10 Wildly Fun Ways to Enjoy the Houston Zoo with CityPASS


  1.  Up Close and Personal with the Animals: As soon as we entered the zoo gates we were greeted by the most adorable chinchilla and it’s friendly handler who let guest pet and pose for pics with the fluffy soft animal.

2. Playful Seals and Underwater life

3.  Under the sea: The Kipp Aquarium within the Houston Zoo houses 200 species of underwater animals like these stunning lionfish and moon jellyfish that we were all mesmerized by. On your way through the exhibit you’ll view 2,000 individual freshwater and saltwater fish as well as marine invertebrates that will have you feeling like you were touring the coral reefs of the Pacific, the Rift Valley Lakes of Africa and the Amazon basin.

4. Explore the new nature play area: The Houston Zoo believes that when children are encouraged to play in nature they are more likely to support and protect nature and this new area allows them to use their wild imaginations while discovering the natural world that surrounds them.  Kids can create sculptures and mud pies, build with tree branches and wall climb. Bring towels, extra clothes and expect your kids to get a bit messy!

5. Adorable Baby Elephants: During our visit we all fell in love with a few of the newest baby arrivals and gushed watching this sweet baby elephant right before she went over to the Houston zookeepers to get washed up.

6. Lions,  Chimps and Rhino’s Oh My: Make your way through the African forest which leads to the villages trading outpost and discover fierce gorillas and red river hogs before approaching a second building that houses adorable chimps and rhino’s that are soaking in the sun. At the center of the Zoo you’ll find the carnivore exhibit which features feisty big cats {jaguars, cheetahs, malayan tigers and more} who love to play hide and seek. The Lions were out in the open but we spotted an ocelot who was watching us from up high above, so keep an eye out as you pass by because they can be easy to miss.

7. Trade your Cool Stuff at The Naturally Wild Swap Shop: Kids always manage to pick up something they discovered on nature walks or strolls through the neighborhood and at the zoo’s swap shop they can bring in various items like: seashells, fossils, rocks, gems, claws, snake sheds, deceased butterflies and more! Visitors can bring in up to 3 items to learn facts about and earn points for their knowledge in order to trade.

8. Twirl around the Wildlife Carousel: For an extra $2 {members} $3 {non-members} kids of all ages will enjoy a spin around this gorgeous hand carved and painted carousel.


9. Children’s Zoo Activities:  Open daily from 10am – 5pm visitors can check out the petting zoo and brush dwarf goats, burn off some energy in the play space  that features colorful climbing walls, slides and tunnels or  pop out of a mongoose habitat to snap a picture.

9. Creepy Crawly Bugs

10. Feedings with Giraffes

What’s your favorite Halloween animal? Boo at the Zoo is back!

Fall is officially in gear, which means it’s time for some of our favorite things. Pumpkin-flavored treats, apple picking, and of course, Halloween! It’s never too early to start planning the perfect spooky costume, or tricky outing. At the top of our list is the Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo. Starting October 3, our favorite event is back every weekend in October! Boo at the Zoo is THE destination for family friendly fun for Halloween.

What good is the perfect animal costume without somewhere to show it off? One of the highlights of Boo at the Zoo is always the costume parade. The Alice Farley Dance Company will lead the way again, and their costumes are always a treat, dressed as snakes, bats, beautiful butterflies, and more.

Craving more for Halloween? There are plenty of other activities to enjoy! How about a stroll through the Jack ‘O Lantern Illumination? The intricately lit jacks make for a unique trip through the zoo’s World of Darkness exhibit.  Make sure to scoop up some candy from a treat station on your way to a music or magic show. Or, head over to the Dancing Crane Café, where Sand Sculpture USA is creating detailed carvings from giant pumpkins – some over 600 pounds! It was a big crowd pleaser last year for our family, so we’ll definitely stop by again.

If you’re not in the Bronx, stop by another borough for their version of Boo at the Zoo. Queens Zoo and Prospect Park Zoo both have Halloween activities to let visitors get up close with animals, from the creepy to the cute. And for those who prefer an aquatic take on the holiday, the New York Aquarium’s Ascarium is back this year! Don a costume and head to your favorite event.

More details and tickets for Boo at the Zoo are available here: http://bit.ly/1OXdXsw

Head to the Bronx Zoo


This summer, the Bronx Zoo is strapping on their super hero capes, saluting Zoo Keepers and rocking out with Dan Zanes and other fabulous family performers. Now that school’s out, kids have plenty of free time to check out all that the Bronx Zoo has to offer. Don’t miss the newly renovated Children’s Zoo and say hi to the new animals in the petting zoo area.

Keep reading for information on some of the exciting and big events taking place at the zoo and be sure to check bronxzoo.com/events  for more information.

July 18-26 National Zoo Keeper’s Week  

As the need to protect and preserve wildlife and their vanishing habitats continues to increase, the animal care professional’s role as educators and conservation ambassadors has become essential. Zoo and aquarium professionals care for hundreds of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. A keeper’s day includes an array of tasks like cleaning, food preparation and feed out, medical treatment, training, enrichment, landscaping, exhibit design, animal introductions, public outreach and education, and much MUCH more. Don’t miss the variety of keeper chats and special animal enrichment taking place during this special week.   To celebrate National Zoo Keeper’s Week, join us at a Twitter Party, hosted by popular mom bloggers Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog and Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations

When: Tuesday, July 21 from 12PM – 1PM

Where: Twitter

Follow: @verasweeney, @audreymcclellan for the fun and prizes!


July 25, 2015 DAN ZANES AND FRIENDS Concert 

Join Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes and Friends at the Bronx Zoo for an outdoor, fun-filled dance-party, hootenanny for the 21st century! Called the “crown prince of contemporary kid’s music,” by People Magazine,  don’t miss his uncompromising vocal and instrumental artistry and muscular pop beat.  Zane’s globe-trotting music ranges from elements of Tunisian Sufi, the Louisiana bayou, Appalachia, the Caribbean and South Africa to making a CD completely in Spanish. He likes to call what he does “21st-century, all-ages, handmade social music,” Since his debut album, “Rocket Ship Beach,” in 2000, Zanes has recorded with top musicians, including Debbie Harry, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, Lou Reed, Ziggy Marley and Philip Glass.  Times: 11:30am and 2:00pm. Location: Astor Court.


Grammy-winning artist and longtime bassist for They Might Be Giants, Danny Weinkauf is the man behind the wildly successful TMBG mega-hit “I am a Paleontologist.”  He’s just released his first solo album for kids, No School Today on TMBG’s own label, Idlywild Recordings.  The “shimmery, shiny pop” tunes include catchy gems about marsupials, archaeology, voting rights, and even a song about Ben Folds!  New hit “Champion of the Spelling Bee” reached #1 on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live and was featured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm.

Here’s a look at what else is going in this July and August at the Bronx Zoo:

July 11-12 Super Sprowtz Show: Super Hero Training Camp

Children of all ages will love watching Roger and the Super Sprowtz lead the audience through a high-energy super hero training camp featuring 4 levels of songs, dancing and games. Children will be led through an action-packed curriculum of health and wellness broken down into four easy-to-remember stages: Mind, Heart, Body, and Tummy! Their catchy music will have kids yelling “I want more broccoli!”, and their built-in games will teach the super-heroes in training which super powers come from which veggies! It’s all about learning to stay healthy and making smart choices. Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm. Location: The Tent at Grizzly Corners.

July 19 PLAY DATE Concert

Husband and wife duo Greg Attonito (The Bouncing Souls) and singer/songwriter Shanti Wintergate are the heart of the kindie music group Play Date. The goal of their music is to inspire children to use their imaginations — and their dance moves — to explore the world around them. Play Date’s aptly-named album Imagination won Creative Child’s 2014 Seal of Excellence Award. Called a “breath of fresh air” (swingwhistlezing.com), they’ll be bringing their guitars and infectious energy with popular songs “Dance Like a Monster,” “Anyone Can Sing,” and more! Play Date’s song “XYZ” was recently featured in a Nordstrom’s Back to School video called “The A to Z Life.” Date: July 19th, 2015. Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm &3:30pm


Explore nature and the sights and sounds of New York City’s Great Outdoors and the fun recreational activities visitors can participate in. Join Park Rangers and become a bird detective and even do some bird-watching. Learn how to pitch a tent, make a campfire and paddle on a real kayak. Then, experience what it was like to immigrant to our New York shores coming across the sea to Ellis Island. Times: 11-4:00. Location: Dancing Crane Pavilion.

August 2- 3 JUNGLE GYM Concert: A Live Rock-n-Roll Experience for the Whole Family! 

A Go “off the grid” with family rock act Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam as we celebrate the joy and energy of being outdoors among nature and give electronic gadgets a little break. With a Jersey rock vibe like Bruce Springsteen, they’ll sing about wonders in nature like ladybugs, sea lions, the beach and the moon. They’ll also take a very funny look at the wildest exhibit at the zoo– the people who visit! Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm.

August 29-30 HOT PEAS ‘N BUTTER 

Winners of the 2006, 2008, 2009 AND the 2012,”Parent’s Choice Awards”, Hot Peas ‘N Butter is a unique children’s musical group that incorporates elements of traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, folk, and rock. By combining an interactive, invigorating approach to performance with mature, multicultural music, Hot Peas ‘N Butter has developed a distinct way of inspiring care and creativity in kids and adults alike. These Bronx Zoo performances will be part of Hot Peas ’N Butter’s newest album video release party for “Amistad”! Times: 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm.

Craft: Make Nature Inspired Hanging Mobiles: This July, inspired by nature, the artist Alexander Calder and animals throughout the newly renovated Children’s Zoo, young artists will create their own unique  hanging mobile using a variety of materials like paper, popsicle sticks, beads, as well as natural materials like sticks, pinecones, and leaves. Participants will be encouraged to include representations of their favorite animals from the newly opened children’s zoo in their nature-inspired mobile!

Don’t miss Re-Usable the Musical, a one-of-a-kind puppet show, where a young girl named Kazumi takes a musical journey to learn about protecting our animals in the wild with actions we take at home. This show teaches kids how to protect the planet using the five Rs: Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and a very special and important R: Remember.  This show occurs in the Asia Theater at 12:30, 1:15, 2:00, 2:45, & 3:30pm.

How To Make Your Garden Grow

Come to our recycled garden and experience a pollinator garden, digging garden and vegetable garden. Every day there are games, activities and crafts to help your kids learn more about the importance of sustainable gardening and healthy eating for humans and wildlife. Open all summer, Daily 1pm4pm.

There will never be a dull weekend this summer with everything going on at the Bronx Zoo, so remember to embrace the luxury of living in (or close to!) a city with so much to offer all while encouraging outdoor exploration, connection to wildlife and nature and learning! What are you looking forward to checking out at the zoo? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section!

Check Out The Bronx Zoo #NYisWild

New York City is home to some amazing sights and activities. One of the best is the Bronx Zoo, which provides an educational and fun-filled experience for people of all ages. This summer, the Bronx Zoo will turn NYC into a city-wide social photo safari by inviting consumers to learn about “120 Ways #NYisWild.”  The more people share their in-park photos using the #NYisWild hashtag, the more chances they have to win a trip to Belize, one of the locations where the Wildlife Conservation Society—owner and operator of the Bronx Zoo – does some exciting and relevant conservation work.

California Sea Lion #1

California Sea Lion #1

I am pleased to announce that I am a Wildlife Conservation Society Zoo Crew Ambassador again for 2015 and I have great info to share about their 120 Ways NY is Wild #NYisWild Campaign.

Check Out 120 Ways NY is Wild (+ Ticket Discount for WCS Parks) #NYisWild | The Mama Maven Blog  @BronxZoo
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a city-wide campaign called #NYisWild is turning the concrete jungle into a summer-long photo safari. 100 of the 120 Ways takes places in the WCS parks: Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo & Queens Zoo.

Check Out 120 Ways NY is Wild (+ Ticket Discount for WCS Parks) #NYisWild | The Mama Maven Blog  @BronxZoo

How You Can Participate:

  • Choose from 120 “wild” attractions around the city and capturing a photo of each for a chance to win irresistible prizes
  • [Read more…]

New grizzly bear exhibit at Central Park Zoo

The WCS Central Park Zoo is opening an exhibit for rescued grizzly bears today.


The exhibit will open as the new home for two adult female grizzlies, Betty and Veronica, who were rescued in 1995 and brought to the Bronx Zoo. Betty originally came to New York from Montana and Veronica from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Both had become too accustomed to humans, and local authorities considered them a danger to people.

The bears are living in a remodeled habitat formerly occupied by polar bears. Significant portions of the exhibit renovation were made possible thanks to the generous support of Sandra de Roulet. Her generosity also helps support the care of all the bears in WCS’s zoos. The upper level viewing area of the Central Park Zoo exhibit has been “Treena’s Overlook,” a play on a nickname de Roulet had as a child. At this overlook, visitors will learn how people can better coexist with bears in the wild.
[Read more…]

July at SF Zoo!

Major events every weekend in July, plus bonus activities throughout the summer


Red, White & Zoo!
July 4, 5, and 6
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

This July 4th weekend, show your patriotism and your commitment to conservation by celebrating the Zoo’s red, white, and blue animals. See special animal feedings and hear Keeper Talks about our adorable red pandas, white pelicans, polar bears, and blue-tongued skink. Get your face painted like your favorite one! Also, don’t miss live animal shows all weekend at the Wells Fargo Wildlife Theatre and musical performances by kids’ folk band Hanna Banana at the new Elinor Friend Playground. All activities are free with paid Zoo admission.

Teddy Bear Festival
July 12 and 13
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Pete the Polar Bear and Baxter the Brown Bear will be on hand to greet children of all ages for a weekend of live music by the Raytones, take-home crafts, and a special photo opp with the whole family of Berenstein Bears. Plus, visitors can see a special animal enrichment activity at Grizzly Gulch: Grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona will be searching for food in a simulated campsite. This fun learning opportunity gives us the chance to talk about camping safety and the importance of respecting wildlife during summer travels. What’s more: Kids who bring their own teddy bear to the Zoo to get checked out at the Teddy Bear Clinic receive $2 off the price of admission. Join us for this weekend filled with fun and adventure. All activities are free with paid Zoo admission.
[Read more…]

World Oceans Day Celebration

Join us at the aquarium for a weekend of ocean-themed events to celebrate World Oceans Day! People around the world rely on oceans to survive and thrive, and we’re celebrating with the help of Bubble Guppies, kid-friendly activities, and family fun.

Activities Include:

Bubble Guppies
Celebrate the seas with Nickelodeon’s Bubble Guppies! Molly and Gill, the stars of the show, will be at the aquarium along with Bubble Puppy to meet and greet guests. Five attendees will have a chance to win a fin-tastic prize-pack, featuring an assortment of Bubble Guppies product.
Where: Oceanic Deck
Time: 11am; 1pm & 3pm

Create a recyclable craft!
Where: Ocean View Room
Time: 11am – 4pm

Sea Life Beach Cart
Come learn about local marine biodiversity & The Aquarium’s NY SeaScape through chats and interactive experiences.
[Read more…]

Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed

Dinosaurs are roaring back at the Bronx Zoo!

Back by popular demand, the 2014 Dinosaur Safari ride provides a whole new dinosaur experience!  Visitors will be transformed into detectives and discover how fossils provide clues to what really occurred in our prehistoric past. Witness a gigantic T.rex stalking an injured Triceratops! Catch a peek of mothers protecting their nests and curious babies from lurking predators. Keep your eyes peeled for dinosaur goo from 3 spitting Dilophosaurus. With tons of adventure, interactive vignettes, magnificent dinosaurs, and lush surroundings, this year’s Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed is bigger, badder, and better than ever!
[Read more…]