What We Like About the Queens Zoo:
- The California sea lions are total hams and a real delight. Try to plan your visit to their habitat at their feeding times (11:15 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.).
- Great for young kids; there's even a playground near the exit.
- Easy walking route around the habitats (wheelchair- and stroller-accessible).
- Nice place to take a stroll: over the duck pond's bridge, through the beautiful geodesic-dome aviary, around the natural habitats...
What We Don't Like About the Queens Zoo:
- The "petting zoo" isn't really a petting zoo, it's a small farm; but you can pet the goats when they poke their heads over the fence
- On a busy, sunny weekend, the zoo feels its small size when you wait your turn at each habitat. Too crowded.
- Tough to reach by public transportation.
- Will not impress your nephew who lives to see crocodiles, elephants, and giraffes.
What to Do at the Queens Zoo:
- Costs - $6/adults, $2/kids, $2.25/seniors
- Times - Open all year, seasonal hours
- Services - Gift shop; self-serve cafeteria
It's always a treat to see the American bison (buffalo) padding their hill at the zoo. Other highlights are the big cats (that puma is huge!) and endangered spectacled bears. I love watching the many types of wild ducks quacking in their woodsy waterway.
A geodesic dome is the zoo's home for birds (and a porcupine). Inside this structure from the 1964-65 World's Fair is a steeply inclined walkway that takes you into the trees, even eye-level with a vulture.
Near the zoo's exit, there's a small playground where your kids can blow off the last of their steam. (The zoo plans to revamp the area by mid-2008.)
What to Do After the Zoo:
If you're more ambitious, the New York Hall of Science is a close walk on the Corona side.
Where to Eat Near the Queens Zoo:
Across the square from the Lemon Ice King is Parkside (107-01 Corona Ave, Corona, 718-271-9871), a great old-school Italian restaurant. If you want to imagine yourself an extra on the set of The Sopranos, this is the place.
About the Queens Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society:
The Wildlife Conservation Society is a non-profit devoted to saving wildlife and wild lands. It runs the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, the Central Park Zoo, and the Prospect Park Zoo. It's active in conservation and education in countries around the globe.
Directions to the Queens Zoo:
- Address - 53-51 111th St, Corona, NY 11368
- Phone - 718-271-1500
- Map (Google Maps)
Parking - The lot at 111th Street between 53rd and 55th Avenues (to the right of Terrace on the Park) is your best bet. Walk downhill into park and turn left toward zoo.
Subway and Bus - You could take the 7 subway to 111th Street, but that's a long walk. You could pair it with a ride down 108th Street on the Q28 bus.