Going to New York for the first time with my family (kids are 9yr old twins). They love animals. We're staying in NYC for 6 days. Is it worth taking a day trip to the Bronx Zoo or is the Central Park Zoo adequate?
With 6 days and two 9 year olds, one day at the Bronx Zoo is my advice...and it will take you a full day to see a lot of it, but not all of it...
The tiger area was amazing...a door that had an iron grill inside it was opened to the compound from the visitors area by a zoo spokesperson and one came and stood up against it...it towered over us...a never to be forgotten sight....the gorilla area is also fascinating. It's a lot of travel so dress to be on the move even with all the transportation available inside the park...they will be tired!!!
The Bronx Zoo is much larger than the Central Park Zoo. If your kids really love animals that is the place. The tradeoff is that the Central Park Zoo can be combined with other things on a given day. For instance, you could go to the Museum of Natural History in the morning and then the Central Park Zoo in the afternoon. The Bronx Zoo is out of the way and can't really be combined with anything like that - with 1 and 1/2 exceptions. The Bronx Zoo is also near the NY Botanical Garden - I doubt kids dig that. The 1/2 is that the Bronx Zoo is relatively near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx - a great Little Italy where you could go for spaghetti and meatballs at the end of the day. Have a great time!
They are completely different experiences. The Bronx Zoo is a place to see lots of animals. I'm not sure how you get there via public transportation. The Central Park Zoo isn't a great zoo, but the park is a great place for lots of entertainment for kids, including a fabulous carousel. If its your first time to NYC, I would not spend the whole day at the Bronx Zoo. If you have been before, or plan to be back soon, the Bronx Zoo is wonderful. Don't know if this helps much.