Bridgeton Zoo: The First Zoo in New Jersey
Free Admission Open to the Public
The Bridgeton Zoo is, to our knowledge, one of the only remaining free public zoos. A pair of White Tigers are on loan to the City zoo and have been here since they were cubs. Brought to us by our sister city in Sweden, they have been virtually raised here. Everything from bears, goats, peacocks, exotic birds, reptiles, and...believe it or not...Reindeer! Each year as the holiday season approaches our Reindeer hook up with Santa Claus for a special event for the children. Remember, this zoo is free. The zoo has countless special events throughout the year including Boo at the Zoo, which is a special Halloween event for children of all ages. Park benches and tables, ponds and ducks everywhere. This zoo is owned and operated by the City of Bridgeton through the assistance of the Bridgeton Zoological Society. You can become a member or even 'adopt' an animal in support of the zoo and for the care of the animals
Take a drive in downtown Bridgeton (lock your doors) and enjoy all the fantastic historic architecture! Although many of the homes in downtown Bridgeton are run-down they are still magnificent!!! I took a drive down Pearl Street (Route 77) and couldn't believe that at one time Bridgeton was such an affluent city as to been able to build and inhabit such opulent homes. The old Victorian homes have huge windows, sprawling wrap-around porches, turrets and towers, gingerbread woodwork and scads of interesting and unique rooms (I wouldn't want to have to clean such a cavernous house!)
Many of the beautiful old homes have been subdivided, turned into boarding houses, or left to rot, but there is a small movement to reclaim and restore these historic gems. Let's hope the efforts are sucessful!
If you happen to be in Bridgeton around Christmas time, check out the Bridgeton Christmas House Tour. Call 856-451-9208.
The Cohanzick Zoo is located in the sprawling Bridgeton City Park. The zoo is small, but it's free, so you get what you pay for! Major exhibits include 'Ben & Holly' the black bears and 2 white Siberian Tigers. The zoo is preparing a new primate house this summer. You must visit the park when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom! Hours of operation are 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.
Also in the 1,100 acre Bridgeton City Park is Bridgeton Canoe & Kayak which rents the same, so you can travel along the Cohansick River, which runs through the park and adjacent to the zoo.