Red Panda

Red Panda

Though their names are similar, the red panda and giant panda are only very distantly related by a common ancestor that can be traced back to tens of millions of years ago. Both species were identified as pandas as the word “panda” means “bamboo eater,” and bamboo is a primary part of both the red panda’s and the giant panda’s diet.

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Catering at the Zoo

Plan Your Day

Penguins by Mariana Roberts

Syracuse is a great city for you and your family to visit. It has a rich history, a wealth of outdoor recreation and a wide variety of places to shop and eat. After you stop by the zoo, you can extend your Syracuse adventure at one of these local destinations:


Stop by the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST) and enjoy an interactive experience. The whole family can journey through a giant replica of the human heart, climb around a five-story playhouse, and then sit back to watch a movie on the 66 foot domed screen in the Bristol Omnitheater. This is the only IMAX dome theater located in upstate New York.

Visit the Erie Canal Museum and climb aboard a replica canal boat, stroll the Locktender's Garden, and discover what put Syracuse on the map. The Erie Canal Museum is housed in the National Register 1850 Syracuse Weighlock Building, the only remaining canal boat weigh station in America.

Another great place to visit is the Martisco Station Museum, another site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There you can take a step back in time and walk through a small town railroad station constructed way back in 1870.

For those interested in the rich history of Onondaga County, the Onondaga Historical Association Museum and Research Center offers guests the opportunity to explore, appreciate and utilize their past.

Outdoor Recreation

Feel like going on a nice run, relaxing boat ride, or sitting down for a family picnic? Onondaga Lake Park provides the best paved vehicle-free trails in the region and seven miles of shoreline to keep the whole family entertained.

Take a hike on the winding trails and explore what Upstate New York has to offer outdoors at Beaver Lake Nature Center.  You can observe more than 200 species of birds and over 800 varieties of plants.

Did you know that Syracuse is home to one of the country's oldest golf courses?  And, even better, it's right next door to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo! The Burnet Park Golf Course is a nine hole course and the first hole features the country’s only “shamrock” bunker.  There's plenty to do at Burnet Park, click here for details!

Sit back and relax on a cruise with Mid-Lake Navigation & Tours along the historic waters of the Erie Canal. Enjoy a brunch or dinner cruise while travelling the extensive New York State Canal System. This is an ideal excursion for young families and sightseers!

Shop & Dine

Located in downtown Syracuse, Armory Square provides a variety of unique shops and an abundance of restaurants that adds up to a very enjoyable experience. The shops in "the square" offer a variety of products from jewelry to art and fine crafts to home-made chocolate. Most of these shops are locally owned and operated, providing the very best in personalized service to each and every customer. In addition to the variety of shops, there is an array of gourmet restaurants and popular local pubs to choose from. Ethnic food from all over the world can be found at one of the many restaurants and the neighborhood pubs can truly make you feel right at home.

Head on over to our neighbors at Tipperary Hill located on the West side of Syracuse for some authentic Irish food and drink. "Tipp Hill" is where you can get a taste of Irish heritage by having a bite at Coleman's or Nibsy's, learning the history of the upside down traffic light and walking around the Tipperary Hill Memorial Park.

Shop 'til you drop at Destiny USA, Central New York's top shopping destination. Destiny USA provides over 170 specialty shops, six major department stores, five full-service restaurants and a movie theatre on the top floor. You can even take the kids for a spin on the vintage carousel or play around in the arcade located by the food court.

Cultural Attractions

After you check out the many animal exhibits at the zoo, head over to the Everson Museum of Art and enjoy the various exhibits hosted there throughout the year. The Everson houses about 11,000 pieces of art, including one of the largest holdings of American ceramics in the nation.

Take advantage of Central New York's premier professional theatre at the Syracuse Stage. The Syracuse Stage shares its talent with close to 90,000 visitors every year. The talented theatre actors produce shows with all types of genres including comedy, drama and musicals.

Come and experience the nationally acclaimed and fully professional resident Symphoria, Syracuse's symphonic orchestra. With 80 musicians and a conducting staff that is internationally recognized, it is sure to be a great experience!

The Syracuse Opera prides itself on enriching the lives of residents in Central New York through the sound of singing voices. Opera productions are offered year round at the Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater of the Mulroy Civic Center.


Come and enjoy the action packed Division I sports of Syracuse University! After visting the zoo check out some of the great athletic programs Syracuse University has to offer including basketball, football and lacrosse.

Check out a Syracuse Crunch hockey game! The Crunch is a minor league team in the American Hockey League. While at the game make sure to visit, Al, the only ice gorilla!

Enjoy a Syracuse Chiefs baseball game! The Chiefs are members in the International League and AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Their opponets include other AAA teams affiliates including the Pawtucket Red Sox and Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees. 


Onondaga County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in employment or the provision of services. Links: Onondaga County's policy, complaint process, and language assistance or disability access issues.