Spring is almost here! Hard to believe, right? But yes, it’s time to get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air. What better way to kick off spring than visiting a farm with real live baby animals. Your children can crack corn, collect eggs, see baby pigs, goats and sheep and even see how cheese and bread are made. Here some of our favorite farms with baby animals in NJ.
Northern New Jersey
Abma’s Farm – Wyckoff
Head to Abma’s Farm for a quaint farm experience. The family staff at the farm welcome everyone to visit and feed their cows, goats, bunnies and even more friendly farm animals. Head into the market to purchase crackers to feed some of the animals or any grab a delicious sandwich, cookie, soup or a slew of other delicious options. Visit their website for hours of operation and more information.
Alstede Farms - Chester
Alstede is a great place to bring the family year round, with their fresh produce and Christmas trees. They also offer a baby animal tour for children. A scenic hay wagon ride brings everyone to their heated barn where you will visit all the babies. Children can pet ducklings and visit baby goats, pigs, cows, lambs and more. Call 908-879-7189 for more information.
Brookhollow's Barnyard - Boonton
Brookhollow's Barnyard is a small petting farm where kids can pet farm animals such as alpaca, llama, sheep, goats, ponies, donkeys, chickens, peafowl, ducks and miniature horses. Other activities include riding pedal tractors, or kids can take a “cow train” ride. Many baby animals arrive throughout the spring and early summer. The farm even offers birthday parties and weekly summer camps for kids. Check the farm's Facebook page or call 201-400-4505 for more information.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm - Morris
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 crack corn and feed the chickens, and even go into the henhouse and 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 and hanging it to dry, churning butter, and much more. Call 973-326-7645 for more information.
Sparta Mountain Farm - Oak Ridge
Looking for a real hands on experience for your family? The Sparta Mountain Farm's popular rent-a-chick program allows families to rent two newly hatched chicks or ducklings for two weeks during the early spring. Kids will learn how these adorable creatures grow and how to care for them during this unique experience. In addition, the farm also offers llama treks. Participants will learn about these beautiful animals as they take part in this one-hour walking tour of the farm. Call 973-800-6780 for more information.
Central New Jersey
Green Meadows Farm - Hazlet
This petting farm is open seasonally and they expect lots of newborn farm animals! Children can milk a cow, feed the animals or go on a tractor-drawn hayride. And over the summer, they even go mobile and are available for kiddie birthday parties. Call 732-335-5589 for more information.
Valley Shepherd Creamery - Long Valley
This is the place to see everything sheep. The farm offers weekend spring and summer lambing tours, starting in May, where kids can see hundreds of baby lambs. They also offer milk and cheese tours in the fall where you can learn how cheeses are made, see the milking and cheese making process and taste the cheese. Call 908-876-3200 for more information.
Bobolink Dairy - Milford
Bobolink Dairy has moved from their old location in Vernon to Milford, but still raises grass fed cows and produces outstanding cheeses and wood-fired breads. You can sign up for Farm Tours and show your kids where the cows pasture, where the bread is made and taste the different cheeses. You can now buy their famous bread online here. Email them at email@example.com them with any and all of your questions and they will call you back.
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, visiting is an experience you won’t soon forget. On a visit, you are encouraged to take pictures, meet with and interact with the farm's herd. Please keep in mind that visitors are welcome for private tours and during special events held at the location. For more information and to check out their upcoming events check out their website.
Terhune Orchards- Princeton
Terhune Orchards is a fantastic location for a day of family fun on the farm. While they do not advertise as a petting zoo, they do welcome visitors to come, meet and feed the animals living on their farm. Their barnyard animals include sheep, chickens, a horse, their friendly duck named “Egg” and more. Terhune has a great walking path for visitors and is also host to some great events coming up in the warmer months. Visit their site for more information.
Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary- Mays Landing
As a charity organization the staff at Funny Farm Rescue have made it their purpose to provide food, shelter, medical care, and most importantly love and affection for unwanted farm, exotic and domesticated animals for their entire lives. Visiting times for this special environment are Tuesday’s and Sunday’s from 8 am to 4 pm. All are welcome to visit with the animals and see the great work being done on the Sanctuary. For more info check out their site
Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm – Jobstown
Head to this historical 315-acre farm and take a step back into time. This farm was built 100 years before the 13 colonies became a nation. The family that owns Johnson’s Farm, welcomes your family to come to visit their family of animals. You will have the chance to meet and feed their goats, sheep, and chickens. Additionally, there is a perfect view from the Animal Farm to take a peek at the cows grazing in the pasture and the ponies in the side yard. Call for more information 609-353-9000.
Originally published 2014