Our kids have always been huge fans of places where they can pet animals. It is one of their favorite things to do! In their opinion, the more hands on the better. At some of these spots they might be able to just pet through a fence or gate, but at others, kids are able to hold baby animals, feed them, and spend more time with them. Find a new place to explore nearby or take a road trip!
Tips for Petting Zoos and Farms
- Most of these spots involve a lot of walking, wear comfortable shoes and consider bringing a stroller or wagon.
- Get familiar with the rules of the zoo or farm you’re visiting to help keep the animals healthy and safe. Some places ask that you wash your hands before and after. Some allow for animals to be handled, others will ask that you only pet and not lift.
- Feeding rules will vary also, keep an eye on your human kids’ snacks while you’re visiting so that no animals end up with a between meals snack of goldfish crackers.
- Bring your own hand sanitizer and/or wipes. We’ve ended up at a wash sink with no soap or an empty sanitizing station more than once. If you sanitize between or before feeding animals make sure that hands are all the way dry!
- Don’t forget the sunscreen! Often these awesome spots have a lot of sun exposure!
- Be sure your camera and/or phone have space for plenty of photos. Animals and kids make for the best photo ops! Don’t miss any cute moments deleting screenshots and kid selfies!
Here is a roundup of petting zoos and farms in and around Northeast Wisconsin to enjoy with the animal lovers in your family!
Petting Zoos and Farms Around Northeast Wisconsin
Mulberry Lane Farm, Hilbert
Full hands-on petting farm. Kids will be able to milk a cow, catch a chicken, kiss a pig, cuddle kittens, feed goats and sheep, ride ponies, and take a hayride. Picnic areas available for you to bring a bag lunch. Pumpkin picking available in the fall.
- Open May-October
- Hours: vary but are roughly 10 am – 3 pm, please see full calendar for exact hours
- $13.00 Cash / $13.50 Chrg Card per person ages 2 to 92
- Children 23 months & younger are FREE
Animal Haven Farm and Zoo, Weyauwega
Small town zoo with farm animals ready to be pet. Goats are available for feeding. Zoo includes play are for kids.
- Open April-October
- Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
- Adults $10.00, children 6-12 $8.00, 2-5 $6.00 & under 2 FREE
Children’s Farm, Appleton
Kids petting farm located within Plamann Park. Petting farm is a single large barn and pen enclosure. The farm is the home of several young farm animals on loan from local farms (cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and rabbits). Animals can be viewed and pet by visitors from outside the fence, no feeding permitted.
- Open daily Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Hours: 9 am – 4:30 pm, weather permitting.
Menominee Park Zoo, Oshkosh
Goat, sheep, and lamas are always available for petting. More animals are sometimes available for feeding and petting on rotating basis, courtesy of Cristo Rey Ranch. Large playground and beach across from the zoo.
- 2018 Season Runs from May 5th – Sept. 23th
- Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
- A generous donation from Tom and Penny Harenburg make admission to the zoo for the 2018 year FREE!
Glacier Ridge Animal Farm, Van Dyne
One of a kind petting zoo! The farm is a14-acree petting zoo in the middle of a working Bison Farm. Wear good walking shoes, some of the paths are rough.
- Open Memorial Day Weekend through the last weekend in October
- Hours: Fri, Sat & Sun from 10 am – 4 pm
- $8 per person. Age 2 & under and guests with special needs are FREE
Wildlife Sanctuary Animal Center, Green Bay
Outdoor sanctuary, within Bay Beach, where kids and grown ups can feed the waterfowl. Corn is sold at the Observation Building. Special events sometimes have live animals that can be pet. View sanctuary calendar for specific event details.
- Open April 15 – September 15, 2018
- Hours: 8 am – 6:30 pm (Observation building hours)
- No fee for park entrance
Lakeside Park, Fond du Lac
400 acre park. Park includes a walk-up lighthouse, picnic area, shelters, pavilion, playground, zip line, petting zoo, ball diamonds, marina, rides, boat-launch ramps, handicapped-accessible fishing platforms, new boat dock on Oven Island, Lakeside park segment of the Fond du Lac Loop, and kayak and pedal boat rentals. Also includes a fountain, large playground equipment area with an accessible playground, concessions, full-service marina and gazebos.
- Open Memorial Day – Labor Day
- Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 8 pm
- Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
- No fee for park entrance
Cristo Rey Ranch, Mt. Calvary
Take the time to walk through the ranch. Pretty gardens, wonderful animals and great people. There are sheep, goats, llamas, emu, donkeys, rabbits, horses, pot-bellied pigs, dogs, cats, a variety of fowl including turkey, geese & ducks, also peacocks, chickens, birds (aviary) living in the rolling countryside. Quarter machine for feeding animals corn. Can bring in your own carrots to feed animals. Bottle feeding the baby animals available in springs. No personal pets.
- Open year round (less to see in winter)
- Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Winter, 9 am – 7 pm Summer
Plum Loco Animal Farm, Egg Harbor
Farm animals including ponies, horses, miniature donkeys, goats, sheep, pot-bellied pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese and miniature horses are able to be fed and pet. In addition to the farm animals, there is a Play-Farm Village for imaginative play. The play farms is especially designed for children ages toddler – 3rd grade.
- Open when weather permits
- Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Daily (closed Wednesdays)
Wisconsin Deer Farm, Wisconsin Dells
Unique family petting zoo for kids of all ages the opportunity to explore, enjoy & feed over 100 deer and other wildlife.
- Open Mid April through late October
- Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day: 9 am – 7 pm, Off season 10 am – 4 pm
NEW Zoo, Green Bay
Not a traditional petting zoo, but if you’re looking for a one of a kind interaction with a unique animal, the New Zoo is worth the trip. The NEW Zoo’s Giraffe Feeding Experience is amazing. The Giraffe Feeding Experience is open year-round, outdoors at the Feeding Platform seasonally, and indoors at the Giraffe Building during cold or inclement weather. There is also a petting area with goats, lamas, and more!
- Open year round
- Spring, Summer, and Fall Hours (April 1st through the end of October)
AM = 10:30 am – 1:15 pm
PM = 2:15 pm – 5 pm
- Winter Hours (November 1st through the end of March)
AM = 10:30 am – 12:15 pm
PM = 1:15 pm – 3 pm
The Farm, Sturgeon Bay
Cuddle a kitten, feed the sheep, pat a pig, milk a goat, talk to a turkey, walk through the woods and gardens, pack a picnic … So many things to do at The Farm.
- Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
- Adults (13 and over) $8.50
- Children (3-12) $5.00
- Children 2 and under FREE
- Season Pass: Double the Regular Admission Price
Petting Zoos & Farms South of the Fox Valley
Bear Den Zoo and Petting Farm
The zoo is a perfect blend of local wildlife, farm favorites, and exotic animals. It’s sure to be a unique experience each and every visit. The farm has baby animal petting area and children’s play area. Admission includes hayride. Feed bags for sale to feed animals.
- Open Mother’s Day to Labor Day
- See website for specific hours
- 12 & up: $10, 2-11 $8, under 2 FREE
Green Meadows Petting Farm
Come and meet all the furry (and feathered), friends. From cows to goats to chicks to horses (and more), the petting farm is full of animals who love to interact with visitors.
- Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
- $13.75 per person, Seniors $11.75, under 1 FREE
Petting Zoos & Farms North of the Fox Valley
Wildwood Wildlife Park And Nature Center, Minocqua
This park and nature center is a Wisconsin must see! Feed the bears “Bear Juice”, feed “critter food” to camel, sheep, aoudad, pigs, and goats. Deer openly roam among you and will eat right out of your hand. Feed the Giraffe’s from the feeding deck. Toss pellets into the large trout pond. Guests can purchase seed sticks to hand-feed the parakeets in the interactive free-flight aviary. Additionally, Wildwood offers the largest interactive petting zoo in Wisconsin. Guests love the animal encounter area as they are greeted by a host of animals including a kangaroo, woodchuck, armadillo, ferret, chinchilla, skunk, guinea pig, opossum, hedgehog, and many more. Guests can touch a tortoise, love a goat, feel a porcupine, cuddle a bunny, pet a skunk, or hug a pot-bellied pig.
- Open May 5 – October 14, 2018
May 5 – May 25: 9 am – 4:30 pm Daily
May 26 – Sept 3 (Labor Day): 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Daily
September 4 – October 14: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm Daily
- Adults (ages 12 and up): $18.99 plus tax
- Children (ages 2-11): $13.99 plus tax
- FREE parking
Wilderness Walk, Hayward
Zoo is home to wild northwoods animals. Houses an extensive hands on farm animal and nursery enclosure. Animals in the enclosure are open for petting. Deer roam the entire zoo and will approach visitors. Zoo also includes a food vendor, picnic area, playground, walking trails and a western town where you can pan for gold.
- Open May 12 – Labor Day
- May 12 thru May 25: 10 am to 2 pm Daily (park Closes at 3 pm)
- May 26 thru Sept. 4: 10 am to 4:30 pm (Park Closes at 5:30 pm)
- Adults (Ages 12 and over) $14.95
- Children (Ages 2-11) $9.95, Children (Under 2) FREE
- Seniors (Ages 65+) $12.95
Petting Zoos & Farms to the West of the Fox Valley
Timbavati Wildlife Park, Wisconsin Dells
Full zoo in the Wisconsin Dells area. The zoo includes a “Interaction Area” which is home to a animal nursery, parakeet encounter, parrot house and petting areas. Staff are frequently tending to the animals and will answer questions the animals and their care. The interaction area changes with the seasons, making it worth multiple visits. The petting areas have pygmy goats, sheep, llamas, baby camels and other young birds and animals.
- Open year round
- Daily Tours 11 am & 1 pm
- Adults $19.95 (13 and up)
- Children $13.95, 2 and under are FREE