Essex County Open House returns

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The 14th annual Essex County Open House at Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange, will be Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The carnival-like event, which includes free admission to the zoo, combines games and activities to entertain and provide information to raise public awareness about the programs and services provided by Essex County.

“Our annual open house has become a county tradition that our residents look forward to attending. Hosting this popular event at Turtle Back Zoo is a unique way to make county government more accessible and raise awareness about the many ways we contribute to our residents’ quality of life,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said in a press release. “While you’re learning about county government, take advantage of the free admission to the coo. While you’re there, golf on our miniGOLF Safari miniature golf course, take a ride on our ponies, carousel and miniature train, and enjoy our newest animal habitats featuring giraffes, sea lions, stingrays, jaguars, Gibbon apes, wolves, otters, alligators, reptiles and bears. Turtle Back Zoo is a fantastic family destination that has been recognized four times as the best zoo in the State by NJ Monthly Magazine. We encourage you to experience a fun-filled, wild adventure at our family-friendly destination.”

The open house is an opportunity for Essex County employees to display their creativity and enthusiasm and promote their offices and services. Carnival games, treasure chests, prize wheels and trivia tests are some of the creative activities that will make this year’s event exciting. Every county department, division and office, including county-related agencies and authorities, will have information about their functions, and directors and employees will be on hand to answer questions.

Free and ample parking is available on-site and at the Essex County South Mountain Park-N-Ride facility. Turtle Back Zoo admission and rides on the miniature train are free. Admission to the miniGOLF Safari, carousel and pony rides are charged. Fees also apply at the Treetop Adventure Course and Paddle Boating on the Orange Reservoir. For more information, call 973-621-4400.