I'll remember my visit to the Bronx Zoo for the rest of my life. We visited on a rare 75-degree day in November. What an experience! It felt like a summer day, but the zoo grounds were absolutely stunning and vibrant in peak autumn colors. And, even more magical, they were already setting up the holiday lights! No, we didn't get to see them lit up, but the decorations were beautiful. The grounds, foliage, landscaping, and decorations were all stunningly gorgeous. I would not have expected the zoo to be so sprawling or such a feast for the eyes. I can't imagine a better place to enjoy the gorgeous weather.
It being a Monday in November, it was definitely off-peak season, so several attractions were closed (most significantly the Wild Asia monorail), but we still spent over 4 hours there. And that's considering that we never even found the Jungle World exhibit!
The Congo/gorilla exhibit is the best I've ever seen in my life, and I've been to several of the world's finest zoos. We probably spent almost an hour in this exhibit alone. There are so many gorillas with so much natural material to interact with, and it was a delight to watch them. The other animals in the exhibit, like the mandrills, okapi, and red river hogs, were great fun to watch, too. The new Madagascar exhibit is also great-- fantastic theming.
Other animals not to miss include the sea lions, the gorgeous tiger exhibit, and the cool mixed-use exhibit for baboons, ibexes, and rock hyrax. Oh! And the bug carousel! Adults can ride that, too! (We're 30 years old and we did.)
It was super fun to eat lunch outside while surrounded by roaming peacocks. That was one of the most enjoyable parts of the zoo experience! I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food from the Dancing Crane cafe. I had a roasted veggie panini with pesto-- not bad at all!
For fellow tourists coming from Manhattan: It is an easy and comfortable ride on the Express Bus and much cheaper than paying for parking! Plus, you can see the sights of the city along the way.
I hope to come back one day and catch the monorail, the bird houses (closed due to bird flu, I think), butterfly garden, and other seasonal attractions, as well as JungleWorld, but even as it was, this was an absolutely world-class experience.