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Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange

(600+ reviews on the web)
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Home to about 850 animals representing 275 species, Turtle Back Zoo welcomes half million people annually to its themed exhibits. See a sea lion tank and prowl along a penguin coastline; tour habitats of large cats, wolves, bears, and alligators; and visit a reptile center. Wildlife aficionados won't want to miss the 2.7 m (9 ft) long lizard that was discovered in 2005 and still has no scientific name. Can foxes fly? You'll find out by seeking out the first flying foxes in any United States' zoo--giant bats that can reach a weight of 1.1 kg (2.4 lb) with a 1.5 m (4.9 ft) wingspan. The zoo is a part of South Mountain Recreation Complex. Plan to visit Turtle Back Zoo and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended West Orange attractions using our West Orange trip itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Nice zoo to visit if you live in the area. Very clean and the animals seem to be very well cared for. Not an expensive visit either and you can easily spend a few hours walking around and enjoying all...  more »
  • The Zoo is adorable and there's a large parking lot across from the facility. Kids had a great time.  more »
  • We saw a young boy tease a big cat in his cage. The child had one of those plastic bats and rubbed it across the fence. The cat was so disturbed--the kid's father was oblivious. Terrible. Animals don'...  more »
Google
  • Good for young kids. Some of the exhibits are old school zoo with cages that are difficult to see through and get a good look at the animals. The newer ones are worth seeing. They are making a new lion exhibit. The place is hit or miss on being crowded during the week. It can be overrun with class trips and can be nightmarish. The other issue is shade. It has virtually no shade or trees near many of the older exhibits. On hot days it can be brutally hot. And the place is a bit of a maze, you can get lost easily if you don't have a map. Food is decent albeit slightly overpriced but that's par for the course generally.
  • It's one of the best Zoos for kids near Jersey City. The paths are clear and takes around 4 Hrs. for entire zoo. The locality is beautiful and you can take a walk around the nearby lake as well. Public transport connectivity is not that good with New York City/Jersey City.
  • Place was very well kept and well maintained. Animals all looked healthy with a variety from reptiles to wolves, lions, mammals, sea lions and birds. My kids loved the Touch Tank. The train ride was a great addition too especially that it was inclusive on the admission ticket already. The Aviary and Butterly tent were memorable experiences for my little ones. Strongly recommended!
  • I love this zoo! It's a great place for small children. I've been coming to this zoo for 8 years and it's perfect for me and my 2 sons. It's a small zoo. You can spend a few hours and have a great time. The exhibits are wonderful and they're always adding something new. It's clean. The cafe has great food options. We love the train and carousel. And we also love visiting the holiday lights spectacular every year before Xmas. We just have to take a picture with Santa. It's a must! I look forward to visiting the zoo a few times every summer right through December. Great family place.
  • The new giraffe exhibit is my favorite, and it's great to see the zoo expanding year after year. A spacious cafeteria with outdoor seating (serves wine and beer on the top floor), carousel and dinosaur playground are terrific. Even when it gets really hot, there's shady areas and indoor exhibits to visit, for cooling down. Outside food and drinks are allowed (there's seating near the gibbons and covered seating towards the middle/back of the zoo), which is a plus. The one year family pass for around $90 is a good deal.