Nothing says Spring like cute animals! Here’s a list of South Sound spots to get your fill of chicks, camels, and fish, OH MY! Know one I missed? Let me know!
In the animal encounter section, kids can feed the goats for only 50 cents! This is always fun, and I’ve never seen the goats refuse a snack. Kids can also feed sweet birds in the Budgie Buddies exhibit for $1.50 ($1 for members). You can also touch the stingrays in the Stingray Cove! And, there are touch tanks as well with various Puget Sound creatures, including sea cucumbers, starfish, and sea anemones. Or, how about not just touching the animals, but going for a ride on one? Camel Rides (weather dependent) are only $7($6 for members) plus you can purchase a photo for an additional $7! You will often find docents around the zoo with animals you can touch as well. Zoo admission is spendy, so SFM recommends investing in the pass once a year.
Jozee Rooz Indoor Petting Zoo, Tacoma CLOSED FOR SUMMER
This is a new, INDOOR facility in Tacoma, where your kids can meet and pet yaks, goats, rabbits, wallabies, and more cute critters! Because it’s indoors, you don’t have to worry about the rain or mud or puddles, so this can be a year round destination for fun. I just know your little animal lovers are going to want to go every day! Admission is $10/child, with one free grownup.
Old McDebbie’s Farm & Jim’s U-Fish, Spanaway
Old McDebbie’s is a family run farm that is built upon sharing animals with the community. There is an assortment of animals, including alpacas, bunnies, llamas, kangaroo, yak, goats, pigs, donkeys, opines, miniature horse, camel, guinea pigs, emus, peacocks and more! They also offers pony rides! And, a u-fish spot where they do the cleaning, you do the catching. Farm admission $6, additional cost for train rides and pony rides. Open Wed-Sun 10-6.
Bill’s Fishin’ Hole, Orting
Only pay for what you catch! Bill’s Fishin’ Hole is open seasonally, so be sure to check their Hours page or Facebook page for updates. This is primarily a u-fish place, but they also have some farm animals. On the occasions we’ve been here, the kids have been allowed to feed the fish. Note that you will feel like you are driving to the end of the earth getting here, and wear your rainboots! If your kids are planning to take home a BIG ONE, be prepared. I was a little shocked when we went here with Henry’s preschool, and they wanted me to dispatch a fish.
Mary Olson Farm, Auburn
This is a restored farm house that is now part of the Auburn Parks system. It’s a terrific, little spot to visit for a taste of what life used to be like. Open June 24-August 27th, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5pm. There are chickens here to feed, and it’s free.
Morris’s Shadow Mountain, Auburn
First off, you can often find deals to this spot on Groupon/Groupon Now. Regular price is $12/person per day. Whatever you do, don’t pay full price! You can get up close and personal with a cow, giant bunnies, ferrets, mini horses, alpacas, and baby goats! You can even stroller through the barn to see the horses. Open by appointment only.
Lattin’s Country Cider Mill, Olympia
This spot is known more for apples and pumpkins, but it’s open year round with farm animals the kids can pet and feed. There are new arrivals every Spring! Purchase a bag of feed at the store and have the goats, chickens, pigs, calves, bunnies and lambs eating right out of your hands.::
While you may not be able to handle or feed ’em, every feed store in the area has baby chicks in the Spring, and it doesn’t cost anything to go look at them. That’s what I call cheep fun! Local pet stores also have plenty of animals to take a peek at, which always makes for a fun and free outing for the littles. My boys also love checking out the larger pet stores, or even the displays at Cabela’s in Lacey or the aquarium at Bass Pro Shop in Tacoma.
Take a drive! If you can find a little patch of country, this is a fun time of year to motor around and see what you can find. Driving through the country roads, you can alway see animals roaming about in their natural farm life habitat.
Those are the South Sound spots I know about, but please tell me your favorites I missed! I’d also love to hear about any out of the area but worth the trip!