Meet the Animals at these New Jersey Petting Zoos and Animal Farms

Pet baby goats on a visit to Brookhollow's Barnyard in Boonton. Photo by Kaylynn Ebner
Pet baby goats on a visit to Brookhollow's Barnyard in Boonton. Photo by Kaylynn Ebner
4/12/24 - By Jaime Wisz

At New Jersey petting zoos, you and your family get to spend time outdoors while visiting cute, cuddly animals. In addition to seeing chicks, calves, lambs, bunnies, and piglets, kids can often pick fruit and vegetables. Some farms even host events where kids can watch cows being milked or take in another demonstration, like learning how cheese and bread are made.

Read on for more than a dozen of our favorite NJ petting 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, or other delicious treats for yourself and the kids. The barnyard is open every day but Sunday and timed-entry tickets must 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 may be asked 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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Alstede Farms petting zoo
Barnyard animals meet you at the parking lot at Alstede Farms. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

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.

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 usually opens for the season in mid-April to early May 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 spring lamb tours in which kids can see baby lambs. It also has 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.

Petting Zoos in Central New Jersey 

Bluebird Farm Alpacas – Peapack

The Bluebird Farm Alpacas is a unique petting zoo, with an 11-acre farm situated in the Somerset Hills. You are encouraged to take pictures 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 Fridays through Sundays only.

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 play at the playground. 

Bobolink Dairy – Milford

Bobolink Dairy raises grass-fed cows and produces outstanding cheeses and wood-fired bread. Show your kids where the cow pasture is, 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 experience fun farm activities that include meeting farm animals like cows, sheep, goats, chickens, bunnies, pigs, and donkeys. Learn about the animals' purposes on the farm and the differences between breeds. There are also weekly story times in the barn on Thursdays and Fridays where kids can listen to a story, do a craft, and meet a bunny.

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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, and more. Terhune boasts a robust pick-you-own schedule and hosts fun events year-round.

Petting Zoos in South Jersey 

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 donkeys, baby calves, and goats. The Barnyard Walk is closed in spring and summer 2024, but will reopen in the fall. 

Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary – Mays Landing

As a charity organization, Funny Farm Rescue provides 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 at the on-site store. Admission is FREE.

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 a play area with climbing structures, slides, 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. During your pumpkin, sunflower, or apple-picking trip, 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. 

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. Visit on Saturdays and Sundays during public hours to see the baby goats, chicks, sheep, and bunnies. Tickets are $10 per person for admission to the petting zoo (includes one bucket of feed per person).

This post, originally published in 2014, is updated annually. 

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