This is the first story in a series where we feature one family-friendly day trip idea a day. Read the entire series and find great ideas for things to do with kids in NJ here.

Cape May County Zoo is one of New Jersey's most enjoyable destinations for families. Your kids will love exploring this 550-creature zoo and parents will love how affordable it is.

There's no charge for parking and admission is free but donations are appreciated.

Our Favorite parts?

The zoo features a petting area where patrons can feed pellets to billy goats, llamas, ponies and cows.

Wailing peacocks freely roam the area and if you're lucky, you'll catch one with it's feathers brilliantly-fanned out.

The train and carousel rides run all summer long. The park has plenty of bathrooms and food areas located on the grounds.

Exploring the Cape May Zoo

Kids can get an up-close look at colorfully coiled snakes, darting lizards and sluggish turtles and more at the Reptile House.

A walk along the deck through the African Savannah reveals a large plain-like enclosure where antelopes, giraffes and zebras graze in the sun.

An indoor aviary provides a artfully landscaped respite from the outdoors. The exotic birds inside call out and fly about freely and you can take some great photos of the birds among the flowers and pools.

The lion's booming roars can be heard all through the zoo when the big cat raises his voice.

Other big cat exhibits include mountain lions, dappled cheetahs, leopards and big pacing tigers.

The monkeys are always sure to attract visitors with their quick-paced antics and entertaining games.

Food, Parking, Hours

The park has a picnic area for parents who want to bring bagged lunches but there's also a snack hut for those who want to treat the kids.

Your smaller children will love taking the train ride or spending time on the animal-themed carousel. These rides are open daily from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Summer from July to August, weather permitting. The cost is one token per ride, and tokens can be purchased for $3 each or 2 for $5.

The zoo is open every day of the year (except Christmas) and summer hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Get directions to the zoo!

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