Visit: Seneca Park Zoo {Rochester, New York}

by Cate on April 25, 2017

A quiet zoo in upstate New York, it’s the perfect place to visit for a bit of family fun.

Untitled

So, last week we were in Canada for a few days (more on that coming soon), and we decided to overnight in Rochester, New York on the way home. When we were eating breakfast in the hotel the next morning, I checked out what was in the area, as we wanted to poke around a bit before heading home. I saw that we were less than ten miles away from the Seneca Park Zoo, a zoo that we haven’t been to, and with my kids, a zoo is usually a sure thing.

Well, it turns out Nick wasn’t in the mood for a zoo, but he also wasn’t keen on my follow-up suggestions of the Jell-O or brewery museums, so with a little gentle coaxing, we were off to the zoo, which pretty much put my 9-year-old in seventh heaven. Because if it involves any kind of animals, she’s all in (and once we got there, Nick admitted that it was a good stop, so win/win).

Untitled

It was really easy to find and parking is free (hurrah for small wins!), and we were lucky enough to find a space near the entrance. I didn’t want to spend the entire day there, because we still had a 4+ hour drive home, but when I saw people leaving at 11:30 am, when the zoo only opened at 10, I figured it was the perfect size for the time we had, and I was right.

It’s bigger than Turtleback Zoo, but smaller than the Bronx Zoo, which made it exactly what we wanted. The zoo was also laid out in a very simple and straight-forward manner. No traipsing all over to find animals you missed, it was actually one of the most cleanly laid out zoos we’ve visited.

Untitled

They had a good assortment of animals, both big and small, and they had a good mix of animals that you would typically see in a zoo, like elephants and lions, along with animals that you don’t see quite as often, like hyenas and Golden Lion Tamarin. And to be honest, the breadth of animals there didn’t matter because we seriously could have stayed and watched the baboons and otters for hours. HOURS.

The otter was so adorable and obsessed in doing laps. He looked so zen swimming back and forth in his area, he would swim towards us with his face up, and turn around at the end and flip over and swim back the other way on his back. It was the cutest thing ever.

Untitled

And the baboons? Well, they were so hysterical to watch. So interactive with each other. Whether they were cleaning their nails, looking for bugs in each other’s fur, or chasing their friends around their enclosure, they were just funny, and it was hard to tear ourselves away.

Untitled

Untitled

And the lions. When we approached their area, there was a huge, beautiful lion sleeping quite soundly right by the glass (which reminded me of our Bronx Zoo visit), and there was a huge bus at the far end of the exhibit area. On the hood of the bus, there was another lion sleeping. From a distance, I swore it was a statue. The way the exhibit was set up, the hood of the bus is inside their cage, but the rest of the bus is outside the cage, so people were climbing on and off the bus and getting closerthanthis to him, and he didn’t move. He was sleeping so soundly before we got there, I was sure he wasn’t real. Eventually he woke up and it was fun for the kids to be able to get so close to him.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

No zoo visit is complete without a visit to the gift shop (of course!), and Maddie HAD to get a stuffed animal. Even though I said no more stuffed animals, my resolve was weak and she fell in love with a snow leopard. Her eagle eyes spotted a smashed penny machine, and since that’s my favorite souvenir to collect, I was a happy camper.

Untitled

If you’re in the area or looking for a day trip and something to do with your family, do pop into the Seneca Park Zoo. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Oh! And it’s a great bargain as far as zoos go … $12 for adults and $9 for kids, you can’t beat it!

Hungry for more zoos?
Well, we’ve visited a lot of them. The Bronx Zoo, the Maryland Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Cape May County Park and Zoo, and the Turtleback Zoo. I know I’m missing the Popcorn Zoo, so I guess I never blogged about it. Will have to go back again this summer so I can share it.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: