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Van Saun County Park / Bergen County Zoological Park, Paramus

(320+ reviews on the web)
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Van Saun County Park is located in Paramus, New Jersey. Operated by the Bergen County Parks Department, the park is home to the Bergen County Zoological Park. In addition, the park features picnic areas, a baseball field, a softball field, basketball and tennis courts, a soccer field, a playground, a carousel, and pony rides. The zoo is open all year round; from May to October, guests have to pay a fee to enter the zoo. From November to April, the zoo is free of charge. The zoo also features a train ride known as the Safari Express. The park, most notably the zoo, was slated for a major expansion as of 2016, which would nearly double the size of the zoo from 12 to 23 acres and significantly diversify its population of animal species, as well as add an ice-skating rink and expand automobile parking capacity at the park by hundreds of spaces.HistoryThe zoo opened in 1960. The railroad in Van Saun, the Safari Train was first built in 1963 and features three trains: the 388 train, which accompanied the opening, the 389 train, purchased in 1968, and the 520, added to the lineup in 1971. The train models are Iron Horse S-24 24 inch gauge trains by the Allan Herschell Company. The train is open from Tuesdays through Sundays (weather permitting) and closed Mondays for maintenance, unless it falls on a holiday, between April and October. The train passengers view the many different attractions in the zoo while going through railroad crossings and a tunnel. The train is also open during the Bergen County's Winter Wonderland event, which runs from November through January.
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  • Van Saun Park is a great place to spend quality time with your family. Picnic areas, playground, zoo, train ride and a carousel. Everytime I go here I can see the improvements and it is always crowded...  more »
  • Had a fabulous day at this park ! Although it is small it definitely has a ton to offer including an amazing train that goes around the park - a zoo with lots of animals and a carousel . Doesn't reall...  more »
  • Been coming here since I was a little boy with my I take our grand much to do , it is truly a gem !!!! Zoo, train ride, playgrounds , ball parks, etc.....And all is cheap !...  more »
  • Paramus mini zoo great for all families. Just be prepared to wait on line and do some much needed walking for the waistline so wear your most comfortable sneakers or shoes. The line there can be HORRIBLE but if you're that person with extra patience, you will make it in to have a good time with the kids. Parking lot at peak times (the weekends or weekend holidays) is absolute madness. My honest tip if you really want to come here is to come super early at opening or on a weekday when others are working. Anything after 11 am you're on your own. The surrounding park is very beautiful so if you can't get in, the day is not totally wasted.
  • Great for kids to play and enjoy themselves... Walk a bit and there's the zoo. Nothing phenomenal there. But toddlers thoroughly enjoy the animals. There's a train and the line for is tends to be long. As far as food and drinks... There's a food truck that sells hotdogs and fries. Kids meals are $11 (dog, fries and a drink). Vending machines throughout the area have bottles of water for $3.15. So BRING ALONG SNACKS OR PICNIC.
  • Besides that Van Saun Park has so many different things to do for people of all ages, it has always been my "zen" place. Yes, I've been to the kiddie section many times with my nephews & niece; played on the swings, slides, many educational, hand-eye coordination based "rides", the carousel, even the train ride in the zoo & always have fun when there. However, there are sections where people can barbeque & have occasions there & also has a section where people can go horseback riding too! There's a tennis court, a baseball field...just so much there to do. But, like I stated in the beginning, my favorite section is the section where the walking path is around the lake. I frequent there to write, draw, read, walk around the lake for some exercise, place my beach chair on the grass & take the sun & listen to music, or just sit there & enjoy nature surrounding me. I do some of my best thinking there most of the time because I've been going there for years & it has just become my "zen" place. Now, as much as I love it, there is one down side (at least it is for me anyway), the ducks can be quite annoying by coming up to you constantly & they poop all over the place...the walking path, the grass, etc... So, that's the only down side I can think of. Otherwise, go by yourself, with your significant other, or your family, & you'll definitely have a fun or relaxing time; whatever you choose! Enjoy!
  • Great 1)Park/Cook Out 2) Brand new Playground w/ water splash area 3) Zoo 4)Train ride & Merry go Around 5) Soccer fields 6) Horse rides....... Does get super crowded on the weekends and lines get long in the heat of the summer....... great for families.
  • Great smallish zoo for young kids. The zoo has a train and just enough animals for their short attention spans, and the carousel is a great currency when the melt downs start from all the walking. Park next to the carousel an save it till last.