"New York City Zoos" by Joan Scheier
The Bronx Children's Zoo
"Nowhere does the union of play and learning exemplify itself more than at a Children's Zoo. As a child, growing up in New York, I remember the excitement of the next animal exhibit along the path. Always thinking "Which animal is in the next one? What will the animals be doing? Are the keepers there for a feeding?" Typically last, but not least, there was the wonderful interaction in the petting area where I got to experience the joy of being a licked by a goat. So go ahead and take the kids to one of the New York City's great zoos and be sure to stop by the children's zoos that have been part of the zoos since the 1940's. It will never be so easy to have some fun while your child learns."
Pony Ride 1965
Author son's Allen (on the left) Jerry (on the right) enjoying a pony ride at the zoo in 1965.
Tisch Children's Zoo 1997
The children's zoo at the Bronx Zoo opened in 1941.The entrance to the Bronx Children's Zoo allowed the children to walk upright under the bridge, while grown-ups had to duck their heads. This added to the feeling that the zoo's main theme was about children.
Wishing Seat 1945
The wishing seat kept with the theme of children's fairy tales, where you make a wish and it comes true. This is the author at the children's zoo on a family trip in 1945.
Child Size Exhibits
The sign stated that "Adults could not be admitted, unless accompanied by a child." Children's zoos was in a separate section of the zoo where children could approach and learn about animals in a fairy tale setting. The exhibits were child size and smaller animals were used in the exhibits.
Young Girl And Bird
A young girl and a bird get a chance to get a closer look at each other. The animals in the children's zoo were used to being among very young children. Keepers were available to keep an eye on both visitors and animals while answering questions.
Goats In The Petting Area
This photograph indicates that not only youngsters can be tickled by what they see or feel. This is the author's son Allen, enjoying the goats in the petting area. (On the left side is a goat horn, on the right a goat ear.)