We went to Abma’s Farm this morning and got to check out their newly renovated petting zoo that I’ve been waiting to see.  This place is a favorite spot for me to bring my little ones and it’s even better now that they’ve made some major improvements.  I’ve always liked it here because it’s small enough that I can manage them all by myself and they go wild over getting so close to the farm animals.  If you’ve never been or you’re curious about the changes here are the details….

The zoo is bigger and better than before.  They’ve added pigs, alpacas, a pair of beautiful buff ducks, little yellow ducklings, a mini donkey and ponies.  The cows are still there and there’s even more goats and sheep.  The bunnies have been relocated from their old spot by the parking lot to an enclosure with little houses for them to run in and out of.  The old petting zoo was completely regraded and lanscaped with new fencing and enclosures for all the animals and it’s really a nice place to visit.

My favorite change: The walkway throughout the petting zoo is now paved! That’s pretty major for moms with babies.  This means that you can take a stroller over a smooth path that winds throughout the petting zoo instead of the old dirt path that once was.  Had I known I would have set up the stroller for my infant instead of using the carrier.  That is the first bonus you’ll notice as you drive up.

Things to note before you go: There is a $3.00 admission charge for all persons over the age of 2.  You go into the market to pay and they will give you a ticket.  You also pick up crackers to feed the animals in the same place.  You’ll want to bring a bag to hold the crackers because they do not provide them.  My children go through LOTS of crackers and there’s even more animals now so get a good size bag of them.

Now that the petting zoo is stroller friendly I plan to put all 3 children in the stroller to keep them contained in the market and then let them out when we get into the petting zoo.  You need to cross a parking lot to get from the market to the petting zoo so for moms with toddlers this is the hardest part.  

Once you’re in the zoo there are “goat food” dispensers throughout so bring quarters.  The goats will eat the crackers but I mention this because this sweet little alpaca only wanted the goat food.  She was so gentle and my kids fell in love with her. (I think it was a her?)  Apparently the goat food is the way to her heart because she followed us as we walked along and fed her the pellets. 

If you’re a nursing mom there is a bench within the petting zoo right near a wood chipped area for kids to run around.  I saw a few moms sitting and feeding their babies.  There’s also some benches and a table with hand sanitizer at the entrance/exit by the parking lot.  All the things you want to know ahead of time when you have a baby you’re toting around.

There’s a lot more to Abma’s than the petting zoo.  They hold seasonal events and host birthday parties which are listed on their website.  My kids are too young to appreciate the hay rides we saw going on today but there’s an event they hold in the spring where kids can sit and pat the bunnies that we’ll go to.  The tickets for the event sell out so if you see something on their website you need to register for I would get on it quickly so you don’t miss out.

We ended our trip by doing a little shopping in the market.  Abma’s has the most beautiful collection of gourds and pumpkins and the kids loved helping me pick some out to take home.   No tears and everyone fell asleep on the way home- success!