I have to admit, I have a penchant for visiting the southern states over all the others. I think I had some fake idea that only warm weather could happen down there or something. I’m not even sure really… I have only begun to hit some of the northern and western states in the past few years! New Jersey was one of those places I knew I’d visit because all 50 states is a huge bucket list adventure for me but it was never a huge priority. I think I may owe NJ an apology. Had I known it was this beautiful I would have made a trip much sooner! My boyfriend’s family goes to Stone Harbor, NJ every few years and HOLY WOW is it AMAZING!!!! I’ll post another story about the beach and the area that we stayed in soon, but today’s adventure is about a sweet little zoo that is tucked away from one of the main roads towards the beach.
OH EM GEEEEEEE!!!! I was on a trip to Stone Harbor and had no idea what to expect. On the way into town we passed this little gem and I reverted back into a 5 year old child when I realized we had just passed a zoo. “OH MY GOSHHHHH!!!! WAS THAT A ZOOOOO??? CAN WE GOOOO????” My boyfriend warily looked over at me and assured me that we would go later in the week. When we headed down there, we took a group large enough to start our own dance crew and headed inside. The parking is interesting. You weave your way back into the woods and finally pull into your spot. The speed limit is 9 1/2. I had to take a picture of the sign because that just cracked me up.
You walk into a wooded walkway and are greeted by many new things that they are adding. They put in a zipline area and some treetop activities as well! It looked pretty cool and seemed to be a neat addition to the zoo.
The area opens up and once you get inside there is a merry go round with brightly painted animals, a train and a climbing wall. You can ride them or climb the wall for a $3 token each. Around the corner is the gift shop and the bathrooms. Admission to the zoo and parking is FREE!! They do ask for donations though, so help them out!! They are a non profit, and they are also part of the SPECIES SURVIVAL PLAN (SSP) PROGRAM. (If you are driving a large van or bus there is a small fee to park.)
First things first, if you are expecting something like the San Diego Zoo, then get outta here. This zoo is on the smaller side but still plenty big enough, and they take donations!!!!!
The zoo was broken up into sections and it was just remarkable. The animals were behind chain linked fences in some areas which allowed for some great pictures.
They even had some goats that you are allowed to pet!
Maps are available of the park, so be sure to follow it or you may miss a nook and cranny. There are a few concession areas throughout as well, which was good because we had a few kiddos with us and it was definitely a little steamy out.
If you need a refreshing break from the heat, head inside to the World of Birds Aviary before you wander around too far. It’s beautiful inside and there are so many different types of lush greenery, birds, a few frogs and even a turtle or two!
Before you leave for the day stop in to see the animals in the aquarium too, but keep in mind, it isn’t for those who are faint of heart, they do have a few snakes and reptiles as well!
Besides the animal part of the zoo, I loved that they added a walkway through the trees after the first concession area. I just stood in there in the shade and watched this silly squirrel roll around in the dirt for awhile. It was super cute, and very tranquil. There were many green spaces that made me feel as if I weren’t in the zoo, but instead had wandered into some grand forest for wanderlusters.
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Spring/Summer)
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Fall/Winter)
Open 7 days a week
Closed Christmas Day
Admission and Parking are FREE for cars only (but please give them a small donation!)