We headed to the zoo yesterday on a Wednesday for the first time this year. They just reopened to everyone on July 24th and this was the first pay-what-you-wish day since the pandemic. I was excited for the opportunity to get out, get some air and for the boys to be able to be somewhere that they love. But I will admit we haven’t been anywhere that usually boasts a big crowd in MONTHS. Of course the Bronx Zoo listed online all the safety precautions they would be taking upon reopening, but seeing it all unfold in real time was different.
The Zoo is Operating with Limited Capacity.
Tickets are required to be purchased in advance for EVERYONE. Members, healthcare heroes and the general public must all have date specific tickets with a specified entry time. Wednesday tickets are sold starting at 10am on the Tuesday prior, and still are time specific. There is also no reentry to the park once you have left for the day.
July 29th was the first free Wednesday at the zoo and I was worried about what it would look like because the online queue process was CRAZY. However, it was a clearly a very controlled crowd. We walked right up to a lot of exhibits and were the only ones seeing some of the animals on a Wednesday afternoon. A first in….. forever!
All of the recommended safety precautions, are being put into effect.
Staff and all guests aged 3 and up are required to wear masks. We had no problem with this even when it was 90 degrees. Staff members were also in place reminding guests to wear their masks PROPERLY and I appreciated this. I’d say 95% of the guests I saw in passing were compliant without being asked.
Social distancing markers and reminders are spread throughout the zoo and at every exhibit. There were also plenty of hand sanitizing stations including outside every restroom and near high touch points. Staff controlled lines at some of the more popular exhibits where crowding happens more often (i.e, Tiger Mountain) and I saw sanitizing happening regularly on glass windows at exhibits and high touch points.
As of 7/29/20, indoor exhibits remain closed.
Most of the big indoor exhibits and areas where social distancing are harder to maintain remain closed as of the date above. RJ was disappointed he couldn’t go into World of Reptiles. The Bug Carousel, Butterfly Garden and Congo Gorilla Forest were all closed. The monorail seems to be running daily. You can always check the map on the day you’re at the park. It provides up to date information on the exhibits that are closed.
Since reopening, the animals at the Bronx Zoo are tired!
LOL this one is not a fact, but I can imagine that they were enjoying their peace without guests. A lot of the animals were hiding (it was also extremely hot). I imagine they have to get used to having so much company again. It was still an amazing trip and we will definitely be back before the summer is over (and hopefully for Boo at the Zoo). I felt very comfortable with the way they are managing crowds, cleaning and reminding guests of the safety recommendations.
With everything you know now about the reopening, are you excited to head to the Bronx Zoo?