It’s not spring without baby animals and other farm fun, so grab your kiddos and get ready to oohh and ahhh over furry and feathered friends, take a hayride and learn about spring planting. We've compiled some of the best farms to visit around the Seattle area.
Many of these facilities are open year-round; others are open only for the summer season, or starting in spring. We recommend double-checking current hours of operation and admission prices (where not marked as “free”).
See also our list of secret gardens around Seattle, many of which have kid-friendly attractions and garden paths to run through.
Eastside and Seattle-area farms and petting zoos
1. Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park, Redmond
Tucked away in Redmond, Farrel-McWhirter, a 68-acre, city-owned park, is a welcome escape from city life, boasting beautiful nature trails, large, grassy fields and picnic tables with barbecue pits. It’s also a fabulous place for kids to get up close and personal with pigs, goats, cows, ponies and turkeys. The park offers pony-riding classes for both toddlers and “big kids,” summer day camps and a preschool.
Hours: Open year-round, daily from 7 a.m. to dusk (barnyard hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Address: 19545 N.E. Redmond Road, Redmond
2. Fox Hollow Family Farm, Issaquah
A family farm in Issaquah, Fox Hollow Farm is a treat for kids of all ages (and parents, too!). The farm's Open Farm days let children get a close peek at sheep, goats, pigs, peacocks, chickens, mini horses, kittens and more. Kids can also ride ponies or miniature John Deere tractors, take a spin on the Squak Mountain Station kid-sized train or get a bounce in on the giant inflatables. There’s also a “Cottage Area,” full of kid-sized houses for little ones to explore. Ramble down to Issaquah Creek for a picnic or wading.
Cost: General admission is $10; book ahead online for a specific time slot.
Schedule: Open farm sessions occur on weekend and select weekdays; check the website for availability.
Address: 12123 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E., Issaquah
3. Kelsey Creek Farm Park, Bellevue
Not far from the trendy restaurants and shopping of downtown Bellevue, you’ll find Kelsey Creek Farm Park, a 1930s-style working farm with white clapboard barns, open pastures and distant chatter of animals setting a scene reminiscent of old-fashioned America. The farm offers families a chance to view ponies, cows, sheep, bunnies, chickens and pigs in their pastures. If you're just visiting, you can't actually pet the animals, but hands-on interaction is available through farm classes, school tours and birthday parties. Woodland paths, a playground and picnic tables are open to the public, and hands-on, farm-centric classes, camps and more are available.
Cost: Free, though donations are welcome.
Hours: Open year-round, daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Address: 410 130th Place S.E., Bellevue
4. Woodland Park Zoo Family Farm, Seattle
We love gorillas, lions and hippos, but it’s always fun to wander over to the Woodland Park Zoo's Family Farm area to say hello to the more, well … domestic inhabitants. Kiddos can interact with goats, pigs, bunnies and more. Learn how a cow is milked, take a peek at the chicks and play on a tractor by a farmers market. Come into the Contact Area and pet a few goats and other farm animals.
Cost: Included with zoo admission ($18.95-$20.95) or membership.
Hours: The zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (summer hours), and the family farm is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle
5. Remlinger Farms, Carnation
At 350 acres, Remlinger is the mother of all kid-friendly farms, with animals, amusement rides, a steam train, U-Pick berry fields, concessions galore and much more. In the Country Fair Family Fun Park, kiddos can interact with goats, peacocks and bunnies, and pony rides are included in admission. Be sure to check out the awesome hay maze and impressive farmers market. And the rides! Beyond the train, there's a canoe float ride, mini roller coaster, a pedal bike track and much more.
Cost: One-day admission is $15.75; under age 1 free. On weekdays from mid May through mid June, Remlinger operates Toddler Weekdays at the Family Fun Park, limited rides and a discounted ticket.
Hours: Check website for open hours
Address: 32610 N.E. 32nd St., Carnation
South Sound farms and petting zoos
6. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma
Round up the family and check out Point Defiance Zoo’s Kids’ Zone — a bright, colorful environment that encourages play. Kids may be able to feed or groom resident goats and sheep and get a closer look at some of the zoo’s animals, like wallabies and meerkats. Alerts: PDZA's new Pacific Seas Aquarium is opening the summer of 2018, providing (yet) another reason to visit the zoo.
Cost: Included in admission
Hours: Open daily, year-round. Hours vary seasonally
Address: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma
7. Debbie Doolittle's Indoor Petting Zoo, Tacoma
Open year-round, this indoor facility is a great option for rainy days and winter woes. With a special focus on miniature animals, visitors can expect to see wallabies, bunnies, cockatiel, budgies, piglets, dwarf goats, lambs, mini chickens, mini horses, mini donkeys and more. And don't forget the pony rides! (P.S.: There also critters up for adoption, so watch out.)
8. Old McDebbie’s Farm / Jim’s U Fish, Spanaway
Farmers Jim and Debbie love sharing their working farm in Spanaway with the community. Kids can ride a pony, fish for rainbow trout, walk the I-spy trail, discover the musical forest and go on a wildlife scavenger hunt. They invite families to come visit and feed the animals — everything from lambs, goats, bunnies, kangaroos and even a camel!
9. Morris’s Shadow Mountain Stables, Auburn
Walk through the barn to visit the horses or meet Henry the Cow, baby goats, alpacas and more at the petting farm.
Cost: $12 admission or $42 for admission plus a 25-minute horse ride
Schedule: By appointment only; visit website for details
Address: 29502 112th Ave. S.E., Auburn
10. Pioneer Farm Museum & Ohop Indian Village, Eatonville
The Pioneer Farm Museum offers two distinct hands-on tours for families. The Farm Tour lets families explore homestead cabins and a barn, while getting to practice pioneer family activities such as churning cream and milking a cow. Kids of all ages can have fun playing in the hay loft. The Native American Seasons Tour gives participants a chance to learn how local Native people lived from season to season, with activities like bow and arrow target practice and playing a plank drum.
North Sound farms and petting zoos
11. Maltby Produce Market, Snohomish
This hidden gem, located down the street from (and owned by) Flower World, operates an onsite petting zoo. Kids can get close to chickens and peacocks, and watch sheep and goats roaming in a grassy area. Round out the experience by shopping for farm-fresh produce, herbs and eggs. Tip: No dogs allowed.
Schedule: Open daily year-round
Address: 19523 Broadway Ave., Snohomish
12. Forest Park Animal Farm, Everett
Goats, chickens, cows, sheep, pigs and other farm animals are on view at the Forest Park Animal Farm. On certain days, kiddos age 2 and older can get a free pony ride. Check out the spray ground if you're there summer. Bad weather? Head to the indoor pool (admission fee).
Schedule: Daily from June 23-Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett
13. The Outback Kangaroo Farm, Arlington
Looking for something different? The Outback Kangaroo Farm offers 40-minute tours of kangaroos, peacocks, parrots, flying squirrels, mini donkeys and more!
Editor's note: This article was originally published in April 2013 and updated in April 2018.