The Van Saun County Park is a park managed by the Bergen County Parks Department and is located in both Paramus and River Edge, New Jersey. The Bergen County Zoological Park may be found inside the park and is open every day of the year, with entry fees collected from May through October. The Safari Express is a kid-friendly ride on a miniature train found at the zoo. In addition, there are spaces designated for picnicking, a baseball field, a softball field, basketball and tennis courts, a soccer field, a playground, a carousel, and pony rides in this park.
In 1960, the Zoo opened its doors. The Van Saun Park Railroad, which opened in 1963, has three trains: the 388 train, which opened with it, the 389 train, which was bought in 1968, and the 520, which was added to the lineup in 1971. The trains are Allan Herschell Company Iron Horse S-24 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge trains. Between April and October, the train is open Tuesday through Sunday (weather allowing) and closed Mondays for maintenance (unless it occurs on holiday). Passengers on the train may see the Zoo's many attractions while passing past railroad crossings and a tunnel. The train is also available during the Winter Wonderland event in Bergen County, from November through January.
A carousel with horses and other zoo animals as seats was created in 2000. It is open every day except Tuesdays for maintenance from April through October. It's also available for Bergen County's Winter Wonderland festival from November through January. Unfortunately, the carousel has proven contentious due to worries about the owner's lack of insurance. This carousel in Van Saun Park has been the only operational carousel in the whole borough of Paramus since the Golden Horse Carousel at Paramus Park closed in 2013, and the Venetian Carousel at Garden State Plaza shuttered in 2016.
Pony rides are also offered in Van Saun Park from April to October. Riders are escorted around a tiny track by an employee who pulls the pony. Playgrounds and sports fields are available throughout the year. In addition, Van Saun established a dog park in 2013, with one section for little dogs and another for more enormous canines.
Annual activities in the park usually take place around October. The Zoo Boo (also known as the Boo at the Zoo) is a Halloween event that features trick-or-treating in the garden, ghost tales, and magic displays. In addition, the park's train gives nighttime rides when performers dressed in costumes attempt to terrify visitors during this occasion. Around Halloween, the Metro Howl-O-Ween Bassett Bash takes place, in which numerous Basset Hounds dress up in various Halloween costumes and engage in trick-or-treating and tournaments. The Metro Basset Hound Club has organized the event every year since 1997. In addition, the annual Art in the Park festival takes place in October. Artists are assessed based on their work, with cash awards up for grabs. Following that, there is a concert.
Winter Wonderland, an annual holiday-themed festival lasting from November through January, is one of the park's most popular events. An outdoor ice rink, a beer garden, Santa's North Pole Workshop, and food and drink kiosks are among the event's highlights. In addition, the trains and carousel will run during the event if the weather allows. The Santa Visits the Bergen County Zoo event takes place in December. Guests may meet Santa Claus, see the animals unwrap their gifts from Santa, and enjoy musical holiday performances.
The Van Saun Park Easter Egg Hunt in the park's own yearly Easter Egg Hunt. Following the egg search, the kids may participate in storytelling and crafts.
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