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Summer Animal Adventures
Kids of all ages enjoy meeting local wildlife, and summer is a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with some furry friends. An afternoon at the zoo, a farm, or a walk through a nearby preserve not only gives everyone a chance to see the animals, but is a good time to teach your children about nature as well. Here are some ideas of places to visit and things to do as you share the animal world with your children.
Afternoon at the Petting Zoo
Petting zoos are a fun place to take kids. Almost everyone loves being able to pet and feed the animals. Little ones especially love it because many of the animals are their size! The animals you’ll find at a petting zoo will vary from place to place but some include;
- Pygmy Goats
- Miniature Horses
- Potbellied Pigs or Micro Pigs
Farmer for the Day
Take your family on a tour of a farm in your area! There are some farms that specifically advertise tours and open houses. Others may not openly advertise but would welcome a visit. You might get to milk a cow, help shear a sheep, collect eggs or feed the chickens. Some farms offer patches of pick your own produce so you can show your children where fruits and vegetables come from. Look for farms that advertise open houses or connect with farmers at your local farmers market to see if they would be open to a visit.
Discover a Fish Hatchery
The fish hatchery is an interesting place to see how fish, crustaceans and shellfish are bred, hatched and reared through the early life cycles. Some hatcheries offer catch-and-release programs for children to see what it’s like to go fishing for the first time. Contact your local hatchery directly to see if they offer tours or watch for large events, such as festivals to celebrate spawning season.
Take a Nature Hike
There are a variety of different nature preserves such as wildlife, plant life, and even marine life. Many cater to combinations of things with the intention of keeping the area safe and educating the public on preservation and conservation. Visiting lets you a chance to see nature relatively undisturbed and the wildlife roaming freely within the preserves borders. There are many larger wildlife specific preserves that you can drive through such as a bison range, a wild horse range, or a bear preserve.
Getting out and exploring new places with different types of animals is something your children will enjoy and help will foster a love for nature and wildlife. No matter where you live, chances are you’ll find several places nearby where you can see both domestic and wild animals. Aside from the educational benefits these are also activities that get your children outside having fun – instead of spending summer in the house!