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Animals & Zoos in New York

New York's top science museums, zoos and nature-discovery centers make learning fun!

Buffalo Zoo - Photo by NYS ESD

New York’s most famous zoos – The Central Park ZooBronx Zoo, and Buffalo Zoo – are favorite vacation destinations because kids love to see and know more about the animals and their lives in the wild. At The Fort Rickey Children's Discovery Zoo, the focus is on fostering kind and gentle animal interactions to help kids grow into adults who care about wildlife and conservation. The New York Times calls The Wild Center “stunning!” -- hundreds of exhibits, indoors and out, including rarely seen Adirondack native animals.

At Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, banding seasons and International Migratory Bird Day are popular annual events. Looking higher into the skies, the Vanderbilt Planetarium uses ultra high definition video and surround sound for awe-inspiring journeys featuring NASA satellite imagery.

There’s so much to see at the American Museum of Natural History! Birds of the world. Ocean life. North American Forests. Reptiles. Amphibians. Meteors. Fossils. Human origins. DINOSAURS! At Rochester Museum and Science Center, there’s a planetarium, outdoor nature center and three floors of hands-on exhibits; Niagara Gorge Discovery Center brings the Falls and Gorge into clear focus with virtual reality fun, climbing walls, and miles of hiking trails.

Brooklyn Children's Museum, the first museum just for kids, was founded in 1899 and today embraces children of all ages, abilities and learning styles. A recent expansion offers all-new exhibits and all-new programs.

Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

The Discovery Center next to the Binghamton Zoo is a hands-on, interactive children’s museum with 30 play and learn exhibits for kids to dig, drive, fly, shop, hop, perform and paint their way through. They offer summer camps, too.

The Dolan DNA Learning Center, the first devoted solely to genetics education, offers fun public “Saturday DNA!” classes, summer camps, multimedia presentations, research and online resources, and much more. 

The Aquarium of Niagara has penguin, seal and shark feedings; sea lions, seahorses and sturgeons, and special events (like Seaster Egg Hunt and Putting for Penguins). Science comes alive for kids at Science Museum of Long Island: visit for fun or dig deeper with summer camp offerings where kids work on experiments, projects and cool inventions.

Two New York museums made the “Top Ten List of Museums for Geeks”: Niagara Science Museum and National Center for the History of Electronic Games. The first is a sanctuary for the preservation and appreciation of old science instruments and the art of creation, centering on the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, and the second, located at Strong National Museum for Play, has over 20,000 games and consoles, all in working condition and available to play!

From the depths of the oceans to the wilds of the forest to the ever-expanding boundaries of the cosmos, in New York State, you’ll discover it all!

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