Brookhollow’s Barnyard, a petting zoo and farm in Boonton, is the perfect destination if your child loves animals. This sweet spot may just be Morris County's best-kept secret. The family-run farm will not only entertain your own baby animal, but older kids will also love this serene, yet interactive, spot.
Check out our Guide to NJ Farms for even more family-friendly fun, from pick-your-own fruit to top "agritainment" centers.
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Have fun feeding the bunnies at Brookhollow's Barnyard.
Exploring Brookhollow's Farm
After you arrive, head straight into the namesake barn at Brookhollow's Barnyard. You can pay for admission (FREE for little ones under 2) and snag tickets for the farm's tractor and trains. You'll definitely want to consider buying a feeding pail filled with sliced carrots and a shovel to feed the animals. There's a whole rainbow of colors to pick from. And, the bucket is yours to keep. You can bring it back for refills on return trips.
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Look up and you'll see goats scaling ramps above your head!
Once you exit the barn, you're free to explore the lovely paths that meander through the farm. While you cannot touch the animals, you'll definitely get to know these furry friends as they wait for a shovel of carrots. You'll see sheep, baby cows, a pig, alpacas, ducks, chickens, and a zebra. Look up, and you might catch a goat climbing the structures above the farm. And don't miss the rabbit den, which is filled with the sweetest little hoppers. We just loved the donkey and ponies, one of which was really good at begging for carrots by tapping the gate!
Though there were several birthday parties and general visitors on the day of our visit, it didn't feel crowded. It was serene and lovely thanks to the pretty layout with shady spots and benches to take breaks. All told it took us a little over an hour to walk through the park with a toddler and a 6-year-old in tow.
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Jump on the mini train for a spin around the farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
What Else to Do at Brookhollow's Barnyard
When you're ready for a little break from the animals, grab your tickets and hop aboard the farm's tractor or train. The tractor ride is a 10-15-minute journey around the farm and suitable for the whole family. Meanwhile, the train is a 5-minute kiddie ride that travels in a loop around the flower garden. Ask about availability on the day of your visit. Sometimes, the train may not run if it's very hot, and the tractor is sometimes busy with birthday parties. Note that you'll need separate tickets for each attraction.
When the kids need to burn off some energy, head over to the sand pits for a little digging. There's also a corn box and a model train house to explore. Or, play pretend in one of the little playhouses. There are also some great firetruck and bulldozer play sets available.
You'll enjoy posing with the cute animals on a visit to Brookhollow’s Barnyard.
Strollers, Potties, and Food at the Petting Zoo
The farm's paths are made of fine gravel, which is great for strollers and wheelchairs. I loved that, unlike many farms, the parking lot is paved–making it even easier for people to come to the farm with wheels.
The farm doesn't have restrooms, but you'll find a couple of porta-potties up front.
Also, note that the farm doesn't sell much in the way of food, but you're welcome to bring your own snacks or lunch. There are some benches and picnic tables where you can stop for a bite.
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Throw a barnyard-themed birthday party. Photo courtesy of the farm
Birthday Parties and Summer Camps
Brookhollow's Barnyard is a fantastic place to throw a younger child's birthday party. Packages start at $275 for up to 30 guests (2 and older) and include 15 carrot cups for feeding the animals. These parties are super popular, so try to book at least 2 months in advance.
Over the summer, kids can do week-long, half-day camps filled with farm animal time, nature walks, crafts, tractor rides, train rides, and story time.
There are great play sets available for kids to explore. Photo courtesy of the farm
More Tips for Visiting Brookhollow's Barnyard
- The farm is open seasonally from May 1 through October 31, 6 days a week, and closed Mondays. Hours: 10am-2:30pm, Tuesday-Friday, and 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday.
- Check out the farm's Facebook page before you head out for the facility's latest updates
- The admission fee as of summer 2023 was $6.50 per person; children under 2 are FREE
- Dogs are not allowed on the farm
Unless noted, photos by the author