Turtle Back Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave
West Orange, NJ

When the summer comes around, I am always look for a day trip to go on with the family. It’s fun to go somewhere close and fun. Recently, I was invited to check out the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. I have gone to Turtle Back Zoo before, but I must say, every time I go the zoo gets bigger and better!

I absolutely love Turtle Back Zoo. It’s the perfect size zoo for a day trip and a place you can visit over and over again. My middle son and daughter loved the prairie dogs display. There is an underground tunnel that you can duck down into and go with your child, or older children can go into alone. When they pop up they are in the middle of a prairie dog habitat! What a super experience! My children loved it!

Another wonderful feature of Turtle Back Zoo is something called a Zoo Key. A Zoo Key hangs on a necklace and can be used in story boxes that are found next to many of the animal displays. One side of the key plays a catchy tune about the animal, the other side tell some facts about the same animal. The Zoo Key is only $3.00 and well worth it!
The walk around the zoo was so refreshing and quite a learning experience. It was wonderful to see penguins, bison, elk, and highland cattle just going about their business as we looked on.
Of course we did have to stop at the beautiful animal themed carousel. What a delightful addition to the zoo!
As our day at the zoo continued we came across more and more exciting exhibits. While inside the Bear House, the bear walked right up to the window. What a fantastic experience to have just a window between you and a big brown bear!
If you are looking for a hands on experience with animals, Turtle Back Zoo is the right place. There are pony rides, a petting zoo, and my personal favorite The Aviary. On the way into the aviary you can purchase a flat stick coated with bird seeds and then feed the birds as they land right on your stick! Wow! If you love birds, this is the place for you.

So, if you are looking for a fun day out with the family, friends, or just a day to yourself, I cannot think of a better place that you could be than Turtle Back Zoo. We finished up our trip with checking out more exhibits such as the alligator, red panda, leopard, the reptile house and more! Of course we could not leave until we took a ride on the train that takes you on a scenic ride through the woods and we finished up with some ice-cream and cotton candy!
Wow! It’s hard to believe Turtle Back Zoo is right here in Essex County! What a treasure. If you have a chance, please check out Turtle Back Zoo! You will not be disappointed.
For admission prices and special events please check out:
Disclosure: 3decades3kids were guests of the zoo.
All opinions are that of 3decades3kids.

Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights!

Turtle Back Zoo

Holiday Light Spectacular!

When December rolls around, I am always in awe of all of the Christmas lights that glow everywhere I go. I especially like going to places that have light displays. This year we tried something new. I visited Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ with my family.

We have visited the zoo many times, but never for the holiday lights. We were so surprised as we drove into the parking lot to see the zoo illuminated by thousands of beautiful lights. As we approached the entrance my family and I were greeted by Frosty the Snowman! Christmas music was everywhere. It was very welcoming and we could not wait to get inside and check out all the displays.

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the zoo was not only a feast for the eyes, but many of the animals were there as well! We were able to view the wolves, monkeys, a cow, pig, chickens, and many more animals. We also spotted many lights that were animal shaped! My favorites were the elephants and giraffe lights. My daughter loved the peacock lights! We each had our favorite.My son liked ALL of them!

After our chilly walk was over, my children enjoyed a ride on the Merry Christmas Go Round and then we warmed up with some nice hot cocoa. Oh, yes, I almost forgot: Santa was there! What a perk! Lights, Zoo Animals, Merry Go Round, Hot Cocoa and Santa- What else could you really ask for to make the night more perfect? By the way, the admission is free. but the zoo is collecting non-perishables as donations. What a great idea!