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“Fewer Animals during Holiday Lights Spectacular”
Review of Turtle Back Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo
Ranked #3 of 20 things to do in West Orange
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 December 2016

The Holiday Lights Spectacular runs Fri, Sat and Sunday from Dec 8 -Jan 3, 2017 except on Dec 24th and 25th with hours between 5 pm - 9 pm. The good news is sheltered garage parking is still free. Admission is still $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and 2-12 year olds and under 2 years is free also bring non-perishable food or a new unwrapped toy or jacket and admission is free. There is a vast display of lights, Frosty, Rudolph and of course Santa at the gazebo accompanied by holiday music will delight the kids. The free train ride around the lake is a big attractions. The $2 carousel is also operational this time of year. They have a Dinosaur playground area if the kids need a time to unwind.The snack bar sells hot dogs, pizza, French fries, paninis, salads and hot chocolate. Restrooms by the front gate are clean and well maintained. The downside is that as the weather gets colder the all the animals are not out. The wolves, the barnyard touching area, the sting rays and shark touch tanks are still available and are a big attractions. What I always liked about the Turtle Back Zoo is that the viewing area is closer. The zoo is well organized and spacious enough to not get physically not get overwhelmed but diverse enough to satisfy your emotional and intellectual connection with the animals. It a great one day experience with animals.

4  Thank duck8to
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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150 - 154 of 735 reviews

Reviewed 6 December 2016

Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo is a wonderful evening for holiday family fun. Stroll around the zoo grounds while taking in the lights and holiday atmosphere. Sip hot Chocolate and listen to the music of the season and you may even find many of the animals still wandering about.

The next two weekends, ( 12/9 thru 12/11 and 12/16 thru 12/18) are Star Wars weekends, so come dressed up and mingle your favorite characters and take loads of pictures for lasting family memories.

Not all exhibits are open, but the Savannah Cafe and gift shops are open the train ride and Carousel is operational. Santa will be listening to all your children's wishes and Frosty, Rudolph and Myrtle the Turtle will be there to delight and enchant children of all ages.

Thank happy01124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2016

The light exhibit is quite lovely. You walk around the park to see the lighted characters. There was even a loose peacock walking around. nice for a not so cold evening. They do have a café where you can warm up with some hot coco. There was also bins for food and toy donations as well.

Thank deebenzdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2016

Every year the Turtle Back Zoo gets better and better. Essex county really put a good effort into fixing the zoo up. The new giraffe exhibit is amazing! Unfortunately their giant pig Arbuckle passed away but they still have a huge variety of animals, a new aquarium type room with touch tanks. There's a train that goes around the zoo, the line is usually very long because it's so popular. There's places to eat, an indoor carousel. And in the winter around Christmas the zoo puts on a spectacular light show. Love this place!

Thank Stephanie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 November 2016

I worked at this zoo in the 1970s, but hadn't been back since. Wow - has it changed! It is MUCH bigger, with lots of buildings and facilities for taking care of all kinds of animals. THe variety and quantity really surprised me. And now they're getting lions and giraffes as well, all in an Africa area. It all laid out for kids, with eating places throughout. I do recommend this place quite highly, especially if you haven't been here in a while. It's good for several hours of fun!

Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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