Visit Bronx Zoo on any Wednesday and pay what you want for admission. Suggested donation is $16 and they hope that you pay what you honestly can, it’s for the animals after all! You may wish to pay Nothing if you like – translation: Completely FREE. So Wednesday is the obvious day for a jaunt up to the Bronx Zoo Right? Wrong!
While you may choose to pay nothing at the door, or be able to purchase the “total experience” (i.e. to see the stuff you go to zoos to see) for $12.95 instead of $30, there’s the hidden cost of enduring the raging sea of humanity. The walking paths throughout the zoo were infested with people. Young, lackadaisical parents amble about as their storm of spawn swirl around them Lord of the Flies style. When these parents grew bored of apathy, they incited a stroller aggression that 7th ave in park slope merely hints at.
The alarming info-signs scattered throughout the zoo that warn of the ravages of human population growth and deforestation were particularly grim given the context. My misanthropy was duly tested.
When I could get a glimpse of any of the exhibits from behind mobs of jackasses jockeying for optimum phone cam angles and/or squealing kids banging on shit to get the animals’ attention, the zoo was impressive in both scale and curation. The gorilla area is one of the most extensive I’ve seen at a zoo. The Asian rainforest exhibit is well executed. There are also a bunch of very rare and fun South American primates that were immune to crowds. I didn’t ride the monorail (re: end of 2nd paragraph).
My advice: Pony up the $30 for the total experience on a random Monday morning in the spring or fall.