Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Family petting goats at the Woodland Park Zoo

Is a goat soft? How does a sheep want to be touched? Pet a selection of domestic farm animals and learn more about them in supervised areas at Woodland Park Zoo's Family Farm. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo)

Best family farms and petting zoos around Seattle

Go visit some animals! Two more farms added

Spring and summer are the perfect time to take your children on an outing to one of Seattle’s many petting zoos and family farms. Here are some of the best zoos, farms and parks in the Seattle area, where you can view, pet and sometimes even ride a full menagerie sheep, cows, ponies, bunnies, goats and even a few peacocks! Many of these places have special holiday events and holiday hours, so be sure to check their website before going.

Farrel-McWhirter Farm

Current hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily

Home to farm animals, nature trails, and a preschool that Old MacDonald himself would approve of, this Redmond park is a great bet for free farm fun. Your children will love exploring the 68-acres of grassy lawn, quiet nature trails, and the animal farm. Visit Lily, one of the resident goats, and say hello to Sunny, the 600-lb sow. Pack a lunch and chow down near the climbing tree or, if it’s raining, head to the sheltered picnic tables. Got a cowboy or cowgirl in the making? Check out the farm’s riding school (geared for ages 2.5 and up) or their Farm School, where kiddos can learn about animals, barnyard basics, and farming 101. 

Animals: Cows, horses, bunnies, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep

Go there: 19545 NE Redmond Rd, Redmond

Contact: 425-556-2300

Cost: FREE

Kelsey Creek Farm Park

Barnyard open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, animals are out in the yard 9 a.m.-3 p.m. during the winter

Who knew that you could find a charming 1930‘s working farm in the heart of Bellevue? Kelsey Creek Farm Park is a glimpse into old-fashioned country life, and a surefire hit with tots. Visit pigs, goats, sheep, and bunnies, play in the oversized sandbox, explore nature trails, and make a playground pit-stop on your way out.

Animals: Pigs, goats, cows, horses, sheep, bunnies, chickens, and in the spring, piglets, calves, and baby goats! 

Go there: 410 130 Pl SE, Bellevue

Contact: 425-452-7688

Cost: FREE (Fees apply for farm classes and camps)

Flower World

This Snohomish gem features more than just flowers. A perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon or a Mother’s Day outing, Flower World is a 15-acre oasis of rolling lawns and roaming roosters, duck ponds, foliage and farm animals. Wander through the rows of gorgeous blooms, veggie starts, and fruit trees. You may even encounter a turtle or two in the tiny nursery ponds. Cross the road and head to the Maltby Produce Market for a  selection of locally grown fruit and veggies, fresh eggs, apple cider, and dried fruit snack packs — perfect for a post-park pick-me-up. Visit the farm and say hello to resident sheep, lambs, goats and peacocks. 

Animals: Sheep, goats, chickens, peacocks, and many baby lambs!

Go there: 9322 196th Street SE, Snohomish

Contact: 425-481-7565

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: FREE (except for what you buy!)

Family Farm at the Woodland Park Zoo

Goats, cows and sheep can be just as exciting as their more exotic Woodland Park Zoo neighbors, and most kiddos will jump at the chance to pet a goat or two in the Contact Area. Other Family Farm activities include petting sheep, viewing cows, donkeys, bunnies and chickens, and getting some playtime in at the toddler-geared, farmer-inspired play area. During the summer families can pet the goats.

Animals: Goats, sheep, bunnies, chickens, cows, and donkeys!

Go there: N 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N or N 55th St. & Phinney Ave

Cost: Included with zoo admission; open 10 a.m.-noon, 1-4 p.m. daily


Two kids peek out from the goat stable ready to be picked up and snuggled at The Red Barn Farm.


The Red Barn Farm

A farm with everything! From farm tours to special events to a CSA, to a venue perfect for family reunions, weddings, and more, The Red Barn Farm is a wonderful place to explore with your little farmers in tow. Spring season means cuddling with goats, walking with chickens, and getting friendly with the geese. Feed bunnies, pigs, and small horses too!

Don’t forget to visit the historic red barn on the farm and learn about the history of the restored structure.

Need eggs? The farm has over 150 chickens laying. Restock with a fresh dozen from the store. Buy local honey, dried flowers, and farm memorabilia while chatting with Chelsea, the friendly farmer and owner, as you check out. The kids got to see a natural honeycomb inside the store, too- there’s no telling what other cool things you’ll find! The farm also hosts seasonal events and family activities like an egg hunt, St. Patrick’s Day, tulip, and fall festivals. They sell out quickly, so get on their newsletter list for your first chance to book tickets.

Animals: Pigs, geese, chickens, goats, miniature horses, cows, and bunnies (feed may be purchased in the farm store)

Go there: 5703 208th Ave NE Redmond 98053

Contact: Visit website for more details

Cost: $25 per car, up to four guests. Additional guests 3+ is $10/each person. Under 2 is free.

Note: Cuddle sessions with the animals happen at various times of the year. Hours to visit the animals is Wednesday-Saturday. Book your visit online.


Debbie Dolittle’s Indoor Petting Zoo

Current hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday-Monday. Animal encounters are Thursday- Monday at the outdoor farm.

Beat the rain and check out this year-round indoor petting zoo where tots can visit with a range of cuties, from rabbits to wallabies! This spot specializes in miniature animals, so expect to see miniature pigs, dwarf goats, mini horses, and lots of babies!  Ride a pony or a donkey, but keep your goldfish crackers to yourself–no food or drinks allowed in the petting area. 

Animals: Wallabies, rabbits, cockatiels, budgies, miniature pigs, piglets, dwarf goats, kids goats, lambs, zebu calf, mini chickens, mini horse, mini donkey and ponies.

Go there: 120 138th St. South, Suite C, Tacoma

Contact: 253-539-5011

Cost: $13 per person; under age 2 free. 

Pet one of two ambassador donkeys at Pasado’s Safe Haven

Pasado’s Safe Haven

Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, visit this 85-acre property and have a unique experience. Named after the neglect and abuse of a donkey named Pasado, the sanctuary is a haven for animals of all kinds.

Take a guided tour and learn about Pasado’s mission to rescue abandoned and neglected animals. Get the chance to meet with donkeys (ambassadors of the farm), goats, sheep, chickens, cows, dogs and more. Along the way, you’ll learn about each animal’s rescue story and have a chance to feed, pet, and observe the animals in their habitat.

If you’re feeling inspired by Pasado’s Safe Haven mission, donate and sponsor an animal of your own. You’ll receive an email and a photo that tells you more about your animal’s story and personality. All donations help purchase nutritious foods, medical care, and plenty of love for the animal.

Animals: Donkeys, horses, cows, pigs, llamas, chickens, dogs

Go there: Please contact the Sanctuary for location details

Contact: Register in advance for a tour

Cost: $15/person

More animal experiences:

Sammamish Animal Sanctuary: unplugged, outdoor fun — and it’s free!

See real, live kangaroos at Fall City Wallaby Ranch!

Where to see alpacas  not far from Seattle

Heading to San Juan Island? Don’t miss the sheep farm


About the Author

Allison Holm