New York City Zoos

The Bronx Children's Zoo

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"New York City Zoos" by Joan Scheier

Chimp and Keeper Chimp and Keeper Chimp and Keeper Chimp and Keeper
The Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

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."

Allen Esses

Pony Ride 1965

Author son's Allen (on the left) Jerry (on the right) enjoying a pony ride at the zoo in 1965.

Pony Ride 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.

Bronx Children's Zoo 1941

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.

Wishing Seat 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.

Child Size 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.

Young Girl and a Bird

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.)

Goat in the Petting Area

You may order The Central Park Zoo Book and The New York City Zoos and Aquarium book at:

Amazon Barnes and Noble

Joan is available for book talks with slides, for both the Central Park Zoo and The New York City Zoos and Aquarium books. Please contact her through e-mail or