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Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo: Family Outing

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo: Family Outing

Beardsley Zoo, Connecticut’s only zoo, offers 52 acres of wild experiences for kids, students, and families with dynamic, interactive programming based on education, conservation, and recreation.

Founded in 1922, Beardsley Zoo is home to many exotic animals, including Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, North American River otters, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Visitors can also see Rochan, the zoo’s 16-month-old Red panda. 

red panda

Meet Rochan, Beardsely Zoo’s 16-month-old male Red panda.

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Year-Round Fun

Two giant anteaters are the newest additions to the Pampas Plains South American exhibit, which features animals and plants from the Pampas region of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. This exhibit also features four Chacoan peccaries and two greater rhea, and it is expecting a vicuña, a small South American relative to the camel and llama family. This will be the first vicuña on exhibit in the U.S. in more than 20 years. 

Other exhibits include South American Rainforest with a free-flight aviary; a prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas; a New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other domesticated barnyard animals; and the Hoofstock Trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Don’t forget to visit the Victorian Greenhouse, snack in the Peacock Café, and have a ride on the indoor carousel

The ongoing Evening Lecture Series, which runs spring through fall, is designed to teach learners of all ages about the wonders of wildlife. 


Visitors have been able to see peafowl, such as this Indian Blue peacock, roaming the zoo’s grounds since it opened. 

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Annual Events

Celebrate Earth Day at Party for the Planet in April, and learn about organic and earth-friendly lifestyles. May is Endangered Species Celebration month, when the zoo focuses on the importance of protecting endangered animals and plants. Teddy Bear Fest in September is a day of crafts and storytelling focused on bear awareness. Spooky events, such as Howl-O-Ween, Scarecrow Parade, and Boo at the Zoo, take place in October. Get in the holiday spirit with Breakfast with Frosty and Friends in December.  


 Enjoy a ride on Beardsely Zoo’s colorful indoor carousel.  


Address: 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport, CT

Directions: Approximately a 1-hour and 10-minute drive from New City.

Hours: Daily, 9am-4pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days. 

Admission: $14; $11 children ages 3-11 and seniors; free for children 3 and younger. 

For more information: beardsleyzoo.com or 203-394-6565.

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Catherine Patwell

Author: Catherine Patwell is a student of journalism and Italian at Hunter College. When not studying, she is running along the Hudson River, reading cookbooks, or plotting her next travel adventure. Catherine currently resides in Manhattan. See More

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