Feeding giraffes is something you can do at several New England zoos.
Photo Credit : Pixabay
Looking to have an educational and awe-inspiring animal encounter? New England is home to several fine zoos and animal education centers that work hard to help protect endangered species and gain a better understanding of the animals around us. A visit to one of our many New England zoos is a great way to spend a Saturday, and makes an excellent field trip for children.
Not sure where to find them? Our guide to New England Zoos (and more!) is here to help.
Guide to New England Zoos (and More!)
Beardsley Zoo | Bridgeport, CT
Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is home to a red panda, an Amazon tree boa, an Amur leopard, a giant anteater, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches, among others. Enjoy a lunch outdoors in the Picnic Grove or at the Peacock Cafe, and don’t forget to take a spin on the carousel.
1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, CT. 203-394-6565; www.beardsleyzoo.com
The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston is one of two New England zoos operated by Zoo New England. The Franklin Park Zoo features dozens of animal exhibits including zebras, ocelots, and spotted hyenas.
1 Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA. 617-541-5466; www.zoonewengland.org
Southwick’s Zoo | Mendon, MA
Perhaps the largest of the New England zoos, Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon is home to 150 species, including African lions, cheetahs, and lemurs. You can book a Rhino Encounter where you can touch the rhinos and learn more about what’s being done to protect them in the wild. You can also feed the giraffes.
2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA. 508-883-9182; southwickszoo.com
Stone Zoo | Stoneham, MA
Also run by Zoo New England, Stone Zoo in Stoneham offers many fascinating animal attractions such as reindeer, yaks, and peregrine falcons. Spend the day exploring and learning about the various animals and their habitats. If you’re going with your children or grandchildren, be sure to stop by the Jungle Fun Ride or Children’s Train. Their annual holiday light display, ZooLights, is another favorite.
149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA. 617-541-5466; www.zoonewengland.orgSEE MORE:Best Places to See Christmas Lights in New England
NEW HAMPSHIRE ZOOS
Charmingfare Farm | Candia, NH
Charmingfare Farm in Candia includes a petting zoo, wagon rides, and pony rides. The animal exhibits feature traditional farm animals as well as more exotic animals, such as camels, cougars and red-tailed hawks. Check their events calendar for fun seasonal activities like an annual pumpkin festival and horse-drawn wagon rides to meet Santa.
774 High St, Candia, NH. 603-483-5623; www.visitthefarm.com
Squam Lake Natural Science Center | Holderness, NH
Squam Lake Natural Science Center in Holderness offers educational programs, nature cruises on Squam Lake, and strolls through the public gardens. Animal exhibits focus on the animal’s role in the wild, and include black bears, river otters, mountain lions, and coyotes.
23 Science Center Road, Holderness, NH. 603-968-7194. www.nhnature.orgSEE MORE:Winter at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
RHODE ISLAND ZOOS
Roger Williams Park Zoo | Providence, RI
Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence houses a great variety of animals, including American bison, African wild dogs, and timber rattlesnakes. While you’re there, get up close and personal with the animals by feeding the giraffes or taking a tour of the seal enclosure.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI. 401-785-3510; www.rwpzoo.org
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain | Burlington, VT
The closest thing to a zoo in Vermont might be the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. A small center on the edge of Lake Champlain, the ECHO Leahy Center has many displays about the lake and the area’s history and ecology. Animal exhibits feature creatures such as the fresh water drum fish, the poison dart frog, and the mud puppy.
1 College Street, Burlington, VT. 802-864-1848; www.echovermont.org
Which of the New England Zoos is your family’s favorite?
This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.