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Once Spring has sprung, one of the most aww-inducing activities to do with friends, family, and little kids is to go to a local petting zoo, animal farm, or nature center to see newborn baby animals. Kids are wild about animals, and fortunately Long Islanders are surrounded by farms where baby goats, rabbits, ducklings, and more often take over the property.
Many farms and nature centers will let you pet these adorable little critters, and some also allow you to purchase animal feed or bottles so you can get even closer to nature, so be sure to bring a little extra cash for these exciting opportunities that your kids are sure to love.
Let these little ones warm your heart and get you in the mood for spring, and be sure to check each location's polices for handling or feeding animals. Don't forget to bring your camera to snap some cute photos!
Hoyt Farm Park Preserve
New Highway, Commack, NY 11725
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to dusk
Hoyt Farm is home to many goats and sheep, so chances are you’ll be able to see some cute lambs and kids (baby goats), as well as chicks as you stroll the beautiful grounds.
Sweetbriar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY 11787
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The staff and volunteers at this nature center rehabilitate numerous native wild critters, including bunnies, ducks, birds of prey, turtles, and more. Every spring brings an influx of babies that need to be cared for until they are old enough to be released into the wild, and you'll likely spot them in and around the nature center.
Holtsville Ecology Site/Brookhaven Ecology Center
249 Buckley Road, Holtsville, NY 11742
Hours of Operation: April 6-May 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
May 23-September 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
September 28-December 30 (Weekends only), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
January-March - Closed
Adorable baby goats and sheep are found in abundance here, and for a nominal cost, you can also feed them from your own hand!
56 Gnarled Hollow Road, Setauket- East Setauket, NY 11733
Hours of Operation: See workshop registration calendar
Benner's Farm is a prime springtime baby location - there are ducklings, chicks, baby bunnies, and baby goats galore in the spring, and your kids can pet them and even hold them.
Cornell Cooperative Extension
350 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank, NY 11980
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Learn about farm life at the Cornell Co-op and see baby goats, chicks, lambs, piglets, and calfs with their parents.
Long Island Zoological Society Animal Farm Petting Zoo
296 Wading River Road, Manorville NY 11949
Hours of Operation: April 5-November 11, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed during inclement weather)
Most of the adult and baby animals at this park are rescue animals, including chicks, goats, lambs, piglets, ponies, and ducks.
Long Island Game Farm
489 Chapman Boulevard, Manorville, NY
Hours of Operation: Limited hours April-May (see website) and opens 7 days a week starting May 21st, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In addition the the game farm's more exotic animals such as aligators and kangaroos, you'll spot some baby ducks, piglets, rabbits, and ponies - and you can even pet and feed them!
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard Horse Rescue
2114 Sound Avenue, Calverton, NY 11933
Hours of Operation: Weekends Memorial Day through mid-November, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Horse lovers can see beautiful rescued horses and their young in late Spring, and earlier upon request.
White Post Farms
250 Old Country Road, Melville, NY 11747
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This petting zoo is open all week for you to pet and feed baby goats, sheep, ponies, bunnies, alpacas, and more - then, sneak a peek at the new monkeys and parrots in town!
Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard
715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, NY 11952
Hours of Operation: May 9-October 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Be sure to go to the Barnyard Adventure to meet Shetland paint ponies, piglets, calfs, lambs, and dozens of chicks.
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Meet a variety of reptiles, birds, snakes, and farm animals and see what young ones were born this Spring.
Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Tanglewood Preserve
1 Tanglewood Road, Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Hours of Operation: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The year-round live animal exhibit at Tanglewood Preserve features a more intimate look at animals than most zoos, and is home to plenty of animals including adorable dwarf goats, owls, ducks, and more.
Photo credit: sspijker via FreeImages