Spring Awakening: Places on Long Island to See, Pet & Feed Sweet Animals

Spring is here so why not get outside to visit some of the furry residents of Long Island - you may even meet a few baby animals!

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Big the goat, a resident of the Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary, taking a rest on the logs.

Photo by: LongIsland.com Staffer Kelly Tenny.

Spring has officially sprung, which means that many farms, petting zoos, nature centers and animal sanctuaries are beginning to open up their doors once again to visitors for the season. In addition to opening up their doors once again, spring is also the season of baby animals! Families won’t be able to help themselves from “ohhing and awwing” at all of the fuzzy friends they meet while exploring Long Island farms, petting zoos and sanctuaries.
 
Many of these places also allow visitors to pet the animals, and some even provide feed for a small cost so that patrons can enjoy even more quality time with the animals. Be sure to inquire beforehand though with each location about their specific rules for petting and feeding. Many animals have very specific diets to abide by, so not all facilities will have the same policies.
 
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone with you to take some adorable photos with which you can look back on for many years to come.
 
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard & Horse Rescue
2114 Sound Avenue, Calverton, NY 11933
Open Monday, Thursday & Friday from 12PM - 6PM; Saturday from 12PM - 7PM; Sunday from 12PM - 6PM (Winter Hours - Call for Spring Hours)
631-369-0100
Call About Admission
Not only a winery in the heart of Long Island’s wine country, but a horse rescue too, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard & Horse Rescue saves horses, many former racehorses,  who were once marked for destruction. The vineyard and horse rescue also offers pony rides on the weekends, weather permitting, from 12PM - 5PM Memorial Day thru Mid-November.
 
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
1660 NY-25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Open Daily from 10AM - 5PM; Weekends in June, July & August Open from 10AM - 6PM
516-692-6768
Admission: Free for Members, $6 per adult; $4 per child ages 3 - 12, Free for ages 2 and under; $4 per person age 65 and older
Home to the largest living collection of New York State freshwater fish, reptiles and amphibians, the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium offers a plethora of things for visitors to do. From exploring live exhibits, feeding the hungry trout, and looking into the eight outdoor ponds, you’ll have a fun, and educational, day planned. 
 
Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve
200 New Highway, Commack, NY 11725
Open Weekdays from 8AM to Dusk; Weekends from Memorial Day thru Mid-October Open from 9AM to Dusk.
631-543-7804
Parking Fee May Apply
Open 365 days a year, the Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve has sheep, goats and many other animals. The Hoyt Farm Nature Center (Open from Memorial day to Labor day from 1PM - 4PM daily.) also houses live animals like snakes, turtles, frogs, fish and salamanders. Parking is for Smithtown residents and Empire Pass holders only, but there is plenty of street parking and for a fee of $12 non-residents can park for the day
 
Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center
249 Buckley Road, Holtsville, NY 11742
Open in March on Weekdays from 9AM - 3PM; Open April 2nd thru May 27th on Weekdays from 9AM - 3 PM * Weekend from 10AM - 3PM, Open May 28th thru September 25th Everyday from 9AM - 4PM. 
631-758-9664
Parking Fees May Apply
Home to over 100 different animals, many of whom are injured or wild animals who are non-releasable, The Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center has goats, chickens, turkey, bobcats, buffalo, eagles, and many more animals, for patrons to view. Feed machines for the goats are available for just 25 cents per handful.
 

The resident sheep of the Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary in Northport.
 
Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary
Burt Avenue, Northport, NY 11768
Open from Dawn til Dusk
631-261-6320
Free Admission - Donations Accepted; $2 per pack of fresh vegetables to feed the goats, sheep and Annabelle the cow
An almost hidden gem in the Northport community, Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary, previously a dairy farm, is home to many different types of animals. From sheep to chicken, alpacas to peacocks, there is an eclectic bunch of residents at the Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary. Stop by and say, “Hello!”
 
Martha Clara Vineyards
6025 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901
Tasting Hours: Monday thru Friday from 11AM - 5PM; Saturday 11AM - 6PM; Sunday 11AM - 5PM
631-298-0075
Call About Admission
While mom and dad enjoy a nice glass of Pinot Grigio, the kids can enjoy spending some time with the farm animals at Martha Clara Vineyards! Please note that children must be supervised at all times and no one is allowed inside the animal pens.
 
Sweet Briar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY 11787
Preserve Hours: Open 8:30AM - 4PM Everyday; Vivarium Hours: Open 10AM - 4PM Daily (June - September)
631-979-6344
Free Admission - Donations Appreciated; Butterfly House Admission: $5 per adult; $3 per child under age 12 & $3 per senior citizen
The Sweet Briar Nature Center, located in Suffolk County, is a rehabilitation center for many different types of animals. Each spring tends to bring an influx of baby animals who need care before being released back into the wild. Don’t forget to take a stroll inside the Butterfly House while you’re there!
 
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Center & Trail Hours: Open Monday thru Friday from 9AM - 4PM
516-922-3200
Free Admission - Donations Appreciated
First established in 1923, the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center was the first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the nation. The 13-acre forest sanctuary is now home to countless birds who had previously been losing their habitats, like the Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk and many others, and is currently a source of conservation education for the surrounding community. Enjoy a walk through the sanctuary with your binoculars to get a closer look at some of the birds.
 
White Post Farms
250 Old Country Rd, Melville, NY 11747
Open 10AM - 5PM
631-351-9373
Admission: $12 per adult; $12 per child (CASH ONLY)
Open since 1886, White Post Farms is home to many different types of animals. From their sweet goats who you can bottle feed for a small price, to Ronnie's Birdie Landing Aviary where you can purchase a bird feed stick and watch as the little birds perch on your stick for a quick bite, to pony rides which are offered for $5 each, the kids will have a blast spending the day at White Post Farms.