10 Petting Zoo Experiences Around the World

March 19, 2014

If you’re traveling with small children who love animals or you’re interested in having an animal-filled experience to remember, a great vacation option is a tour of petting zoos around the world. Whether you’re in the United States, Canada, Argentina or Germany, there are petting zoos that will provide memorable experiences.

1. The Barnyard Zoo, Winchester Springs, Ontario

In Winchester Springs, the Barnyard Zoo is a family-owned business that includes animals large and small. If you want to pet and play with animals, consider the miniature horses, goats, donkeys, potbelly pigs and even emus and geese that are on display for a little fun. If you’re looking to take an animal home, there’s that possibility too, but one must pay the petting zoo entrance fee.

2. Leesburg Animal Park, Leesburg, Va.

This 21-acre animal park in Leesburg, Virginia allows visitors to get up close and personal with exotic birds, Nilgai, camels, lambs, ducks and more.  The facility also includes exotic animal exhibits, like lemurs, Patagonian Cavy, zebras and even the African Crested Porcupine; Pony and wagon rides are also available, along with a discovery room for arts and crafts, an indoor play zone and an outdoor playground.

3. Lujan Zoo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This zoo has been the site of some controversy. Visitors can see and get up close and personal with lions, tigers, bears and other exotic creatures, but there are individuals who say that the facility’s allowing visitors into animal cages is entirely too dangerous. Some say that the facility even sedates some of the animals to allow visitors to pet them.

4. Zoological Wildlife Foundation Petting Zoo and Exotic Petting Zoo, Miami, Fla.

Miami’s Zoological Wildlife Foundation Petting Zoo is the #1 Petting Zoo in southern Florida, with capuchin monkeys, miniature donkeys, sheep, tiger cubs, primates and domesticated animals.  There’s also a less exotic option – the facility hosts a petting zoo with farm animals, miniature donkeys, pigs and turkeys.

5. Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

 The Featherdale Wildlife Park features the animals one often thinks of when they hear “Australia”   kangaroos, koalas, dingoes. But that’s not all. Farmyard animals, reptiles and even bats and birds are on display here. Throughout the day, visitors can watch as the animals are fed their meals, learning even more as the day goes on.

6. Karlsruhe City Garden and Zoo, Karlsruhe, Germany

 In Karlsruhe, Germany, stands a petting zoo with more than 100 years of history in its walls. First founded on Sept. 9, 1865, a group of citizens created the zoo, south of the city. Later, the facility transferred into the power of a Zoo Society, funded in part by city money. By 1869, 50,000  people had visited the zoo annually. The zoo’s famous elephant, Molly, arrived in 1924, and died in 1941, at the age of 20. Visitors can walk with peacocks, watch the animals’ daily feeding and even explore a children’s petting zoo.

7. Lionel Farms and Petting Zoo, Stouffville, Ontario

 Stouffville, Ontario is home to Lionel Farms and Petting Zoo, where kids can see the animals up close.  The petting zoo features a wide range of animals – from sheep, goats, pigs, cow, donkeys, ponies, alpaca, rabbits, pheasants and peacocks.

8. Linvilla Orchards, Media, Pa.

Linvilla Orchards is more than just a petting zoo. The working orchard hosts a variety of events year-round. From fishing derbies to farmer’s markets and the petting zoo, Linvilla is a very popular place during the summer. Visitors can get an up close and personal experience with Linvilla’s farm animals – they can even help to feed them.

9. Johnson’s Corner Farm, Medford, NJ

Like other working farms and locations on this list, Johnson’s Corner Farm offers a wide range of activities year-round, in addition to the petting zoo.  This location features the Discovery Barnyard, where kids can explore an obstacle course ride pedal go-carts and a pretend farm. Sheep, goats and chickens are all in the animal farm, and visitors get the opportunity to feed them there.

10. Petting Zoo Ocala, Ocala, Fla.

In Ocala, Florida, Petting Zoo Ocala is home to a variety of barnyard animals that visitors can pet and play with. Those include alpacas, llamas, goats, horses, sheep, ducks, emus and peacocks. After you’ve explored the petting zoo, take a moment to relax – go on a pony ride!

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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