Get outdoors while visiting cute, cuddly baby animals and barnyard pets on a local farm or at a New Jersey petting zoo. In addition to seeing chicks, calves, lambs, bunnies, and piglets, kids can often pick their own fruits and vegetables at these Garden State farms. Some even host events where kids can watch cows being milked or another farmstead demonstration, such as learning how cheese and bread are made.
Some offer full petting zoos, as well as wagon rides, and pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Read on for more than a dozen of our favorite NJ petting zoos, and don't forget you can also meet barnyard and other animals at several of New Jersey's zoos.
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Northern New Jersey Petting Zoos
Abma’s Farm – Wyckoff
Head to Abma’s for a quaint farm experience. The family staff welcomes everyone to visit and feed its cows, goats, bunnies, and more friendly farm animals. Head into the market to purchase crackers to feed some of the animals, or grab a sandwich, cookie, soup, and other delicious treats for yourself and the kids. The barnyard is open every day but Sunday and timed- entry tickets are required (tickets can be purchased online). On Wednesdays, grandparents can enjoy FREE admission. Pony rides are available on Saturdays from May through October and advanced ticket purchase is also required.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm – Morristown
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm functions exactly as it did at the turn of the 20th century. This is no petting zoo, but kids can see exactly how the animals were raised in the olden days. They can watch pigs, sheep, horses, and donkeys in the fields and pens. Kids can also crack corn and feed the chickens, and they can even go into the hen house to collect eggs at the end of the day. Bear in mind that the animals are just a small part of the farm, and kids are expected to help out with other chores such as pumping water, doing laundry, churning butter, and much more. Open May through October, farm tours are by online reservation only.
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Learn how to handle and care for many different animals at Alstede Farms.
Alstede Farms – Chester
Alstede is a great place to bring the family year-round, and it offers everything from fresh produce to Christmas trees. There is always a seasonal fruit to pick, and the barnyard animals meet you right at the parking lot! It also has a baby animal tour for children: A scenic hayride brings everyone to a heated barn, where you can visit all the babies. Children can pet ducklings and visit baby goats, pigs, cows, lambs, and more. There are pony rides during certain seasons, too! You can purchase feed bags filled with veggies to feed the animals.
The Barnyard Sanctuary– Columbia
The Barnyard Sanctuary is a safe place where animals are rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed. Currently, the property is home to more than 720 rescued farm animals, including horses, donkeys, mules, cows, water buffalo, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, emus, pot-bellied pigs, farm hogs, and many birds. This unique place is open to visitors, but you must schedule an appointment to visit. Open Monday through Friday between 9am and 3pm or Saturday from 9am-noon. If you’ve been thinking about adding to your family (by two or four feet), the farm has an‘Adopt Me’ programand a very vigilant vetting process to ensure its animals and adopters are ideally matched.
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VisitBrookhollow's Barnyard in Boonton.
Brookhollow's Barnyard – Boonton
Brookhollow's Barnyard is a small petting farm where kids can interact with animals such as alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, ponies, donkeys, chickens, peafowl, ducks, and miniature horses. Its unique bucket-and-shovel method of safety-first feeding ensures little fingers are never too close to the animals’ chompers. Many baby animals arrive throughout the spring and early summer. Other activities include a playground and seasonal fun from egg hunts to a pumpkin patch. The farm also hosts birthday parties and weekly summer camps for kids. The barn is scheduled to open its doors on May 1 and typically closes for the season following Halloween.
Valley Shepherd Creamery – Long Valley
This is the place to see everything sheep. Starting in April, the farm offers weekend spring and summer lambing tours, during which kids can see hundreds of lambs. It also offers milk and cheese tours in the fall, where you can learn how cheeses are made, see the milking and cheese-making process, and enjoy tastings. Online reservations are required for all tours.
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Visit the gentle alpacas at Bluebird.
Central New Jersey Petting Zoos
Bluebird Farm Alpacas – Peapack
The Bluebird Farm Alpacas is a unique type of petting zoo, with an 11-acre farm situated in the Somerset Hills. On a visit, you are encouraged to take pictures, meet, and interact with the farm's cuddly herd. Tours are available on weekends and are by online reservation only.
10 Lil' Acre Rescued Animal Farm – Old Bridge
Bring your family to 10 Lil' Acre Rescued Animal Farm to meet rescued animals like bunnies, ponies, ducks, pigs, sheep, cows, horses, and more. Learn how to care for them and buy a bag of food to try feeding them yourself. The farm is open weekends only and pony rides are included with your petting zoo ticket purchase.
Allaire Community Farm – Wall
The Allaire Community Farm is operated and supported by more than 200 volunteers year-round and is home to many rescued animals, from goats to horses to ducks. Walk around the farm, say hello to the furry and feathered friends, and buy a bag of food to feed the animals. The farm is closed to visitors on Mondays.
Bobolink Dairy – Milford
Bobolink Dairy raises grass-fed cows and produces outstanding cheeses and wood-fired bread. Show your kids where the cows pasture, see where the bread is made, and taste the different cheeses during farm tours. Farm tours are by online reservation only, and group sizes are limited to 12 or fewer.
Doyle's Farm – Flemington
Book a 90-minute tour at Doyle's Farm, and you'll get to experience a bunch of fun farm activities, including meeting farm animals like cows, sheep, goats, chicken, bunnies, pigs, and donkeys. Learn their purpose on the farm and the differences between breeds. In the spring, you can go on hayrides, learn (and try!) goat milking, collect eggs from the coop, hand-feed the sheep and goats, plant seeds, and more.
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Meet the gentle resident horse and other friendly animals at Terhune Orchards.
Terhune Orchards – Princeton
Terhune Orchards is a fantastic location for a day of family fun on the farm. While it does not advertise itself as a petting zoo, it does welcome visitors to meet and feed the animals living on the farm. The barnyard animals include sheep, chickens, a horse, a friendly duck named “Egg,” and more. Terhune boasts robust pick-you-own schedule and hosts fun events year-round.
South Jersey Petting Zoos
Creamy Acres – Mullica Hill
Go on a Barnyard Walk at this working dairy farm to see the animals frolic and play on the farm. Meet Elmer the donkey or visit the nursery of baby calves and baby goats. The Barnyard Walk is open this spring, Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 10am-4pm.
Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary – Mays Landing
As a charity organization, Funny Farm Rescue has made it a goal to provide food, shelter, medical care, and love to unwanted farm, exotic, and domesticated animals for their entire lives. Visiting times for this special environment are Sundays and Tuesdays from 8am-4pm, and you can purchase food to feed the animals any time of the day in its on-site store.
Johnson's Corner Farm – Medford
This popular NJ farm offers year-round family entertainment, including an outdoor fun park for kids, splash pads, and a barnyard with friendly animals, including cows, ducks, goats, sheep, mini donkeys, and chickens. Admission to the barnyard area includes access to the play area that has climbing, slides, pretend play, go-karts, and more. Timed-entry tickets are available online. There is plenty of year-round pick-your-own produce happening at Johnson's Corner Farm, too, including strawberries, apples, and pumpkins.
Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm – Jobstown
Head to this historic, 315-acre farm—built 100 years before the 13 colonies became a nation—and step back in time. You will have the chance to meet and feed the goats, sheep, and chickens, and there is a perfect view from the animal farm to the pasture and side yard, where the cows and ponies hang out. It reopens for the season in May, and you can visit the animal farm Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 10am-5pm.
Lots of Love Farm – Williamtown
This animal rescue farm offers a petting zoo and pony rides, so kids can get a taste of farm life. No appointment is necessary during typical public hours to see the baby goats, chicks, sheep, and bunnies.
This post, originally published in 2014, is updated annually. All photos courtesy of the farms
Spend time with the family all while learning about wildlife and exotic species.... it can't get much better than that! New Jersey is home to twelve zoos, and we don't want you to miss any.
Traveling zoos and petting zoos are bad news for animals and humans. They subject animals to the stress of transport, alien environments, irregular feeding and watering, mishandling, and crowds of strangers.
Yes, they can. Petting zoos have been linked with numerous outbreaks of diseases such as E. coli, cryptosporidiosis, salmonellosis and dermatomycosis (ringworm), to name a few.
New Jersey's first zoo is home to nearly 100 animals representing more than 45 different species from around the world.
NJ SEA LIFE Aquarium
Discover over 3,000 sea creatures, including sharks, rays, jellies, and more, at this brand new aquarium at the American Dream Mall. Kids will love to walk through an ocean tunnel, explore educational and interactive exhibits, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium.
Visiting a farm is a very enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infection because of the microorganisms - or germs - they naturally carry.
Letting your kids go to a petting zoo isn't inherently bad. Some are managed very well; animals are rotated out frequently at events so they don't become overwhelmed, few animals are kept in the same enclosure, the schedule is based around the animals' needs — not maximizing profit.
Several different species are often mixed in a confined area including, poultry (chickens and ducks, including ducklings; rabbits; guinea pigs; piglets and lambs). There are many welfare risks associated with these interactions including distress, injury and even death.
Additionally, children younger than 5 years old should be extra cautious when visiting farms and when they're around areas with farm animals, including animals at petting zoos and fairs. Stay healthy around small pets! Stay healthy around pet reptiles and amphibians!
However, some of the E. coli strains can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in people. Even if people do not come into direct contact with animals at fairs, petting zoos and other locations, they can be exposed to dangerous E. coli from bedding material, dust and contact with surfaces.
- Go first thing. ...
- Go off-season. ...
- Be sure to pack layers. ...
- Think color for photos. ...
- Pack a real camera. ...
- Yes, you need a stroller. ...
- Leave lots of time for hands-on fun. ...
- Bring a ton of snacks.
I would say that your child may start to get interested in looking at animals, etc., at around 12-18 months, but it will be much longer than that before she really gets the zoo as an enjoyable outing.
A stroller is a must because zoos can be a lot of walking. Those little legs will wear out and unless you want to burn extra calories carrying your toddler around I would bring or rent a stroller. Plus it is a great place to stash your jackets, backpacks, etc.
It's tempting to take your tot to see lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), but these creatures hang in sprawling landscapes, making them tougher for toddlers to spot. The petting zoo is a much better place to take toddlers because little ones can see animals up close and even interact with them.
New York City has five zoos in all -- or one per borough -- along with one extraordinary aquarium. With the exception of the Staten Island Zoo, the wildlife centers listed below are managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, which supports and promotes conservation efforts around the world.
15 Zoos & Aquariums in Pennsylvania: Map, Photos, + Reviews.
Admission to The Cape May County Park & Zoo is completely FREE.
Our Park & Zoo are FREE. to keep us FREE. Parking for cars is FREE. Full size buses are $80.
1: Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is an impressive size (265 acres) and is home to an equally impressive number of animals (more than 10,000, representing over 700 species).
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the largest zoo in the United States. This massive zoo is home to over 7,000 animals of 800 different species, making it the zoo experience of a lifetime! It also offers summer camps for children and programs for visitors of all ages to learn about the animals in the zoo.
|Adult (13 & over)||$26.95||$29.95|
|Senior (65 & over)||$24.95||$26.95|
|Child (3 - 12)||$22.95||$24.95|
|Child (2 & under)||FREE||FREE|
The Philadelphia Zoo decided to move the elephants after determining it was not economically feasible to build a new enclosure in the near future. The pair arrived at the zoo in 2004. The move has become the subject of harsh reaction by zoo patrons and animal rights activists alike.
The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is the largest zoo and aquarium in PA. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is both the largest aquarium and the largest zoo in Pennsylvania.
New England Aquarium, Massachusetts
The waterfront aquarium is home to the biggest shark and ray tank on the East Coast, as well as a Marine Mammal Center, which is committed to caring for northern fur seals.
1 to 2 hours. the walking is easy, not strenuous and there are plenty of benches along the pathways for you to grab a rest while you look at the animals.
Cape May Point State Park
This state park is free to the public.
No food is to be brought inside the Zoo, but drinks are allowed. A variety of refreshments are for sale in designated food areas within the Zoo. Never leave personal belongings unattended. Visitors may not sit, stand on or climb on exhibits, fences, railings or gardens.
The road distance is 14.1 miles. How do I travel from Cape May to Cape May County Park & Zoo without a car?
Be sure to visit our new Safari Café Restaurant located inside the zoo. The Safari Café offers a wide variety of food to choose from. We offer healthy choices on the go, Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Sandwiches, Pizza, Soft Serve Ice Cream, Icee and an array of other delicious foods to choose from.