I was worried about how the animals where treated and did lots of reading to find that people tended to think they were taken care of well. The staff we interacted with were very friendly but I do wish there had been someone in the petting zoo or a few more signs. There was a "bird atrium" and we were unsure if we could go in - it was unlocked but we didn't want to trespass.
Things to know:
1- make a reservation if you want to ride the wagon. We didn't but managed to get on the 11:30am ride anyway so it worked out well. We had an hour to go around the petting zoo but could have easily spent more time in it.
2- Use your feed in the petting zoo b/c the wagon ride provides more!
3- Do not wear flip flops (I did)- its just too dusty and there are muddy spots plus I got food pellets in them.
4- Sunscreen and bug spray!
5- we took a diaper bag with us on the ride just in case we needed it plus little one ended up drinking water several times so I would carry water and place your bags under the center bench...other wise goats may eat it.
The wagon ride instructs you several times on how to treat the animals and I appreciated that. Our little one was 19 months old and loved it. He sat in dad's lap while I took pictures and he and dad feed the animals. Little one liked dropping the food to the pigs the best and watching the buffalo and giraffe. The buffalo were awesome as they stood there to be feed and were not shy about visiting the wagon.
Downside- we didn't get to see the macaws. Unsure if they just were not out or we somehow missed them.
The gift shop is cute. If you partake of ice cream skip the birthday cake flavor....it just wasn't that good I'm sure chocolate and vanilla would be fine.
Hint- our little one loves giraffes and if you want to be up-close so sit on the right side of the wagon to be closest to them.
You could easily spend 5-6 hours here with the playground petting zoo and wagon ride.
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