The Cape May County Park & Zoo is a park and wildlife center in Cape May Court House in New Jersey. Set on 85 acres of beautifully maintained parkland, the zoo is home to more than 500 animals from over 250 species housed in environmentally-friendly and natural habitats. Exhibits at the zoo range from a vast 57-acre African Savannah and a free-flight aviary to a significant reptile collection. Established in 1978, the Cape May County Park & Zoo is managed by the Cape May County Zoological Society/ZooFriends, who provide funds for the upkeep of the award-winning park and zoo. The surrounding park offers beautiful landscapes in which to relax and enjoy picnics.
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Founded on the site of what was once a southern plantation of the Matthews family, the Cape May County Park was established in 1963 by the State of New Jersey with the aim of providing a recreational green space for the community to enjoy. The park developed several facilities, many of which are still available today, with the addition of much more over the years, such as picnic pavilions and barbecue pits, horseshoe pitching courts, shuffleboard courts, playgrounds, volleyball, badminton and croquet courts, and a camping area for scouts. Other recreational facilities that have since been added include tennis, tetherball, bocce and hopscotch courts, an archery range and a nature trail.
The Cape May County Zoo was founded in 1978 with a small collection of animals that include an African lion, various barnyard animals, and spider monkeys, and today features more exotic animals like bison, antelope, black bears and more. The zoo is home to a variety of natural habitats that house animals from all over the world, such as a giraffe and camel exhibit, a vast African Savannah exhibit, a cougar exhibit, a Bengal tiger exhibit, a ‘World of Birds,' and a reptile house. There is also a medical and diet preparation building.
In addition to the animal habitats, the zoo has several other attractions such as a Wildlife Carousel with 20 colorful animal-shaped seats, and the Rock Climb Snow Leopard Mountain where visitors can test their rock climbing skills on a safe and fun rock climbing wall. The Hummingbird Express Train Ride winds its way through the park, offering a pleasant and relaxing way to explore the surroundings. Honey Bee Haven showcases the life of the honey bee and the important role they play in the environment, and the Penny Machines offer a selection of pennies to take home as souvenirs. Face Painting and Caricature drawing are available in the Courtyard in the summer, and a Photo Booth is a fun way of savoring memories.
The surrounding park features several playgrounds, picnic pavilions, a fishing pond and a lovely gazebo for weddings, as well as the new Tree-to-Tree Aerial Obstacle Adventure Park, which promises unforgettable experiences for the whole family.
The Cape May County Park & Zoo supports several conservation and species survival programs, including programs for the survival of the Panamanian Golden Frog, the Marginated Turtle, and the Eastern Tiger Salamander. Patrons can adopt an animal at the zoo by contributing towards the costs of feeding, caring and providing veterinary needs for the animals for a year.
The Cape May County Park & Zoo offers a variety of educational programs and experiences for children of all ages, ranging from summer zoo camps, scout programs, and youth tennis to Fun for Kids experiences such as scavenger hunts, and infant and kindergarten days.
The Cape May County Park & Zoo is open to the public from 10:00 am until 3:45 pm during the winter months and 10:00 am until 4:45 pm in the summer. Visitors can explore the zoo on a trackless train ride around the facility and enjoy fun times on the old-fashioned carousel, which features a variety of zoo animals for riding seats. Ninety-minute guided zoo tours are offered at 10:30 am daily, led by experienced Zoo Education staff guide who will share their knowledge and expertise about the zoo and its residents. An exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour takes visitors into areas unseen by the public and visits the Diet Building, where all the animals’ food is prepared, and the Reptile House to see how the zoo keepers care for the 85 species of reptiles and amphibians.
The Ark in the Park Gift Shop offers an array of the zoo and animal-related goods, clothing, books, toys, souvenirs, and gifts and the Safari Café serves a menu of healthy snacks and drinks throughout the day. Two kiosks inside the zoo also sell a selection of snacks and beverages.
707 Route 9 North - Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 Exit 11 off the Garden State Parkway, website
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