From Kid Friendly Farms to Petting Zoos, West Michigan is for (Animal) Lovers
From Grand Rapids to Holland, West Michigan is fortunate to have many kid-friendly animal farms to visit.
Every family has at least one kid who is passionate about animals. These petting zoos and petting farms are their zen place. They can see all sorts of amazing creatures up close. At many of these destinations, your kid can pet, feed, and maybe even hold an animal!
Plus each season brings a different kind of fun on the farm for kids – and adults, too.
There are hayrides to pumpkin patches in the fall, getting down in the dirt to pick strawberries in the summer, and petting animals in the spring and summer.
Animal Farms & Petting Zoos, Listed
You don’t have to travel far to have an exotic animal experience.
*Please check with venues before heading out, especially this summer. Petting zoos and farms are working to reopen after the stay at home order has lifted, and may have new open times or visitor rules for safety.
John Ball Zoo
1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
John Ball Zoo has everything you’d expect in a zoo… and more!
Offering camel rides, a funicular, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and an animal farm-like petting zoo, there is something for everyone.
The Zoo is built on a hillside, so come prepared to walk. It is stroller-friendly, but some find it easier to use a child carrier.
Our Review »
The meerkat display at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, MI
Humane Society of West Michigan
3077 Wilson Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Sign up for one of their monthly Family Drop In Days.
Children must be 5 years or older (10 years or older to work with dogs). Spots are limited, so registration is required.
A $10 donation is requested to help cover the cost of staffing this program.
Other kid friendly opportunities are available- check out the website for the latest events!
Summer Camp at Humane Society of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, MI
Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Between the wildlife and the farm animals, there are opportunities everywhere at Blandford Nature Center to get close to animals!
Many of their resident animals are used for educational programs, both on the grounds and on excursions to local schools and other facilities.
Our Review »
Goats are one of the many animals on the petting farm at Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, MI
Legacy Stables (Karin’s Horse Connection)
8001 Patterson Ave. SE, Caledonia, MI 49316
This is a horse lover’s playground where horse lovers can connect with horses in many different ways.
Programs available include vaulting, riding, therapeutic riding, 4-H, birthday parties, and own-a-horse camp!
Legacy Stables in Caledonia, MI, has many different ways to interact with horses
9275 Adams Street, Zeeland, MI 49464
Opportunities abound at Critter Barn to interact with rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, geese, a pony and a horse!
From feeding and petting, to caring for the animals and learning all about them, Critter Barn has it all!
Kids can hold a variety of animals at the Critter Barn in Holland, MI, including ducks
Coopersville Farm Museum
375 Main Street, Coopersville, MI 49404
Visit on the last Saturday of the month for Kids, Crafts and Critters to participate in their indoor petting zoo, featuring small and baby farm animals for holding and learning about, to corn shelling, a bead table, rope making and more!
Primarily an autumn spot, most of Schwallier’s Country Basket activities are free!
Goats, bunnies, kittens, chickens, and the occasional dog, Schwallier’s lets you get up close and personal with most of them.
Get in the pen and pet the bunnies, or feed the goats!
If you take a stroller, make it a jogger; this is an orchard and not friendly to umbrella-type strollers.
Kids will love the goats at the petting farm at Schwallier’s Country Basket in Grand Rapids, MI
Deer Tracks Junction
7850 14 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs, MI 49319
As you might guess, there are dozens of deer to pet at Deer Tracks Junction. But there’s also yak, elk, and goats at this petting farm.
Visitors can take an air-conditioned stagecoach ride where the animals may come right up to you for a visit.
Feed cups are available to purchase for many of the animals and there’s also a giant play structure, making this a great farm for kids.
Our Review »
Deer are just one of the many kinds of animals at Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs, MI
Located on 80 acres of land, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is a unique, hands-on experience for the entire family.
The park boasts a distinct collection of exotic animals and reptiles, and the variety and dynamic atmosphere make Boulder Ridge anything but your average zoo.
Our Review »
Feeding giraffes is fun for everyone at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto, MI
6364 144th Ave, Holland, MI 49423
The farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing dynamic experiences for all ages and abilities.
At this petting farm, guests can not only pet the animals, but they can also get right into the pens with miniature llamas and donkeys.
Fellinlove Farm has over 65 animals (including rare Fell horses, an African Tortoise, and New Zealand pigs), a bunch of friendly barn cats, and over 25 koi.
Our Review »
Many animals wait for cuddles at Fellinlove Farm in Holland, MI
DeGraaf Nature Center
600 Graafschap Road, Holland, MI 49423
If you have 20 minutes or 2 hours, you will enjoy exploring the woodland, shrub, marsh and pond trails of this 18 acre nature preserve located within Holland city limits.
The Brower Interpretive Center is brimming with informative and hands-on displays and live animal exhibits.
Watch for animals in their natural habitats as you splash through the wetlands at DeGraaf Nature Center in Holland, MI
Nelis’ Dutch Village
12350 James Street, Holland, MI 49424
Children delight in feeding the farm animals, visiting the petting zoo and interacting with the farm animals including, “Taking A Goat For A Walk.”
The rides are age appropriate and include the giant wooden shoe slide, the restored antique carousel, and the “big swing” – the popular Zweefmolen (Dutch Swing Ride).
Our Review »
Feeding goats is just one of many ways kids can interact with animals at Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland, MI
Visit Lacey the Haflinger horse, Neo the pig, and all your farmyard favorites during the summer and weekends through September.
There are a variety of Family Programs that focus on animals – Creature Features, Farmyard Wednesdays and other opportunities.
Kids can learn about animals in their natural habitats as they explore the Kalamazoo Nature Center in Kalamazoo, MI
Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49014
433 acres of animal-filled wonder in natural forests and wetlands.
This zoo offers the rare opportunity for you to get up close and personal with a giraffe feeding!
Our Review »
Feeding giraffes is a family favorite at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, MI
Anderson & Girls Orchards
2985 N Sheridan Road, Stanton, MI 48888
This farm offers a wide variety of animals not found anywhere else in Montcalm County.
He has everything from reindeer to camels to hedgehogs to lemurs. Don’t forget to visit the goats!
Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo
4180 West M-20, New Era, MI 49446
Lewis Adventure Farm is THE farm to visit for families.
In the summer months, kids will love the barrel train, skee ball, carousel, slides, play area, and more.
In the fall, additional experiences include hayrides, corn maze, corn pit, and a pumpkin patch.
The huge petting farm includes zebus, llamas, alpacas, miniature horses, emus, wallabies, prairie dogs, and more. U-Pick apples in the fall.
Our Review »
Camels are just one of many animals to visit at Lewis Adventure Farm in New Era, MI
Scidmore Park Petting Zoo
112 Spring St, Three Rivers, MI 49093
In addition to playground equipment and a duck pond, this 18 acre park also has a seasonal petting farm.
Animals include llamas, python snakes, pot-bellied pigs, and much more. Make sure to check out the rabbits and hedgehogs, too.
3476 S 80th Ave, New Era, MI 49446
Tour the farm and learn about the milking process and visit the cows.
Learn about making cheese and tour the factory. Includes a wagon ride.
Finish up with glasses of chocolate milk and samples of cheese curds.
Visit the cows after you tour the dairy and enjoy milk and cheese curds at Country Dairy in New Era, MI
Stony Lake Stables (formerly Rainbow Ranch)
4345 South 44th Ave, New Era, MI 49446
Another place to get your horse fix, Stony Lake Stables is ready for riders as young as one-year old (they ride in a double saddle with an adult.)
Horse-drawn sleigh and hay rides are also available.
The whole family will love a horse-drawn sleigh ride this winter at Stony Lake Stables in New Era, MI
This wildlife sanctuary houses hundreds of rescued reptiles that are able to live comfortably for the remainder of their lives.
Check out the alligators, tortoises, lizards, and even birds and fish.
The animals vary in age and size, from babies to “Godzilla,” a 30-year-old, ten-foot alligator that weighs over 350 pounds!
The Lemonade Farmhouse
8461 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale, MI 49401
The Lemonade Farmhouse is a sensory-friendly petting farm offering a safe place for kids ages 4-17 to spend one-on-one time with animals.
Each child gets direct his or her own private 30 minute tour.
The Lemonade Farm is home to a variety of farm animals, including goats, chickens, dogs, bunnies, and cats.
Kids can find eggs, feed the goats, or brush the animals. Others want to sit and snuggle with a kitty or a bunny.
Our Review »
Kids with special needs can have their own 1-on-1 time with animals at the Lemonade Farmhouse in Allendale, MI
MAP of Petting Zoos and Kid Friendly Farms
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