The Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo are also reopening.


After months of closure, New York’s Bronx Zoo is reopening to the public.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the reopening of the Bronx Zoo, along with the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. The zoos will all reopen to the public on Friday, July 24. Preview days for WCS members will run from July 20 to 23.

Like many other attractions throughout the country, the zoos have opened with precautions in place including a facemask mandate and rules for social distancing. Guests are only able to move in one direction around the exhibits.

All visitors will be required to purchase tickets in advance for a specific date only before visiting the zoo. Only a limited number of tickets will be available each day and tickets will not be sold at the gate. Contactless entry will be provided for guests to scan their own tickets.

Bronx Zoo entrance
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo will still host its traditional free Wednesdays, beginning July 29, but visitors will still be required to register in advance for tickets, according to a press release from the WCS.

Before heading to the zoo, visitors are encouraged to check online for a list of precautions, rules and information on what’s open to the public. While most outdoor exhibits are open, visitors may not be able to enter indoor spaces.

The park has been closed since March 15 due to the pandemic. During the closure, a tiger at the zoo tested positive for COVID-19. At least seven animals are believed to have contracted the virus after coming in contact with an asymptomatic zoo employee.

Western Lowland Gorilla
A western lowland gorilla in a habitat at the Bronx Zoo.
| Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Bronx Zoo
Slender-Horned Gazelles
Slender-horned gazelles graze at the Bronx Zoo.
| Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Bronx Zoo

New York City entered Phase Four of its reopening on July 20. The phase allowed zoos, botanical gardens, outdoor museums, and the grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions to reopen to the public. Indoor attractions like movie theatres, museums, and Broadway shows remain closed at this time.

According to the Department of Health, New York City has reported a total of 218,248 cases of coronavirus and 18,787 confirmed deaths.