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“Visit to the park and zoo”

Van Saun County Park / Bergen County Zoological Park
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Paramus
Certificate of Excellence
Exeter, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Visit to the park and zoo”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

We had a wonderful morning visiting the park, which is a jewel in the suburban sprawl of Northern New Jersey. It is great to see a county and municipalities making parks a priority in this difficult financial climate. The park is maintained with a level of detail that one rarely sees these days. The park is not privatized, it is staffed with county employees, many of which were summer employees of high school and college age. The exhibits were very nice, as was the collection of farm equipment scattered throughout the park.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Jason K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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327 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Fort Lee, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
288 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Great fun!”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

The park is lovely, well appointed and maintained and there is a great playground for children to roam and play. Plenty of tables and picnic areas and there is an abundance of parking also. There is no fee to enter the park or park your vehicle there. My favorite however, is the zoo. There is a discounted rate of $4.00 per adult from 16-on if you are a Bergen County resident, $8.00 if you are not. Children under 3 are free whether you are a resident or not. They only take cash, so leave your credit cards in your wallet. There is a cute little spot for simple lunching like hot dogs, chips, ice cream, and sodas. They do have a cute gift shop also. The zoo itself is not very large, but good enough for a few hours to enjoy with the family. They have many exhibits such as the prairie dogs, bison/elk, monkeys, alligators, wallaby/wallroo's, owls, turtles, mountain lion, birds/ducks, the giant ant eater, tapir's, ocelot's, codi's, condor's, tamarin's, horses, donkey's, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and a few others. Super fun and the zoo staff are also very friendly. You can't beat the price and whether you are a child or a big kid at heart, it's a great place to spend a few weekend hours!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank CFS16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oradell, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great for visitors with young children”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I would rate it excellent if the signage was better and the bathrooms in better shape. (FYI- bathrooms are called "Comfort Stations".) The park and parking lot is free. All attractions (zoo, rides, etc) have a fee. County tax payers get a discount.
The county park has a beautiful carousel, a zoo that is easy to navigate- with animals much closer than large city zoos and there is a small railroad ride that is a real federally registered railroad. There are also pony rides, which might look dinky to adults but to the little ones the ponies seem very big and the ride is just about long enough. The colorful popular playground has lots of safe climbing attractions and many local families are there every week.The food concession may or may not be open. There is food available in the zoo but there is an admission price to get in. The ice cream truck will come in during the warm weather.
There is parking although it not all of it is right next to the zoo/playground. Picnickers and equipment can be dropped at the curb but parking on the inner road is prohibited. Some roads are one way and the entrances and the front entrance does not allow left turns in or out.
The picnic and barbeque areas (Permits for groups over 10) are usually used by families from nearby cities (Passaic, Paterson and NYC) because the park is smaller, cleaner and less crowded than city parks. The covered pavilions require permits. A permit will help avoid the problem of all the good areas being held by permits. There is NO alcohol allowed and the county enforces this rule. The adjacent properties are all private homes except for one (very good) sandwich shop so there are no stores or restaurants to walk to.
Schools from outside the county have field trips to the zoo so there are often school buses in the parking areas. (Local schools don't tend to field trip here, they do the reverse and go to the Bronx Zoo).
The tennis courts are popular but a person can't just walk on to play. There is a tennis school that seems to run the courts. Rules are posted by the gate. The baseball and soccer fields require permits for use and are used by various leagues. Permits can be obtained through the Bergen County Parks Dept., which rarely will have a person answer the phone but messages are returned. Permits for fields are more expensive than permits for picnics.
No swimming or boating is allowed on the Duck Pond and visitors are asked not to feed the many birds that gather there. The path around the pond is a great place for a stroll. The park is generally very safe and there are security guards and county police that patrol the area. DO NOT leave valuables in your car because even nice places can attract not nice people.
When it snows there are some gentle hills used for sledding and when it first gets warm the young guys and girls will sunbath in the same area. There is no cross country skiing and the pond has a sign indicating if ice skating is allowed that day.
My family has been going there since the late 1950's and I hope that families will be able to go to a clean and open Van Saun forever.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Christine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paramus, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice Family Park”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Great for families with young children...nice zoo, a train ride that goes around the zoo so that kids can see all the animals, plenty of space for family picnics, a large playground area and there's a Merry-go-round. What else can you ask for in a family park?

Visited September 2012
Thank MyTimeAtLast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paramus, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Fun in the park”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

A wonderful park to visit. Perfect place for a picnic day in the park. Pony Rides, Merry Go Round, Train Ride, Zoo, Playgrounds, Ball fields, Historic Washington Spring (George drank here), Walking paths, Fishing Pond and even more. Some rides charge fees but the park is free to enter, enjoy and picnic at.

Visited June 2013
Thank Elayne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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