Van Saun Park in Paramus, NJ is a large park of over 147 acres consisting of the Bergen Zoo, huge Harmony Park playground, and much, much more. Kids of all ages will have a blast and your family can spend all day exploring and taking in all Van Saun Park has to offer.
Need to know when visiting Van Saun Park
As you drive through the park you’ll drive past multiple parking lots – the ones closest to the entrance fill up quickly for the zoo and playground, but the walk still won’t be terrible. Just make sure to note your lot number before heading out to play.
If you’re cashing in on your residence to get a discounted ticket, make sure you have ID!
The water area and play ground are on the same level- your kiddos could easily run through the sprinkles and keep on playing in the play ground. If this is your plan, I would bring water shoes – the rubberized ground in the play area definitely absorbs heat and might burn little feet.
The play ground area is HUGE with over 5 large play structures and it is not enclosed. If your kids are known to wander, I would recommend making sure you either heavily instill in your kids that they need to stay close or have an adult for each kid.
What is in Van Saun Park?
A large park in Paramus, NJ, Van Saun Park is a destination for a day of play. Here you’ll find..
- Harmony Playground with water sprinkler feature
- Picnic areas, 3 with electricity for rent with permit
- Walking and biking paths
- Bergen County Zoological Park
- Millennium Carousel
- Tennis Center
- Miniature Train Ride
- Dog Park
- Walden Pond
- Seasonal sledding
- Pony rides
How much will Van Saun Park cost?
In general, Van Saun Park is free to enter, but if you want to take in all of the features it offers, you’ll need to pay. The zoo, carousel, train, and pony rides all have an additional cost.
Bergen County Zoological Park Tickets:
- Bergen County Residents: $4/adult, $2/child ages 3-14, $1/senior 62+
- Non-Residents: $8/adult, $5/child ages 3-14, $2/senior
- Active Military are free to enter
About Harmony Playground at Van Saun Park
Harmony Playground at Van Saun Park is an amazing and huge park – with 5 huge play structures and a sprinkle spray ground, kids of all ages can play there all day long.
The flower themed sprinkler area isn’t huge, but has a bunch of overhead sprays and sprinklers for kiddos to run through. We went around noon on a Sunday and it was crazy busy, so definitely keep that in mind. It’s open seasonally 10-4.
With a rubberized wood chip base so that if a kid takes a spill there will be minimal damage, it was so fun to let the kids run free – the biggest feature is definitely that each of the playground structures are for different sizes and skills. There is a small play area for kids 2-5, areas with lots of climbing for bigger kids, and play areas specifically for kiddos in the middle ages of 5-12.
Note: the rubberized base has some downfalls- the water from rain etc has no where to go, so it does puddle a bit more, but there is no mud. Also it’s dark so it really absorbs heat. You can feel a significant difference on a hot day when you step from the rubber ground to the grass or concrete.
Bonus: the park is ADA accessible, so everyone can enjoy!
About Bergen County Zoological Park
Bergen County Zoological Park is a nationally accredited zoo whose mission is to “instill in our guests a strong sense of appreciation and understanding of wildlife and wild places.”
Bergen County Zoo Hours:
The Zoo is open 10-4:30. The last admittance into the zoo will be at 4:00 and the zoo itself closes at 4:30.
Upon entering you’ll see a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, snacks and drinks as well as rent a safari double stroller for $5 if you’d like.
Next, you’ll have a chance to visit the Education Discovery Center where you’ll find several hands on activities, as well as numerous live animal exhibits and a mini-theater screening wildlife videos and feature films.
In July and August, you can sit and enjoy one of the live animal shows that are held daily in the outdoor amphitheater, which is located behind the Tamarind Exhibit not far from the entrance. Shows are free with zoo admission, and seating is first-come, first-served. Daily shows with time frames can be seen as you enter the zoo on a large board.
While you cannot feed the animals, you will have the chance to see lots of different animals you might not typically see at other zoos, like anteaters, tapir, tamarinds, snowy owls, and more. The new mountain lions are fun to watch play and pounce on one another, while the seemingly endless number of turtles in the turtles exhibit can be seen playing with balls and basking in the warm sun.
You can also visit the Budgie house and feed the birds – entrance into the budgie house will be $1/person and $1/feed stick if you’d like to feed them. Entrance into the budgie house is free from Zoo members and military, but there is still a cost for the feed sticks.
Other Van Saun Park Attractions
- Take a ride on Millennium Carousel – the cost is $1.50 per person – parents assisting children are free. Tickets are sold at the zoo ticket booth as well as in front of the carousel.
- Travel around the zoo in style by taking a ride on the train – $1.50 per person. You can buy these tickets at the front of the zoo where you purchase zoo tickets – I suggest getting all tickets at the same time since the ticket line was very slow.
- Enjoy the 3 athletic fields for baseball, soccer, and softball. (permits are required)
- Have a picnic at any of the many picnic tables, some in shade.
- Go fishing at Walden Pond – an NJ State fishing license is required.
- Bike or walk the multi-use pathway – the 1.5 mile trail takes you by the zoo, Washington Spring Garden, & the Millennium Carousel.
Have you ever been to Van Saun Park? What was your favorite park? Let us know in the comments!