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“nice and lots to to see”

New York State Zoo at Thompson Park
Ranked #2 of 17 things to do in Watertown
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Thompson Park Zoo prides itself as being the only zoo in the world to exhibit species native to New York State. Abundant, threatened or endangered animals, including wolverines, black bears, eagles, mountain lions, Canada lynx, grey wolves, and more make their home at our 32-acre Zoo.
Long Island City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“nice and lots to to see”
Reviewed May 18, 2013

we went there last summer, it was nice and lots to see. my kids were so happy and had blast trip ever........

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Nelson M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
104 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“The highlight of our Watertown trip!”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

This is a small zoo, but charming! It specializes in North American animals, so the highlights are such animals as black bear, wolverine, wolves, otters, moutain lion, lynx and bobcat. We really enjoyed walking around the zoo and the surroundings. The zoo is placed inside a larger park which has great picnic areas, an outdoor pool and a great playstructure. So in the summer it would be a great place to spend the entire day. We visited the park without children and in April, so we only did the zoo, and it can be easily done in 2 hours.
All of the animals seemed in excellent condition, and the cages were nicely vegetated. Though the enclosures are not on a par with some of the bigger city zoos, there were no enclosures which seemed too small or lacking in appropriate fixtures for the animals.
We asked some questions of a few zoo keepers, and we found them friendly, informative and very willing to give us their time. All in all, we felt that the zoo was the highlight of our trip to Watertown.
Note that after 4:30, some of the animals may be inside and you may not see them. However, many of the animals become very excited and active after 4:00 when feeding time is approaching, so it is worth coming just before 4:00! We were amused by the way that the wolves clearly knew the difference between zoo keeper trucks and were keeping their eye on one particular truck and zoo keeper!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank intrepidpam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Small zoo but worth the visit”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We were here in March, so some of the exhibits were being fixed up or were closed but the kids enjoyed our visit anyway. It's a small zoo, only takes an hour or two to visit, but has some interesting animals including lynx, wolves, bison, etc. It's located in Thompson Park which is very beautiful, if the weather had cooperated we would have stayed longer to visit the park as well.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank cdntravel_lovr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Depauville, NY
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A great zoo for our small town!”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Thompson Park Zoo has animals native to Northern NY--bobcat, bear, a very gregarious wolverine. They have some great wolves (I'm not sure about them being a part of the native species part). Lovely to walk around and very helpful staff. They are always improving the zoo. Watch for a new aviary soon.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Excellent programs, lovely setting”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We were members of the "Thompson Park Zoo" (what the locals call it) with a preschooler and early-elementary child. They have enrishment programs every month or so, in which the kids get to create some item and then the animals get to play with it. We got to hide treats in cardboard boxes and hide the boxes in the fishers' enclosure, then watch from the regular viewing area as the fishers were let back in to their enclosure to discover the toy/treats. While making the items, we heard from the zoo's educators about the animals and their biology and lives. In a big city zoo this kind of experience would be very expensive, if available at all.

Simply wandering around the zoo is pretty and educational as well. It's small enough to do in an hour if you have limited time or attention, but you could linger and make a half-day of it. They've been constantly upgrading the displays and animal habitats. It's an attractive place with a happy feeling for any age.

Daily admission to the zoo is fairly expensive if you calculate price per hour, but a family membership brings the price way down. It's a great place to go during any season of the year, with indoor and outdoor attractions. When you're done you can play on the huge wooden playground or just go on with your day. This zoo is truly a gem.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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