Community with critters at Fox Hollow Family Farm
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”) in advance of a planned visit .
Eastside and Seattle-area farms and petting zoos
1. Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park, Redmond
Tucked away in Redmond, Farrel-McWhirter is a 68-acre city-owned park and 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.–4 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. weekends and holidays)
Find it: 19545 N.E. Redmond Rd., Redmond
2. Fox Hollow Family Farm, Issaquah
A family farm in Issaquah, Fox Hollow Farm is a treat for kids of all ages, and for 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.
Hours: Open farm sessions occur on select weekends and weekdays; check the website for availability.
Find it: 12123 Issaquah-Hobart Rd. 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 the 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.–3:30 p.m.
Find it: 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 ($13.95–$22.95; under age 2 free) or membership.
Hours: The zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. (summer hours), and the family farm area is open 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Find it: 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 lots more. In the Country Fair Family Fun Park, kids can interact with goats, peacocks and bunnies, and pony rides are included in the cost of 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 $14.75–$16.75; under age 1 free. On weekdays from mid-May through mid-June, Remlinger operates Toddler Weekdays at the Family Fun Park with limited rides and a discounted price. New to 2019 are summer passes and year-round memberships.
Hours: Check the website for open hours.
Find it: 32610 N.E. 32nd St., Carnation
South Sound-area 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 state-of-the-art Pacific Seas Aquarium opened in the summer of 2018, providing (yet) another reason to visit this zoo.
Cost: Included with admission ($13–$21; ages 2 and under free); discounted tickets available online
Hours: Open daily, year-round. Hours vary seasonally, so check the website.
Find it: 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, cockatiels, budgies, piglets, dwarf goats, lambs, mini chickens, mini horses, mini donkeys and more. And don't forget the pony rides! (P.S. There are also critters up for adoption, so watch out.)
Cost: $10 per person; kids under age 2 free; $8 pony rides offered weekends only
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Find it: 120 138th St. S., Suite C, Tacoma
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. The owners invite families to come visit and feed the animals — everything from lambs, goats and bunnies to kangaroos and even a camel!
Cost: $8 admission; $5 pony rides; $6 for each fish caught; bring your own fishing gear or rent on site.
Hours: Hours vary by season.
Find it: 4924 268th St. E., Spanaway
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
Hours: By appointment only; visit the website for details.
Find it: 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.
Cost: Pioneer Farm tour $10–$11; Native American Seasons tour $9.50–$10.50
Hours: Check the website for seasonal hours.
Find it: 7716 Ohop Valley Rd. E., Eatonville
North Sound farms and petting zoos
11. Maltby Produce Market, Snohomish
This hidden gem, located across 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. Pro tip: You can enter the peacock enclosure and be surrounded by a couple dozen peacocks — watch for poop — and find a little barn which sometimes houses cute baby animals. Round out the experience by shopping for farm-fresh produce, herbs and eggs. Note: 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 visit in summer. Bad weather? Head to the indoor pool (admission fee).
Cost: Free; donations always appreciated
Hours: Daily from June 22–Aug. 18, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Find it: 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!
Cost: $10–$12; ages 2 and under free
Hours: Tours available Wednesday–Sunday, March–October. Check the website for details.
Address: 10030 State Route 530 N.E., Arlington
Editor's notes: This article was originally published a few years ago and updated for May 2019. ParentMap staff contributed to this article.