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Bronx Zoo Tickets | Free Wednesdays

Updated: April 7, 2024

As guides who offer free tours, we're always being asked about the best low-cost activities in the city, and the Bronx Zoo is definitely one of the best attractions you can visit without paying a dime.

In addition to covering how to get tickets, what to see there, and where the zoo is located, this post also provides details about Bronx Zoo free days.

When is the Bronx Zoo Free?

Visit on Wednesdays when admission is “Suggested Donation Day" or pay what you wish. Learn more.

You must make reservations for your Bronx Zoo free tickets online in advance, and they are general admission tickets.

According to the Bronx Zoo's website, "The Wednesday Ticket Store opens on Mondays at 5:00 pm for that Wednesday".

Premium exhibits and rides will cost more. That said, you can get the equivalent of an Unlimited Experience ticket for just $9.95 on Wednesdays!

We have many other suggestions for free or pay-what-you-wish days at other popular NYC museums and attractions (click here).

We also have a post on free things to do in NYC.

TIP: If you can't manage to get Bronx Zoo Wednesday tickets, the New York Sightseeing Pass includes admission to this attraction at no additional cost.



Hours change seasonally. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Martin Luther King Jr Day.

High season with extended hours runs generally from April through October.

April 2nd to November 5th

  • Monday-Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (17:00)
  • Weekends & Holidays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm (17:30)

November 6th to March 31st

  • Daily 10:00 am - 4:30 pm (16:30)

Note: Animal exhibits close 30 min prior to park closing and 4-D Theater, Bug Carousel, and Zoo Shuttle are open until park closing.

Bronx Zoo Admission Price

There are two types of tickets: Limited Admission and Unlimited Experience.

Each of these is a reserved ticket, which means it will be valid during the time you select during purchase.

The Bronx Zoo's Limited Admission Ticket is included free for holders of the Sightseeing Pass, a tourist pass. 

Limited Admission Ticket

  • Adult $26.95
  • Child (3-12) $18.95
  • Senior (65+) $24.95
  • Children 2 years and under are free. 

Purchase online, at the gate, or order the Sightseeing Pass.

A general Bronx Zoo admission ticket includes the following areas:

  • Tiger Mountain
  • Madagascar
  • World of Birds
  • African Plains
  • Himalayan Highlands
  • Sea Lion Pool

Unlimited Experience Ticket (Apr-Oct)

  • Adult $33.95 - $41.20
  • Child (3-12) $23.95 - $31.20
  • Senior (65+) $26.95 - $36.20
  • Children 2 years and under are free.

Unlimited Experience Ticket (Nov - Mar)

  • Adult $30.95
  • Child (3-12) $22.95
  • Children 2 years and under are free.

Can be purchased online or at the gate.

The Unlimited Experience ticket includes everything that the general tickets include plus several premium areas that cost an additional $6 each if you only have the general admission ticket.

Guests will have unlimited access to the following attractions and areas:

  • JungleWorld
  • 4-D Theater
  • Bug Carousel
  • Congo Gorilla Forest
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Wild Asia Monorail
  • the Zoo Shuttle

You can purchase Bronx Zoo tickets at the gate.

Wednesday reservations will need to be made online, but if you're coming on any other day, you can get your tickets at the gate.

Ways to Save

Free Limited Admission to New York City undergraduate college students. Eligible students must be:

  • Attending an NYC college (must show a valid college ID from an institution within the 5 boroughs of New York City;
  • NYC resident, attending non-NYC college (must show valid college ID and proof of NYC residency).

Like many zoos around the world, the Bronx Zoo offers membership options that allow you to pay one flat price for free access to the zoo throughout the year.

Prices start at $90 per person and $180 for families. Learn more here.

The Bronx Zoo offers special prices year-round to any active duty or reserve members of the U.S. Military and veterans when they present a valid military ID at the admissions gate.

Depending on when you visit, you could get a free Total Experience Ticket or General Admission ticket and 50% off for up to three family members included on the same admissions transaction.

You can only get these special prices tickets at the admissions booths, not through the online ticket store. 

Try Groupon and Living Social, which often offer 20% - 50% off entrance to the Bronx Zoo. It's worth a look. 

AAA members save up to 20% on admission.

Use promo key AAANY when purchasing tickets for the Wildlife Conservation Service, which also gives special prices to AAA members at other zoos in New York City.

Goldstar usually offers a regular deal of approximately 30% off the Unlimited Experience ticket


The Bronx Zoo is easy to get to with the New York City Subway. From Times Square, it is approximately a 1-hour ride on the 2 train.

Use our interactive Google Map for directions to the zoo by public transportation or car.

If you are new to the subway system, then be sure to read the following two posts:

There is also the BxM11 express bus, which runs along Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan ending at the zoo's Bronx River entrance.

If you are considering a tourist hop-on-hop-off bus ticket, do note that none offer stops at the Bronx Zoo, but you can get to the zoo easily from most Harlem stops.

Where is the parking lot at the Bronx Zoo?

You can also drive here, and they have parking on-site.

There are two entrances with parking lots available to visitors and members at the Bronx River Gate and the Southern Boulevard Gate.

It will cost $20 to park at the Bronx Zoo.

What are the busiest days at the Bronx Zoo?

Wednesdays are the busiest times to visit due to the fact that they offer free admission on those days.

It also gets pretty popular during weekends and in the summer, so the quietest times to visit would be every other weekday but Wednesday.


Year-Round Exhibits

With more than 7,000 resident animals showcased over 265 acres, The Bronx Zoo is the largest city zoo in the country!

Visitors will see a vast array of animals and habitats including the Monkey House, Jungle World, the World of Darkness with bats and other nocturnal animals, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and even a Children's Zoo.

Congo Gorilla Forest Bronx Zoo

Be sure to catch a Sea Lion and Penguin Feeding! There is also the Nature Trek.

Seasonal and Special Events

The Zoo often has additional activities aligned with the season of the year so always check their events page to see if anything special is going on when you plan to visit.

For example, in September, they put on a Harvest Festival that gives the kiddies a chance to dance to bluegrass music, participate in apple tasting, learn about composting and pressing flowers, and other activities relating to the fall harvest.

TIP: The Bronx Zoo is within walking distance of what some New Yorkers believe is the "true" Little Italy: Arthur Avenue.

Check out our Self-guided Food Tour of nearby Arthur Avenue for some of the best Italian food in all of New York City!

You also might care to read our post on visiting the Central Park Zoo.


About The Author

Courtney Shapiro

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”. READ MORE...
Updated: April 7th, 2024
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