two guinea pigs, four chinchillas, four turtles, walking sticks, madagascar hissing cockroaches and two bearded dragons.
260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco, NY
Current Status: Trails are open, the museum is currently closed.
Westmoreland’s Sanctuary’s Nature Center and Museum is a historic reconstructed 200-year old church. Inside the building are exhibits of local flora and fauna, live animals, a bird observation window and an auditorium.
Currently Westmoreland’s Nature Center Museum is operating at a 25% maximum occupancy limit with distancing and safety measures in place. The nature museum hours are 9am - 5pm Sunday through Saturday. The preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk.
7 Buck Run, South Salem, NY
Current Status: Limited onsite programming.
The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) is a not-for-profit environmental education organization located in South Salem, NY that teaches people about wolves. They offer both on and off-site programs.
The Wolf Conservation Center is offering limited onsite programming during this time. You can view the wolves from home on their live webcams.
10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT
Status: Open, advance reservations are required as well as masks and distancing.
A local favorite, and not too far, kids can see jellyfish, frogs, touch stingrays and more inside at this family friendly aquarium. There are 75 live exhibits featuring more than 2,700 marine animals of 300 species. In addition to the sealife there is a great play space upstairs for babies and toddlers and an IMAX Theatre.
602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Status: Open, you must have a reservation for a date-specific timed ticket in advance, experiences are currently closed.
The Aquarium, located right off the boardwalk in Coney Island, has a combination of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, the exhibits are impressive, making it worth the drive. You can see penguins, sharks, rays, sea otters, octopus, jellyfish and more.